What to Wear Backpacking: The Ultimate Guide

So, you’ve decided to embark on a backpacking adventure? Congratulations! Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a month-long expedition, what you wear while backpacking can greatly impact your comfort and overall experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the essentials of backpacker fashion – from clothing choices to footwear and accessories. Let’s dive in!

Choosing the Right Clothing

When it comes to selecting clothes for backpacking, versatility and functionality should be your main considerations. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

Fabric Choice Matters

Opt for moisture-wicking fabrics that dry quickly, like lightweight synthetic blends or merino wool. These materials help regulate body temperature, prevent chafing, and resist odors – all essential qualities when spending extended periods outdoors.

Layer Up with Proper Tops

Start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking fabric such as polyester or nylon. Follow it up with insulating mid-layers like fleece jackets or down vests depending on weather conditions. Finally, top it off with an outer shell jacket that is waterproof and windproof.

Pack Efficient Bottoms

Choose durable pants that allow freedom of movement such as convertible hiking pants or quick-drying leggings for warmer climates. Additionally, include thermal long underwear bottoms if traveling in colder regions.

Sock It Right!

Invest in quality socks designed specifically for hiking purposes. Look for options made from moisture-wicking materials like merino wool blend socks which minimize blisters and provide extra cushioning during long walks.

The Perfect Footwear

Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes?

Your choice between hiking boots and shoes largely depends on the terrain and personal preferences. Hiking boots offer ankle support and protection on rugged trails, while hiking shoes are lighter and more comfortable for less challenging terrains.

Breaking Them In

Regardless of your choice, make sure to break in your footwear before embarking on your backpacking adventure. This will help prevent blisters and ensure a comfortable fit throughout your journey.

Accessorize Smartly

A Hat for All Seasons

Protect yourself from the sun’s rays or shield against unexpected rain with a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap. Choose one that is lightweight, breathable, and adjustable for optimal comfort.

Sunglasses – A Must-Have!

Invest in high-quality sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays at higher altitudes or during long hikes under direct sunlight.

Belt Bags & Daypacks

Carry essentials such as water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, maps, and cameras conveniently using belt bags or daypacks. Opt for ones with multiple compartments to keep everything organized.


By now, you should have a solid understanding of what to wear when backpacking. Remember that comfort and functionality should be top priorities when selecting clothing items. Layer up wisely based on weather conditions and choose appropriate footwear according to the terrain you’ll encounter. Lastly, don’t forget essential accessories like hats, sunglasses,and bags to enhance both style and practicality during your adventurous journey.
Happy backpacking!