3 Key Pieces of Camp Clothing for Men

Columbia Wicking Tee Shirt and Hiking Pants

When you think camping, gear is usually the first thing that comes to mind.  Clothing can be an afterthought, but your apparel is as important as your thoughtfully planned gear.  The right clothing protects you from the elements and weather.  Making the right choice of flexible camp clothing can help you enjoy any outdoor activity!
My husband was the first to get a camp clothing makeover this year.  His clothes tend to be bulky and way less practical.  He is the king of packing 3 jackets to have on a 2-night camping trip.  He either under packs or overpacks.  It is a legit struggle bus!

With our trip to California approaching, I decided to update our camp clothes wardrobe.  I selected clothes that can be worn for a variety of outdoor activities and will pack easily.  What should you consider when purchasing clothing for camping or outdoor activities?
  1. Think tops and bottoms.  You need a combo of both, so don't just buy one thing.
  2. Think layers.  Start with basics that you can layer for warmth or remove when it is warm.
  3. Think weight.  Lightweight clothes that take up little room and weigh very little make it easy for a variety of activities.
  4. Think activities.  Will you be swimming?  Or do you do more hiking?  Buy clothing that will fit into the activities that you enjoy.
  5. Think about what you have.  Go through your closets and drawers first to see what you do and don't need.
Let's start with the end.  What does my husband already have?  He already has lots of socks and jackets (obviously!).  However, the biggest things that he needed were pants and shorts.    Most bottoms that men have are bulky and impractical when camping. 

While he has tee shirts, many of these could use an overhaul with wicking tee shirts for the deep south heat where we live.  Based on his current closet situation, I came up with 3 key pieces of gear for his closet!

Hiking Shorts

I have purchased Craig a couple of pairs of hiking shorts for this summer.  First, I purchased a pair of Men's Trail Shorts from LL Bean.  These shorts are well made and lightweight.  The fabric wicks moisture and has plenty of pockets.

LL Bean Trail Shorts and Performance Tee

For Father's Day, I picked up a second pair of shorts.  However, this time, I ordered a pair of 
MIERSPORTS Lightweight Men's Cargo Shorts .  These shorts have a partial elastic waist and come with a belt.  One of the appeals of this product was the price and reviews.  They are really well made!

Meirsport Shorts and Columbia Wicking Tee Shirt

Hiking or outdoor shorts are important because of the zippered pockets many features to keep things you need safe.  These dry quickly if you get them wet.  And, they take up almost no room in a bag!

The price between the LL Bean Trail Short and Miersports Cargo Shorts is only a few dollars.  The LL Bean is a little more expensive.  The fit of the Miersports shorts seems a little better.  Over time, we will see how both hold up.  My husband says that both shorts are comfortable and very light.  I believe either pair would make an excellent addition to an outdoor enthusiasts closet. 

Hiking Pants

You also need pants.  Having long pants are good to wear hiking to protect your legs.  If the weather gets cool at night or in the mornings these are also a good option.

Hiking or outdoor pants again are lightweight and pack into small spaces.  I selected a pair of Columbia Men's Pilsner Peak Pants.  These will take up far less space than jeans and won't be as hot in the summer.  These will also transition well into the fall!  

Columbia Hiking Pant

Look for hiking pants that have some stretch.  I see lots of men wearing this performance type fabric  There is a reason for this.  Fabric that breathes, stretches and is light wins every time!

Wicking Tee Shirts

Craig loves tee shirts.  He has lots of them.  This is a different sort of need.  Having tee shirts that wick moisture are important for keeping cool in the humid Mississippi heat.  

I bought him a  Men's Short Sleeve Performance Shirt from LL Bean earlier this year.  LL Bean offers tall sizes that are difficult to find.  This is an easy brand because we have shopped online with this retailer for years.

However, I decided to try a  Columbia Men's Big Thistletown Park Crew later this spring.  Craig is 6 foot 4 inches tall.  That's a big boy, and we always to have to shop where there are tall options for length.

Both LL Bean and Columbia offer big and tall options.  He loves both shirts.  He does love the Columbia shirt because of the color and says that this one is his favorite. 

I personally think any man needs these three key pieces of gear - hiking shorts, hiking pants, and wicking shirts.  Beyond this, a rain jacket, hiking socks, and a good hat would round out your outdoor wardrobe. 

There are lots of brands out there.  We have loved LL Bean clothes over the years because of the quality and tall sizes.  Columbia is another reputable brand that I believe holds up well over time.  We are new to the Mier brand of products, but like the shorts so far.

Stay tuned.  I will be featuring 3 key pieces of women's camp/outdoor clothing soon. I'll also be updating how these clothing items have faired over time.

What are your favorite pieces of clothing to wear while you are in the great outdoors?  I'd love to hear from you!  There are lots of excellent options.  With a well-planned wardrobe, you will be comfortable, protected and prepared for wherever the day takes you!

Until next time...