Do you think you know what to wear for camping? The difference between a good camping experience and a bad one depends a lot on the clothing you take on your trip for the time of the year that you go or whether you’re going outdoor by your own or camping with the crew in a family tent.
Bad clothing decisions can spell doom for any camping or hiking trip. When you’re at home you can wear pretty much anything you want. However, when venturing into the outdoors to enjoy a camping trip or trek, regular, everyday wear might not be enough to keep you comfortable or adequately protected.
To ensure that you enjoy the type of camping trip you’ve chosen, you’ll want to be protected from the elements. There have been many advances in clothing technology over the years. Good camping apparel is nowadays designed to keep you warm and dry. However, with such a big variety of clothing choices available, it can be a little confusing to decide which items best suit your needs.
Knowing something about the technology behind the different components of a garment can help you understand how they can benefit you in your outdoor adventures.
The Materials used
The materials most used for camping gear will prevent water from impregnating them and allow for the easy run-off. Ever since manufacturers first started developing materials for use by campers and trekkers, the main problem they faced was how to keep moisture away from the wearer’s skin. New clothing had to provide this feature. It had to have some water-resistant properties.
Developers arrived at 3 breakthrough technologies in the field of outdoor apparel: microporous coatings, microporous laminates and monolithic membranes. Such materials allow water vapor, or escape but prevent moisture from settling on the skin.
The monolithic technology is particularly interesting since it absorbs water vapor into itself while using your body heat to dissipate the vapor. The harder you work, the more heat you generate and the more vapor is dissipated. This makes for an interesting bit of technology!
When shopping for camping clothing, you may want to check garments for this or similar technology. This technology will help to keep you dry and comfortable. It also makes maintaining a good temperature easier, especially in the colder seasons.
What to Wear for Camping – Polyester or Nylon?
Nylon has generally been the fabric of choice when manufacturing outdoor wear. It resists abrasion and can withstand the wear and tear of most outdoor activities. It’s also lightweight and breathable. However, polyester has steadily become an acceptable alternative to nylon, since it absorbs less moisture and keeps the wearer warmer than nylon. Polyester is mainly used for building products like tents or backpacks(check out our in-depth review of Teton Sports Scout backpack).
Your main need when spending time outdoors is clothing that will keep you warm in extreme weather. As we have seen, polyester or nylon that uses the modern micropore technology will do a good job at keeping you warm and comfortable. However, in really frigid weather you will need extra material to keep you warm.
The biggest issue when choosing to clothe for camping is deciding whether to choose down or synthetic fill material. Down is unbeatable for warmth and comfort and is the material generally recommended for camping trips. However, it takes forever to dry, should you get soaked in the rain.
Synthetic-fill clothes, on the other hand, provide good warmth and dry fairly quickly. However, they are a bit heavier in comparison.
Fleece is a good in-between solution for your camping clothing. Contrary to what you might think, fleece can still keep you warm even when it is damp. It also keeps moisture away from the skin, keeping you dry and comfortable.
When deciding what to wear for camping, look at each alternative and see how its advantages coincide with your personal camping needs.