growing a minimalist wardrobe: camp edition.

July 29, 2015

growing a minimalist wardrobe: camp edition | reading my tea leavesCamp clothes aren’t really a separate category in my personal wardrobe. Mostly because I don’t spend the majority of my time at camp. When it’s time to head to the woods, I pull a little bit from everywhere. An everyday t-shirt or two makes its way into the bag. A few things that might be otherwise described as activewear come along too. A few cozy essentials that might best fall under the category of loungewear. A super simple dress or two in case we decide to reenter civilization.

If ever there was a time to embrace the concept of a minimalist wardrobe, a week or so in the woods is probably it. Even when you’re car camping, and have a little bit of extra room in the trunk, it’s nice to have a super simple wardrobe that means your bag won’t get too unruly after a week or two on the road. Since we’ll have a rental car with us, we’re packing two duffle bags that we can unzip easily and rifle through without too much mess-making.
growing a minimalist wardrobe: camp edition | reading my tea leaves Mostly, I try to keep the things in my camp bag limited to what’s comfortable, cozy, and convenient. Arguably good rules of thumb for everyday. For a week or two in the woods, especially, its nice to have clothes that pull their weight and do a little bit of extra work for you. I took advantage of Patagonia’s summer sale to snag two hard-working tank tops that I’ve had my eye one. When you’re only packing two tank tops, making them ones that come with built-in bras and moisture-wicking fabrics helps keep the number low. If they get stinky or sweaty, I can give them a quick wash with camp soap and hang them to dry over night. Likewise, I’ve decided to bring along just one pair of quick-drying shorts that I can wash in the evening and hang to dry overnight if need be. For cool Maine mornings and evenings, I’ve got leggings and warm pairs of woolly socks ready to go. My trustiest fleece sweaters made the cut, too. I’ve had both of them for years and years and they’re honestly as good as new and as warm and versatile as ever.

We won’t be going on any truly intense hikes during this trip, but we definitely plan to be out and about and generally getting a little dirty. The perfect excuse to rely on the old-school comfort of a new pair of sandals that can get wet, take for a hike up dusty trail without too much trouble, and that look dy-no-mite paired with socks. #camplife. My last pair of camp sandals finally bit the dust years ago, and James lost the sole on his last pair during a hike along the Oregon coast, so we both decided this trip merited replacement pairs. Don’t worry: I got silver and he got black, so we’re not exactly matching.

growing a minimalist wardrobe: camp edition | reading my tea leaves

For the curious, here’s what’s going into my bag (specifics where possible!):

+ 2 pairs of shorts (these + cutoffs).
+ 2 breathable tank tops w/ built-in bras (this + this).
+ 3 t-shirts (these).
+ 1 pair of leggings (similar).
+ 2 fleece sweaters (this + this plus a few years).
+ 1 button-up (this)
+ 1 pair of jeans (similar)
+ 2 simple dresses (this + this).
+ 15 pairs of underwear (of all (solids and) stripes).
+ 2 bras (this + one sports bra).
+ 2 pairs of camp socks (similar).
+ 1 pair of sandals (these).
+ 1 bandana (this).
+ 1 beanie (older than the hills).
+ 1 pair of jams (this + this).
+ 1 bathing suit.

Otherwise, winging it! What are your camping wardobe must-haves?

For more minimalist wardrobe posts, head HERE.

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Linda Zimmerman July 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    have a wonderful time!!!

  • Reply Vanessa July 29, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Hey I got those same sandals this year for our sea kayaking-whale watching-campfire on the beach-general puttering around trip to the San Juan Islands 🙂 We must both have excellent taste.

  • Reply Rachael // Paraders July 29, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    I have a whole pile of clothes reserved for camping and hiking… Not necessarily performance wear, but clothes that have gotten too worn to keep wearing every day. My "retired" pile gets revived when I'm heading on a camping trip. 🙂

    xo Rachael / The Paraders

  • Reply Aja Lake July 29, 2015 at 5:36 pm

    Camping in Florida means fall–jeans, Tradlands, and duck boots. Have fun!

  • Reply Abby July 30, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Yes, have an awesome time on your trip! For me, a couple camping must haves are a cashmere layer and a sandal with a leather (non synthetic) sole for around the campsite. Cashmere is so warm, so lightweight and so comforting, and sometimes my feet just need a break from the potential sticky quality of rubbery soles.

  • Reply Geraldine Noe July 30, 2015 at 10:26 am

    So useful oh my I'm leaving for 3 weeks camping-style for the first time and I had no idea what to pack… Until now. Thanks Erin!

  • Reply Unknown July 31, 2015 at 11:43 am

    I implore you! Bring some kind of warm, waterproof layer (windbreaker? jacket?) for our Down East fogs. They roll in quick and it's nice to have something that squashes down small to unroll and cover yourself with. Maine summers are unpredictable and therefore wonderful, and most likely are the cause of some premature brow wrinkles in our 30-somethings.

  • Reply Gigi August 2, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    I usually bring a pair of hiking boots and a brimmed hat for protection against UV rays!

  • Reply Anonymous August 11, 2015 at 9:04 pm

    What did you pack for Faye?

    • Reply admin September 9, 2015 at 7:47 pm

      Sorry I'm just seeing this! We packed three little pairs of lightweight sweatpants, a stack of onesies (7?), a hooded sweatshirt, a pair of little shorts, a lightweight jacket, and two pairs of pajamas!

  • Reply TG September 9, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Can you please re-share the sandals brand and style – the link no longer works. Thank you!

    • Reply admin September 9, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Should be updated now!

  • Reply Sunny May 27, 2016 at 8:57 pm

    If you have the resources, I highly recommend wool underwear (my favorite is Ice Breaker). They are comfy, even (especially) when the weather is sweltering, and you only need to bring a couple of pair, if you don’t mind hand washing and letting them dry overnight.

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Comments are moderated.