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Overnight Packlist

Packing is a crucial step when it comes to backcountry camping. It’s always tough to know exactly what you need and it sucks carrying things you don’t end up using, so the key to packing is planning ahead.


This article focuses on clothing, so I won’t be talking much about camping gear or other supplies; but I feel like I should quickly mention it’s very important that you’ve got a waterproof tent, sleeping bag, water filter, food, and portable stove. There’s plenty more stuff that is great to have, and our packs include it all, but here we’re just focusing on the clothes you’ll need to bring for a summer hike. And that’s a big one. This is specifically for summer hiking.


Now, on to the fun stuff.


What the heck are you supposed to bring when it comes to clothes. It’s probably gonna be hot on the way up, so you’ll need shorts - but then what if it’s cold up top? The easiest solution would be to bring everything, but no one wants to carry a suitcase up a mountain – especially when you’ve got all your camping gear too.


I personally prefer to travel pretty light. My starting point for a packing list, which varies depending on the weather/the hike/how many nights/etc., is based off what I’ll need for the hike up, what I’ll need at the campsite, and what I need for the way down.


Let’s break it down.


Hike up:

· Hiking boots

· Socks

· Shorts

· Shirt

· Hat

· Rain coat


Nice and easy. If it’s a little chillier maybe I’ll go pants, but typically the movement will keep you warm enough in shorts. It can be tempting to just wear running shoes, but you have to keep in mind you’re carrying the extra weight of a backpack and you need the heel support that hiking boots provide. And even if you’re not a big hat person, it’s good to have one for sun protection. I’m also not suggesting you wear a rain coat, but you should always have one that’s easily accessible. And keep in mind, this is just clothes, we cover supplies in our post about gear. Now, you’ve got the hard part over with, you’ve made it to your campsite. One of the first things I’ll do when I get to a site is take off my hiking boots. I always bring a pair of shoes to wear at the site. A few good options are Teva’s, flip flops, slip ons – basically anything that is light and comfortable.


Campsite:

· Comfortable shoes

· Fresh socks

· Sweatpants

· Fresh shirt (maybe)

· Puffer coat

· Toque


Once I’ve got my campsite set up, I’ll usually hang around in the same clothes I wore on the way up until I start to get chilly, then I start chucking on my warmer stuff. The key to packing your warm clothes are options that pack small, but still provide warmth. My Patagonia puffer coat is the star of the show when it comes to size and warmth. I also find that a toque makes a world of difference and really doesn’t take up much room. It can be surprising how drastically different the temperature gets at night when you’re at a high altitude, so it’s always best to be prepared – if your clothes don’t end up being enough, you can always wrap your sleeping bag around you for some extra warmth!


Alright, it’s time to pack up and head back down. It’s probably still early, because who can sleep past 9 in a tent, so it may be a little chilly. I understand the temptation to wear pants for the start of the hike, but trust me, you’re just going to have to stop and change in a half hour when you warm up. I find the best thing to do if you’re still chilly in the morning is keep your pants on for breakfast and packing up, then just before you head out, change back to shorts and get your blood flowing!


For the hike down, and please don’t judge me, I pretty much wear the same clothes I used for the hike up. EXCEPT FOR SOCKS. I always bring extra socks. They make such a difference, and I cannot stress that enough. I also change my underwear, but I hope that’s just a given. Everything else is fine if it’s a little dirty, right? I mean, you’re going home and showering after anyway, so what’s the point of a fresh pair of clothes. You’re in the woods!


So all in all, everything I bring only adds up to about a dozen things, half of which you’re wearing at any point.


· Hiking boots

· Socks x 2

· Underwear x 2

· Shorts

· Shirt

· Hat

· Rain coat

· Comfortable shoes

· Sweatpants

· Fresh shirt (maybe)

· Puffer coat

· Toque


Keep in mind, this is what I bring personally; everybody’s bodies work differently and for you this may not be enough, but I hope it provides a good starting point for you to get an idea of what to bring. My biggest goal while packing clothes is to use every article I bring.


I know it’s not fun, but it is always important to consider if you’ll have enough clothes if something does go wrong. For me, I’m confident in my puffer coat, sweatpants, toque, and sleeping bag, that I’ll be warm enough for the night; but if you don’t think that would be enough, bring an extra sweater or coat. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t end up using it, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.


If you have any questions about what kind of clothes I prefer or why I bring certain things, feel free to reach out to me! We’ve got a contact form at the bottom of the home page, and I’m always happy to give advice!



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