Back to Basics for National Camp Day: The Essentials You Need for the Ultimate Outdoor Experience

by Rachel LeWinter

Stay warm, dry and stylish as you explore the wonders of nature.

National Camp Day is November 19th, and it's the perfect time to get back to basics and reconnect with nature. Whether you're an experienced camper or just starting your outdoor adventures, a well-prepared pack can make a world of difference, especially during the cooler months. Here, we break down the essential items you’ll need—including the must-have Free Country picks—to ensure an unforgettable and enjoyable trip.

Base Layers
It's necessary to dress in layers to easily adapt to temperature changes throughout the day, especially when exploring different elevations. Begin by choosing moisture-wicking and quick-drying base layers to stay cool during physical activities and comfortable in case of getting wet. You’ll also want to look for pieces with four-way stretch, featured in our women’s Microtech tees; and anti-odor technology, found in our men’s Spacedye Crewneck, to ensure you can explore and stay active effortlessly—without breaking a sweat.

Weather-Proof Jackets
Camping often involves unpredictable weather, so it’s important to prepare for whatever Mother Nature may throw your way. Our packable rain jackets are space-saving heroes: They feature a breathable stretch fabric with UPF 50+, allowing you to keep moving even when the sun is shining. The men’s FreeCycle Hydro Lite pick stands out as a waterproof wonder crafted from recycled plastic bottles, providing additional warmth without the added weight.

Cozy Fleeces
The key to staying comfortable during chilly days and frosty nights under the stars: a fleece. Our men's Chayote Cable sweater provides a zip-up design for easy ventilation during hikes, along with a quilted and textured weave design ideal for hanging around the campfire. As for the women's Summit Sierra fleece, it feels like wrapping yourself in a warm hug. The double-faced sherpa is exceptionally soft, making it so comfy you'll gladly wear it to bed for extra warmth.

Key Accessories
Accessories are crucial for keeping extremities warm during fall and winter camping. Our Softshell Gloves are a sleek and practical choice: two-way stretch provides superior flexibility, while Thinsulate insulation keeps your hands toasty. Remember to grab a hat, specifically the Chenille Cuffed style, boasting a ribbed knit material for heat retention and a stylish faux-fur pom for a playful accent. Complete the ensemble with the Intarsia Logo Scarf, wrapping it around your neck or face for added protection against gusty winds.

Additional Camping Essentials Checklist

  • Tent with stakes
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Lightweight, compact camping chair
  • Portable stove and cookware
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • Multi-tool or knife
  • First aid kit
  • Map and compass or GPS device
  • Portable phone charger
  • Hiking boots or sturdy shoes
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Biodegradable soap and toiletries
  • Compact travel towel
  • Water bottles or hydration system
  • Lightweight backpack for day hikes

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