What to Wear in the Summer Camping

camping supplies

Summer is one of the most common times to go camping, though people go camping every day, 365 days a year. Summer, however, is the most common because it’s the “season of fun”. The kids are all out of school, the weather is sunny and mild, and there is so much life to see in nature. Who wouldn’t want to go camping in the summer?

So what do you need to wear while camping in the summer? The summary answer is, you will need to wear clothing that is protective yet not to hot. For instance while on site you may want to wear shorts and a short sleeve shirt. This may include “wearing” protection from the sun. If out hiking you will want to wear clothing and shoes that offer a little more coverage or protection.

Here’s what we will cover to help you bring the right clothing for your trip.

Obvious Necessities

Things such as your tent, backpack, cooler, and sleeping bag are givens. I mean, where would you sleep if you didn’t bring these things along? I myself prefer not to sleep out in the open and wake up covered in mosquitos. Therefore, even though these are a given, they’re still worth mentioning so you don’t forget the most essential basics until you hit your campsite. Hey, it happens, right?

Cool Daytime Clothing

While camping in the summer, you want to be comfortable and able to maneuver your way through the woods without your jeans holding you back from taking that huge step over the creek, or your sweater giving you a nasty type of heatstroke. That’s why it’s important to pack light, breathable clothing. T-shirts, a few pairs of shorts, and plenty of socks (always a must) is a good place to start.

From there, consider packing your bathing suit (if you plan to swim) and a pair of sneakers accompanied by a pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots may not seem like a priority, but safety is. Unfortunately, some people do not respect campgrounds during their camping stay, which can lead to scattered trash such as broken bottles or other sharp objects.

Hiking boots are reinforced to protect our feet from harm. Sneakers do okay, but if the object is big enough and sharp enough, it can go right through a regular tennis shoe. Therefore, just to be on the safe side, make sure you have a pair of hiking boots with you.

Raincoats and boots may also be worth mentioning, especially if you’re bringing small children along. These will keep your clothes dry during a surprise rain.

Warmer Night Clothing

Summer is warm and lazy during the day, however, at night summer can get a little crisp, especially if you’re camping near water. For nighttime fun, make sure you pack up a light jacket and a pair or two of very light cotton pants to sleep in. Not only will these keep you warm, but they’ll minimize the bug bites you leave the campfire with and are super comfy to sleep in!

Bringing layers allows you to decide what to take off and what to keep on depending on your body temp comfortability level. Though I wouldn’t recommend sleeping in the nude… if that’s your thing, then more power to you!

Protective Gear

Aside from the clothing, there are many essentials that aren’t of the clothing variety that you should consider a necessity for camping in the summer such as sunglasses, hats (or bandana if you’re not into hats), sunscreen, bug spray, and a first aid kit. Though these aren’t clothing, they are definitely essential to a camping trip in the summer – or any season for that matter.

Misc. Essentials

Miscellaneous essentials you will also have to bring include the more obvious snacks and food and fire-starting equipment. You may also want to bring things for games and activities (again, especially if you have children).

Here is a complete checklist of everything you’ll need so far in terms of a weekend camping trip:

  • Tent
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping bags
  • Cooler
  • Shorts (at least 2)
  • T-shirts (at least 3)
  • Socks (at least 4 pairs)
  • Swimsuit
  • Sandals (optional)
  • Sneakers
  • Hiking boots
  • Raincoat and boots (optional)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat or bandana
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food
  • Cooking utensils and cookware (as necessary)
  • Fire-starting gear
  • Activity and game equipment (optional)

Now that we’ve covered the necessities, let’s cover some of the uber-suggests of summer camping.

Uber-Suggests for Summer Camping

Though these items aren’t on everyone’s essential list, they are essential to the avid backpacker because they are multi-purpose.


Many people choose to make bandanas essential for their camping trip because they are extremely multi-useful. The most common use for bandanas is to wear them around your head, face, or neck. Many backpackers will pour some cool water over them and use them to stay cool.

However, aside from the common use, they can also be used to wash your cookware, tie around trees while hiking so you don’t lose your way, and even as a pee-rag! This last one may sound a little swinish, but it’s actually quite sterile and eliminates the “drip-dry” problem when you forget your toilet paper back at the campsite.

Not to mention, there are plenty of campsites with a “leave with what you bring” policy which prohibits so much as toilet paper being left behind on their campgrounds. Therefore, this also eliminates having to bring wads of dirty toilet paper with you in your car until you find the nearest trash can.


Though towels aren’t a necessity, they also are extremely useful for summer camping. You can use them after you go swimming, use them to lie on the ground and stargaze or use them to wipe off the dirt and sweat before you get into your tent so your sleep equipment doesn’t get soiled.


If you’re the type of person who loves camping so you can simply sit outdoors and listen to the not-so-quiet tranquility of nature, bring a couple folding chairs along. Unless you would prefer sitting on the ground Indian-style, folding chairs are a great bring along because they’re light and easy to transport. This means that you can sit right outside your tent one minute and take your chair with you to find a new spot when you get tired of sitting there! YAY!

Notebooks or Camera

Notebooks and cameras are a fantastic addition to your equipment. Camping trips are to make memories with the ones you love (or even get a piece of mind by yourself). Bringing your camera and snapping a few gorgeous pictures or logging your day in your notebook provides you with the ability to look back on this trip and remember those feelings of happiness and tranquility. Until next time.

Note, if you’re planning a bringing a notebook, don’t forget to bring a few pencils or pens along. What good is a notebook if you can’t write?

Water Filter

Though you’d think that water filters would be essential, it’s a lot less essential in today’s times. Many people simply bring bottled water and other bottled drinks along with them in a cooler, likely along with sandwiches and other snacks in the same cooler. That being said, not everyone enjoys carrying a bulky cooler around. And some simply would rather live, well, simply. If you’re one of these people, a water filter may be the way to go.

It’s important to note, however, that most water filters cannot be used with salt water, so if you’re camping by a lake of salt water, you may just have to deal with the bottled water for now.


Many people love stargazing or bird watching or hunting. This multi-purpose wonder can be used for all three and more! If you want to see wildlife from a distance, but still up close, binoculars are a great way to achieve just that.

Did you know that you can also use binoculars as a mini telescope? If you’re the stargazing type at night, break out the binoculars and see how many constellations you can find up close!

Fishing Pole and Equipment

Fishing is a timeless summer sport. If you’re a fishing junkie, make sure you don’t forget your fishing pole and tackle box. Set up a nice area to go fishing near your campsite and bask in the sounds of nature until you get that first bite on your line.


I’d like to think of rope as hovering between the line of suggested and essential. Rope can be used for so many different things, from a makeshift clothesline to a trail-marker to an extra storage option (such as hanging up cookware or other things you want to keep track of). Therefore, let’s just say bring the dang rope and consider it a requirement, shall we?

There are so many wonderful things to see and do while camping in the summer. The most important part to a successful camping trip, in any season, is ensuring you have the right equipment. Now that you know what you need, pack up and lose yourself in the tranquility of nature. I’ll wait.

More articles you will love. Go ahead, try one.

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What to pack for a weekend hike. Click here

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Rickie Arms

Hi, I'm Rickie Arms, owner of Glampingorcamping.com. I am so invested in writing the best and most informative articles for you that I went out and bought a travel trailer just so I could write about it for you. I spend just about all of my off time both camping and glamping so I can share everything I have learned and will learn with you. I have spent my whole life camping and over the last 10 years, I have spent a large amount of time checking out glamping experiences with my wife and kids as well. Thank you for coming by and we hope to see you back here getting great information in the future. Rick Arms-

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