It's Taken Me 14 Years, But I've Finally Perfected My Camping Capsule

Some of my fondest memories involve pitching a tent and lying under the stars. From summer holidays with my family to my first trip away with my now-husband, camping has always been my staycation of choice. Now, with little option but to explore home soil, many of my friends have come to me to ask what to wear camping. So many, in fact, that I thought some of you might also find it challenging to assemble a practical but chic camping wardrobe.

While camping isn’t necessarily glamorous, I have come to find it can be a stylish endeavour. You need to pack with versatility in mind, especially if you’re planning on being away for a few nights. As far as essentials go, I always recommend packing some jeans, a handful of jersey layering tops, toasty pyjamas and cosy socks. (Yes, even in summer—it’s easier to cool down than it is to heat up, after all.) Considering these items are something of a given, I’ve instead listed out some of the pieces that either 1) I refuse to go on a camping expedition without, or 2) you might not think to take with you otherwise.

Along with avoiding pitching your tent in the rain at all costs (it'll never dry out) and ensuring you have flip-flops for the shower block (trust me, you’ll be glad you took them), scroll on to see what to wear camping and to shop the pieces you need for your upcoming trip.

WATERPROOF JACKETS

Style Notes: Okay, so this one is obvious, but regardless of the summer weather forecast, a waterproof cover-up is vital. Even if it stays in the car the entire time, should you end up needing one and haven't packed one, it'll put a downer on your entire trip. Fail to prepare, and all that. 

THROW-ON DRESSES

Style Notes: Dresses might not seem like ideal camping attire, but anyone who has gotten dressed in a tiny tent before will understand the appeal of just pulling something over your head. They also take up minimal room in your rucksack, saving space for important things like snacks and your skincare. 

BUCKET HATS

Style Notes: Come rain or shine, bucket hats are the answer. Equally adept at keeping the sun out of your eyes as they are at shielding you from the rain, a wide-brim bucket hat will fast become your new outdoors BFF. 

COMFY JOGGERS

What to Wear Camping: Claire Most wears a pair of grey joggers with trainers and a crop top

Photo:

@CLAIRE_MOST

Style Notes: Those joggers that you bought at the beginning of lockdown? They're also perfect for camping trips, as they're comfier than jeans. I wear mine to travel in, and at night, towards the end of the season, I'll pull them over my pyjama bottoms for a cosy extra layer. 

SLIP-ON SHOES

Style Notes: Boots and trainers are also an integral part of my camping uniform, but don't overlook a pair of slip-on shoes. Ease of wear is key when you're camping, so shoes that don't involve laces that you can quickly slip on to run to the loos or head to the local pub will be a welcome addition in your capsule. 

HAIR CLAWS

What to Wear Camping: Rae Langas wears her long hair in a claw clip

Photo:

@RAEANNLANGAS

Style Notes: Although you'll find shower blocks at most campsites, when there's fun and exploring to be had, the last thing you'll want to do is fuss over your hair. Pack a claw clip for an easy updo solution. 

HEAVY SHIRTING

What to Wear Camping: Michelle Li wears a pink striped shirt with daisy-adorned jeans

Photo:

@HIMICHELLELI

Style Notes: Like I said, versatility is key, and no item will come in handy on a camping trip more than a heavy shirt or shacket. Wear it on its own, as a cover-up or tied around your waist as an emergency extra layer.

CYCLING SHORTS

Style Notes: The most recent addition to my camping wardrobe is a pair of cycling shorts. You've already got your full-length-trouser bases covered in the form of jeans and joggers, but cycling shorts will give you an extra outfit option that requires minimal space and weight in your holdall. For styling inspiration, just look to Imani, who has assembled one of the strongest camping-appropriate looks I've seen. 

COSY FLEECES

Style Notes: I was so glad when fleeces were given the fashion seal of approval, as it makes them all the more stylish on a camping trip. Whether it's the early morning chill or whilst you're sitting around a fire in the evening, you'll be pleased you took this toasty (and on-trend) layer with you.

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