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What to Wear to Stay Cool While Camping This Summer

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Yearning for a getaway in the great outdoors? That makes two of us. But before you bolt out of town, you’ve got to make sure your affairs are in order — namely, you’ve got to make sure you know what to wear camping. It’s a tricky balance that involves considering the weather, the environment, the terrain, and your activities during the days in and around your campsite. 

Figuring out what to wear camping definitely involves a deeper focus on the functionality front than your average ensemble — the right fabrics in your gear are key, for instance. You want clothing that’s lightweight enough to withstand the heat (look for cotton blends) but preferably with both stretch and abrasion or water-resistant qualities (to provide protection from any elements you might encounter on the trail or back at the campsite).

Surprisingly, lightweight, long-sleeve shirts are easier to find than you might think — long sleeves and pants help ward off the sun and pesky mosquitoes or other insects, too. The right layers, including a performance t-shirt (as you’ll see below) are also mighty helpful when you hit the heat of the day.

And the bottom line? Each of the picks below blend form and function, as any great piece of gear should do. The right boots and the right backpack are necessities, but the best camping gear often starts with what you’re wearing, so prepare accordingly.

Whether you prefer active day hikes or leisurely strolls before bonfire beers, the gear picks below (from heritage and upstarts brands alike) are here to help you get ready for your next trip accordingly. 

Filson Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt 

Filson Lightweight Alaskan Guide Shirt

To protect you from the sun’s rays, provide extra storage space for small everyday carry essentials, and deliver rugged functionality — all at the same time  — get this lightweight take on Filson’s Alaskan Guide Shirt. 

Myles Apparel Everyday Tee

A comfortable base layer is a must when going off the beaten path, especially one like this stylish yet performance-minded tee from Myles Apparel (made from a blend of recycled polyester and organic cotton).

Simms Superlight Pants

Simms Superlight Pants

Whether you consider yourself an angler or not, it pays off to have a pair of lightweight, dependable pants to protect you from the sun and tackle the elements while providing durability day after day. 

Danner Caprine Boots 

Danner Caprine Boots 

Your regular summer footwear won’t quite cut it when camping, which is why we wholeheartedly endorse these hybrid hiking boots with a breathable upper for performance and surprisingly great style. 

Techne Watches Merlin Watch 

Finding the right watch to wear in the field is critical. This Techne Watches timepiece is rugged yet subtly stylish, made with classic field watch-style details using a stainless steel case and ballistic nylon strap. 

Topo Designs Klettersack

TopoTopo Designs Klettersack Designs Klettersack

For day hikes away from your camp site, and for hauling extra essentials, you need a reliable bag that can stand up to the demands of the great outdoors. Luckily, the handy Topo Designs Klettersack is more than up to the challenge. 

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