How Much Clothes Do I Need for Backpacking?

By Anna Duncan

Backpacking has become increasingly popular as a way to get away from it all and explore the world. But one of the biggest questions every backpacking traveler faces is: how much clothing do I need for my trip?

The answer isn’t a simple one. It depends on the length of your trip, where you’re going, and what kind of activities you plan to do.

One thing is certain, though: the less clothing you bring, the better. Overpacking is one of the most common mistakes backpackers make – it can add unnecessary weight, take up valuable space in your bag, and increase your chances of getting lost items.

Start with Basics

When deciding how much clothing to bring on a backpacking trip, it’s best to start with basics. You’ll want enough clothing to last for the duration of your trip – this should include at least one complete outfit per day, plus some extra items for unexpected weather or activities. Depending on where you’re going and what you’re doing, this might mean a few pairs of pants or shorts, several shirts or tank tops, underwear, socks and a sweater or light jacket.

Pack Versatile Clothing

Try to pack versatile pieces that can be worn multiple ways. For example, if you pack two pairs of jeans in different colors or styles that can be worn interchangeably with different shirts or jackets.

This also helps ensure that if something gets lost or damaged during your travels, you still have other options.

Choose Clothing Carefully

When choosing what clothing to bring on your backpacking trip, consider material type and weight carefully. Natural fabrics like cotton are comfortable but tend to weigh more than synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. Heavier fabrics also take up more space in your bag and may not dry as quickly as lighter fabrics.

Pack for Comfort

No matter what type of clothing you’re packing for backpacking trips, always aim for comfort first. Choose items that fit well and won’t get in the way when you’re on the go – things like shorts with pockets for easy access to snacks or jackets with waterproof features can come in handy when traveling in unpredictable climates.


To summarize how much clothes do I need for backpacking? The amount of clothing needed depends on a variety factors such as length of trip and activities planned but it is important to start with basics such as one outfit per day plus extras and pack versatile pieces that can be worn multiple ways. Consider material type and weight carefully when selecting clothing items and prioritize comfort over style.