Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

How To Look Like a Grown Man While Camping Outdoors

California Cowboy Shirts
California Cowboy

As you’ve likely heard, recent travel restrictions have combined with the lifestyle limitations of lockdown to create an unheralded boom in outdoor travel. Campgrounds around the country are packed to allowable capacity, while sales and rentals of all camping-related gear are skyrocketing.

Outdoor industry leaders as well as environmental preservationists are trying to figure out how this exponential growth will impact the integrity of our shared outdoor spaces. Meanwhile, though, we at The Manual have already grasped the implications on a personal level: the boom in outdoor travel this year means you’re a lot more likely to run into somebody you know. No matter what form your camping trip takes — driving an RV to your state’s showpiece, backpacking along the coast, or posting up at your favorite KOA for a week— odds are good that you’ll cross paths with, for instance, your crush, your client, your boss (or someone you wish were your boss). Someone, in other words, whom you’d rather didn’t see you in a sweat-stained souvenir tee and cargo pants that haven’t been laundered since you followed Dave Matthews on tour.

Related Videos

With that in mind, we advise you to upgrade your camping wardrobe. Outdoor lovers tend to prioritize their resources on gear, while completely overlooking the gear they wear on their back. And we get it—bumming around in your ancient college fleece and gym shorts for a weekend is part of the charm of camping. But at a certain age, it stops being cute and starts being embarrassing. For others, even if not for you.

That’s why we’ve curated a shortlist of our tried-and-tested “camping couture.” Our recommendations are built with the outdoors in mind, offering the perfect symbiosis of comfort and style, along with some added functionality that makes a big difference when you’re roughing it.

So as you pack up for your outdoor adventure, leave the sweat-stained t-shirts in the hamper, and get out there looking like a grown-ass adult. You’ll be surprised by how good it feels.

California Cowboy Men’s High Sierra Shirt

California Cowboy Shirt

If you’d described the California Cowboy shirt for us, we’d probably have scoffed at it. Lined pockets for stashing a cold beer? Terry cloth lining for a built-in towel? It sounded so crazy, we had to try it for ourselves … and now we’re obsessed. The short-sleeved version is the perfect thing to throw on after a morning surf session or a plunge into a cold lake, while the long-sleeved shirt with its plaid exterior and thermal lining gives you ultimate camp style and offers an extra layer of skin-soft warmth without the bulk of an actual base layer. Both models feature more ingenious compartments than a Winnebago, with all the iconic style of an Airstream.

Duer Live Free Adventure Pant


The holy trifecta of camp wear is style, comfort, and functionality. We’ve yet to find a brand like Duer that offers all three in ample measure. This Canadian outfitter’s line of basics are tough as nails, with jeans, tees, shorts, and joggers that stand up to temperamental weather and the myriad indignities involved in roughing it, while still holding their shape for effortless casual style. You’ll want to spend the entire day in the Duer Live-Free Adventure Pant, an innovative pant-jogger hybrid that features DWR water resistance, zippered cargo pockets, and — man, do we love this — adjustable ankle cuffs for the most versatile fit we’ve ever seen.

Vuori Ponto Pant

Vuori Sweat Pants

Real talk: Sometimes the greatest attraction of camping is the opportunity for 24-hour sweatpants without shame. We salute you, leisure lovers … while also humbly suggesting that the more committed you are to pure comfort, the more likely it is that your sweatpants could use an upgrade. We highly recommend you upgrade to the Vuori Ponto Legging. Your girlfriend will love the straight-leg fit that makes these modern sweatpants perfectly presentable outside the house. The real score, however, is trading in the traditional sweatpant fleece for this light, buttery-soft performance fabric that won’t bag out and puts an end to perspiration down under.

Editors' Recommendations

Graphic tees can complete a look — these are the best brands
Graphic tees: Express yourself to the world with genuine art
IGWM Black Graphic Tee

While the whole of fashion is a form of wearable art, graphic tees are the most literal way to wear artwork on your clothing. They are the most straightforward way to express something about your personality visually. The graphics can show places you’ve been, the music you listen to, the shows and movies you like, or the artists you appreciate. Most graphic tees represent the brand that made them and therefore demonstrates our support for that brand. Some of the most talented visual design artists working today are designing t-shirt graphics as a way to display their art and supplement their income at the same time. It is a truly modern medium for artistic expression.

Graphic tees are available just about everywhere, from online clothing stores to small vintage t-shirt shops. If you’re looking for the best t-shirts to pair up with your favorite jeans and sneakers this spring, we’ve got you covered with our round-up of the best graphic tee companies.

Read more
Ditch the hiking pants: these Ibex merino joggers are the answer to cozy camping
Camp (or just lounge around) this fall in these warm, cozy, and surprisingly stylish joggers from Ibex
A man puts another log on the campfire wearing Ibex Nomad pants.

Comfort is the key to enjoying fall camping. Let's face it — those days of warm summer evenings lounging about in ultra-light clothing are behind you. Or are they? It's common knowledge that merino wool offers the ultimate in camping comfort, and with a choice of two weights — lightweight or full cozy — Ibex has cornered the market for camping joggers this fall.

Until now, taking joggers with you on a camping trip has been largely frowned upon, especially by purists. Understandably too. The majority of joggers are heavy, made from cotton, and offer little practical value when compared with a pair of hiking pants. But if we're honest, hiking pants aren't great in camp. They just don't have that comfortable, cozy feel that you want when you're sipping on a whiskey around the campfire and shooting the breeze with your buddies. I've been using both the Hero pants and the new lightweight version — the Nomad pants — this fall for camping and van life adventures, and here are my thoughts on why you should add these to your fall camping packing list.

Read more
The best Chelsea boots to complete the stylish man’s fall look
Here are the best mens Chelsea boots for fall 2022
A pair of brown leather chelsea

Chelsea boots are named after the Chelsea district of London where they became fashionable in the 1960s. However, they were invented back in the early 1800s as a variation of traditional English riding boots. They retained the single panel vamp and block heel but shortened the ankle height for comfort and added elastic panels — known as gussets — to make the boots easier to take on and off. The short heel and smooth rounded toe make Chelsea boots extremely versatile. They're sleek enough to wear with suiting and simple enough to wear with jeans. The most alluring factor however, has got to be their ease of use. Being able to easily slip your boots on and off with out bothering to tie laces is the kind of convenience we're looking for in footwear these days. So here are the best Chelsea boots available for men this fall.

Read more