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    Choosing the Right Camping Outfit: Go for
                        Function and Comfort

     When planning a camping outfit, function and comfort usually come before fashion. So when you’re deciding on the clothes to pack for a camping trip, be sure to take items that you feel most comfortable in and that will best protect you from the elements.

     Here's a list of must-have clothing items for your camping outfit, separated into fair weather camping and cool climate camping clothes.


If you’re camping in fair weather, here are some essentials:

Light, cotton T-shirts - Choose shirts that are a bit loose instead of shirts that are form-fitting; the latter might leave you feeling uncomfortable when it starts sticking to your skin while you’re under the hot afternoon sun.

Shorts - Similar to the shirts, make sure to wear and pack “breezy shorts”, instead of ones that are too tight they cling to your body when you sweat and make you feel uneasy.

Socks -
Always take a few extra pairs of socks - you never know when you might step on a puddle or on ankle-high mud. They can also serve as your feet’s protection when it gets very cold at night.

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A Sweater - When hiking in a cool climate, it’s advisable to dress in layers – for instance, wearing a sweater over a shirt, that’s over another shirt – so that when it gets warmer you can just take off the first layer of your outfit, and when it gets quite cold, you can just as easily put it back on.

A Hat, Cap or Visor and Sunglasses - At least once in a camping trip, you’ll be hiking under the very strong heat of the sun, and you will need something to cover your head and your face as well as protect your eyes from harmful, damaging rays.

It's advisable to purchase sunglasses that have built-in UV protection to help further minimize your exposure to harmful light.

Rain Gear - (A Rain Poncho or a Raincoat). Although you’ll be hiking under presumably fair weather, a sudden rainstorm might hit and dampen your hoking trip.

Along with the items above, here are some clothing pieces you should take when you’re camping in cold weather:

Wool Pants - When camping in cold weather, you’ll need clothes that will provide insulation, and wool pants are a great alternative to expensive pants made out of synthetic fibers

     Always remember that when preparing a camping outfit, function comes before fashion. Of course, a little style never hurt anyone, so don’t forget about that altogether either.

     Bad clothing decisions can spell doom for any ‘happy family’ camping trip.
So, for an assuredly enjoyable camping trip, you will want to be fully and properly clothed against the elements.

                                Advances in clothing technology
     New technologies have spawned a lot of camping wear designed to help keep the elements at bay. However, with so many clothing choices, it can get a little confusing to find which products wear best and fit your needs.

     Knowing their characteristics will help you find out how these technologies can benefit your outdoor life.

      The Materials - the most popular materials for camping wear allow water to escape the material, but don’t allow any water in. Ever since man started intentionally developing materials for the comfort of campers, the biggest problem they had to face was how to somehow draw away moisture from the surface of the skin so that the camper did not have to wear wet soggy shirts that made for bad temperature control. The new clothing had to accomplish this while keeping moisture out – it had to have some waterproof properties.

     In response to this need, developers have unveiled three breakthrough technologies in the field of outdoor and sports apparel – microporous laminates, microporous coatings, and monolithic membranes. All these materials somehow allow water vapor to escape while preventing moisture from settling in the skin. The monolithic technology is particularly interesting since it absorbs water vapor into itself while using body heat to dissipate the vapor. The harder you work, the more heat you make, and the more vapor is dissipated. Quite an interesting technology.

      Nylon or Polyester? - Nylon has typically been the more popular of the materials used for outdoor wear. This is because it is scratch resistant and can endure the wear and tear of most outdoor activities, plus it is light and breathable. However, polyester, not to be outdone, has steadily become an acceptable compliment or alternative to nylon since it keeps the wearer warmer and absorbs less water than nylon. Look for the new breed of materials – keep with nylon to be safe, the newer polyester kinds do well, too.

     Keeping you warm - one of the critical needs of outdoors people is apparel that will keep them warm in extreme weather. As mentioned above, nylon or polyester coupled with the newer micropore technology does a good job at helping a person keep warm and comfy. However, in more severe frigid weather, you'll need extra material to keep you warm.

The greatest issue when choosing camping wear is whether to purchase down or synthetic filled material. Nothing provides comfort and warmth like down, and down is generally recommended for most outdoor camping trips. However, in the event that it rains and your down-filled clothes get wet, it's going to take forever to get them dry. Synthetic filled clothes, on the other hand, give good warmth and dry quickly if they get wet. They are a bit heavier in comparison, though.

Fleece is a good in-betweener for your garments. Fleece still keeps you warm even when it's damp. It also keeps moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable. Plus they are comfortable to the feel.

     So, when looking for good camping wear, look at each alternative and find out how their advantages fit in with your camping needs.



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