Backpacking Clothes List – What to Bring on a Backpacking Trip

Backpacking is bliss! We’re not kidding when we say we experience our Zen moments in the middle of nowhere when we are backpacking away. It’s fun to hit the trail carrying life’s bare necessities on your back. When you are planning on a trip, keep in mind what type of destination is best suited for you since backpacking is hard work coupled with fun.

An important aspect which will make or break your backpacking trip is the right choice of clothes. To determine the right clothes to bring on a backpacking trip, chalk out a proper plan. Decide how far you plan to hike, the weather forecast for that period, the terrain etc. The tougher the hike, the more clothing and necessary gear you might need. Fret not, we’ve got you covered. Here we give you some ideas on what you could pack for that awesome hiking trip of yours.

First Layer – Outerwear

This is an important part which provides you defense against all elements. How you choose to dress makes or breaks your trip. Choose clothes which will defend you against elements.

For Summer Conditions

Use a jacket that is breathable, not too thick. You can carry a lot of sweatshirts, tights which are airy and can keep you cool.

For Wet Weather and Snow

Choose clothes which do not allow perspiration to build up inside your layering system, ad soaks you from within. Carry waterproof clothes like those with sealed seams, cinchable hoods and zipper guards.

For Fall/Winter/Spring

Carry waterproof/breathable pants for your comfort.

A lightweight fleece jacket is also ideal. A long sleeved shirt which can protect you against sun and bugs is also advisable.

Next Layer: Insulation

Protective jackets and the outer layer once fixed, it’s time to stay warm below. An insulating layer is very important. Your choice could be either synthetic fleeces of various thicknesses or if the weather is cold, woollen and high-loft synthetics like Polar Guard, Micro-loft etc.

The best choice for wet weather and winters is Synthetic pile and fleece.


  • They’re breathable
  • Easy to ventilate
  • Keep you warm even when wet
  • They’re warmer for their weight than wool
  • They trap heat while absorbing very little water
  • Durable and machine washable

Choose the following for insulating layer: Jackets, pullovers, vests, comfortable pants.

Third Layer: Inner wear

On cold-weather outings and mountain related trekking, warm pile pants are wonderful to slip into once you reach camp and begin to cool down after all that hiking.

Buy high-performance fabric that will wick moisture away from your skin. You should stay dry as well as comfortable. It’s important especially in the cold mountain air. Remember, the golden rule – no cotton.

Good fabric for all underwear should be from some type of polyester. Choose fabrics with antimicrobial features, which should also eliminate the smell.

The Accessories and other essentials clothes which you should add include the following:

Bug Shirt: A shirt which is made of tightly woven nylon or polyester and treated with permethrin. This is used to keep the bugs at bay.

Running Shorts: Shorts with integrated liners and six-inch inseam. They are useful in warm temperature. They are less constrictive, faster-drying, and better ventilated than regular hiking shorts.

  • Socks (synthetic or wool)
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Rainwear (jacket and pants)
  • Warm hat
  • Sandals (for fording streams and/or camp shoes)
  • Bandana or Buff
  • Gaiters (for rainy, snowy or muddy)

These are some of the most important clothes and accessories which you should keep in mind for your backpacking trips. Pack up your bags right away and enjoy a blissful journey.

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