Backpacking – The Clothes!


I have found a system for backpacking clothing that works quite well for me, so I figure I’d share it in case you needed some ideas.

What to pack: 2 dry fit t-shirts, two dry fit underwear, merino wool hiking socks, heavy wool sleeping socks, base layer top and bottom, conversion pants and belt, flannel shirt and a fleece vest. I also pack a baseball cap that carabiners to my pack, and a wool cap and gloves. The blue item in the center is a sarong which has many uses. It is a great blanket layer for extra cold campfire nights, or if I’m feeling like a hippy and want to run around mostly naked, it makes a great wrap. If I know I’m going to encounter rain, or if I’m going out for more than 3 days, I also pack my raincoat.

When I’m on trail, I wear a dry fit t-shirt, dry fit underwear, merino wool socks, conversion pants and my boots. The other items go into my pack for when it gets cooler.

I love the dry fit clothes because they do not hold water. They wick sweat and keep relatively dry. Drier means less chaffing. Less chaffing makes for a happy camper. Plus when you do get wet, it dries quickly. Kind of like when I fell fully dressed into the river last week.

Merino wool socks are soft and padded, and they keep my feet dry, and they don’t smell after a few days on the trail. Which is a good thing when you’re only changing out your socks once a week. The heavy wool socks are my cold feet sleeping socks if needed, or my backup hiking socks should my merino wool ones get wet (from falling into a river).

Conversion pants can’t be beat for hiking. They become shorts or pants with an easy zip. The conversion pants also have a nylon belt which can also work as a quick fix strap should something on the pack break. My pocket knife clips inside of my right pocket and my small camera goes in my left. My right cargo pocket is for trash that I am carrying or picking up along the trail. The left zip pocket is for my ID and map.

I’m a complete creature of habit when I’m packing. Everything has it’s place on my body and in my pack, and everything has a use. I want to be able to put my hands on something immediately if I need to regardless of whether or not there is light. By putting everything in the same place every time, it is easily findable.


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