What Clothes Do You Need for Backpacking?

By Robert Palmer

Backpacking is an amazing experience, allowing you to explore the outdoors and all its beauty. Of course, for a successful backpacking trip, you need to be prepared with the right gear and clothing.

What kind of clothes should you bring? Well, it depends on where and when you’re going.

What to Consider When Packing Clothes for Backpacking

First of all, consider the climate. Are you going somewhere hot or cold? Depending on this, choose lightweight breathable fabrics like cotton or light wool for warmer climates, while opting for heavier fabrics like fleece or wool in cold climates.

You also need to consider the amount of time you’re spending outdoors. If you plan on spending multiple days out in the wilderness, then make sure to bring enough clothes that can handle getting wet and dirty multiple times. It might be helpful to bring a few quick-dry items that can be hung up at night to air dry before wearing them again the next day.

Finally, think about comfort. You want clothes that don’t restrict your movement when hiking or climbing over rocky terrain. Choose loose-fitting garments that won’t bunch up or get in your way when doing outdoor activities.

Essential Clothing Items for Backpacking

No matter where you’re going and how long your trip will be, here are some essential clothing items that should always be packed:

  • Long-sleeve shirts – Choose one or two shirts made of breathable fabric.
  • Hiking pants – Look for pants made with water-resistant fabric.
  • Rain jacket – A lightweight rain jacket is essential for wet weather.
  • Hat – A wide-brimmed hat will protect your head from sunburn.

Additionally, if it’s cold outside then make sure to pack a warm jacket and other base layers like long johns and sweaters too.

Ultimately, what clothes are needed for backpacking depends on where you’re going and what activities you plan on doing there. Make sure to plan ahead and pack appropriately so that your backpacking trip is as enjoyable as possible!


When packing clothes for backpacking, consider the climate conditions of where you’re headed as well as how long you’ll be out in the wilderness. Essential items include long-sleeve shirts, hiking pants, a rain jacket, hat, underwear and extra layers if it’s cold outside. Plan ahead and pack accordingly so that your backpacking trip is a success!