Do I Need a Base Layer for Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking is a great way to get out and explore the outdoors, but it’s important to make sure you have the right gear before you go. One of the most important pieces of gear for backpacking is a base layer.

The base layer is the first layer of clothing that goes against your skin and helps to keep you warm and dry. It also helps to wick away moisture, which can help prevent chafing and keep you comfortable during long days on the trail.

When deciding whether or not you need a base layer for backpacking, there are a few things to consider. First, what type of climate are you going to be in?

If it’s cold or wet, then a base layer can be an essential piece of clothing. Even if you’re in milder temperatures, having a light base layer can help keep you warm when the temperatures dip at night.

Your activity level is also important when considering a base layer. If you’re planning on doing any strenuous activity such as hiking up hills or carrying heavy loads, having a breathable base layer can help keep sweat away from your skin and regulate your body temperature better.

The type of fabric used for your base layer is also important. Merino wool is often considered one of the best materials for backpacking because it’s lightweight, breathable, and odor resistant. Synthetic materials such as polyester or polypropylene are also good options as they wick moisture quickly and dry quickly.


Do I need a base layer for backpacking? The answer is yes!

A good quality base layer will help keep you warm and dry during long days on the trail and can even help regulate your body temperature during strenuous activities. When choosing which material to use for your base layer, consider both comfort and performance – merino wool or synthetic materials are great options.