You’ll need to bring along enough clothing to keep you warm, dry and comfortable for the duration of your trip (you can wash clothing during the trip, but it’s kind of a pain – you’ll likely just settle for wearing less-than-fresh clothing for longer trips).
If you’re car camping, just bring plenty of clothes and one extra everything. You’ve got the room and you don’t have to carry it – go crazy. In these cases, it’s better to accidentally bring items you won’t use than the reverse.
But if you’re backpacking, you’ll have to figure out a minimal but adequate wardrobe. Everyone’s list will differ, but the following is a good starting point for a two to three-day trip:
- 1 pair underwear for each day plus 1 spare (this includes whatever “underwear” means to you, including bras, tank tops, boxers, etc.)
- 1 pair of pants
- 1 sweater, hoodie or light jacket
- 1 warm coat
- 2 or 3 lightweight shirts
- 2 or 3 pairs socks
- 1 hat for warm weather
- 1 warm hat for cold weather
- 1 pair of nimble gloves
- 1 pair long underwear
- 1 bandana
- 1 pair Slip-on shoes for use around camp, while wading in water, etc.
- 1 swimsuit
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 rain gear set (jacket and pants)
- 1 pair of hiking boots