What Not To Bring Camping

When it comes to camping, a lot of attention is paid to clothing and the choice of boots. This is absolutely correct, because it depends on this, with what emotions the trip will be. Hundreds of articles have already been written on this topic and it seemed easy to figure out what to choose. But when you come to a sports store, you look around confusedly and think, “How can you choose the right and preferably inexpensive outfit out of this abundance?” 

But this article will teach you how not to get confused by the abundance and tell you about the things you should definitely NOT take with you on a trip. All explanations are verified by her own experience and her own mistakes.

Things You Honestly Should NOT Bring Camping

NOT Bring
  • Backpacking without a waist belt. The way your backpack fits you comfortably determines your well-being and mood throughout the hike. The backpack should definitely have a waist belt and at least a simple anatomical system. All this helps to properly distribute the weight without creating discomfort.
  • Wadded a sleeping bag. Yes, in the old days, they went with them, as there were no alternatives. But now it is better to prefer a sleeping bag filled with holofiber or down. The plus of modern sleeping bags – they are much lighter “wadded” and at the same temperature of comfort. Also, if you get wet in a cotton sleeping bag during the hike, you can not dry it out by the end of the hike.
  • Sleeping bag without a hood. This is especially true for hiking in the cold season. To keep warm in a sleeping bag without a hood, when the air temperature is below 12 C (53 F), will not work.
  • A single-layer or canvas tent. Even if you are going on a summer camping trip, it would be a big mistake to get a single-layer tent from a hypermarket, etc. The chance of rain always exists, and then you run the risk of waking up in a puddle, if not because of the downpour, so because of the abundant condensation. By the way, there are ultra-light and technologically advanced single-layer tents, but it’s the pro-version with a correspondingly high price tag. As for the old tarpaulin tents, everything is clear – they are heavy and not practical.
  • A homemade pillow and blanket. Ridiculous! Yes?! And we’ve had these situations too. A caring mom put a pillow and blanket in her son’s backpack while he wasn’t looking. On the hike, the guy couldn’t put up with that burden and threw it away in the first settlement. If a comfortable sleep is very important to you, then we recommend giving preference to a self-inflating mat and an inflatable tourist pillow.
  • Folding furniture. This is certainly convenient in stationary camps and camping sites, but this kind of furniture is not acceptable on a multi-day hike. Tourists usually use seats of polypropylene foam on a rubber band. But at camping sites, you can always find a comfortable log on which the whole company can sit around the campfire.
  • Books. In our campaigns, every day is so full that you can not find time to read a book. In addition, it is better to prefer a book to socialize with friends. If you want to read a book, let it be a pocketbook or in electronic format on the phone.
  • Photo equipment and electronics. If the laptop is still necessary for you to travel, then at the time of the campaign is better to leave it in the hotel or luggage room. The camera in a campaign is an important thing. But do not overdo it with lenses, tripods and other attributes of professional photography.
  • Cosmetics. This point concerns lovely ladies who can’t imagine their life without magic creams and balms. Believe me, if you are on a trip your mascara and foundation will bleed within the first half an hour since you sweat a lot when you move. Put a greasy cream in your cosmetic bag (hands and face often get chapped), sunscreen and lipstick. These will suffice.
  • Disposable tableware. How great is the temptation to take with you easy plastic plates and cups that you can not wash after eating, and immediately throw away? But keep in mind that eating and drinking from such utensils is hot. Also, it is easy to crush and break. By the way, it is better to refuse glass and ceramic dishes, too.
  • An umbrella. Yes, yes – there are still such rare individuals who take with them to the campaign umbrella. What sense it has, because on the road it can be replaced by a good raingear, and at a parking lot – awning or tent.

What clothes you should NOT take on a hike

Clothing for hiking 

Let’s start with clothing, and more precisely with its composition. Although now is popularized clothing made of natural fabrics, in hiking you should NOT have them in your backpack. 

  • First, clothing made of natural materials (especially cotton) is heavier than those made of synthetic, especially when wet. 
  • Secondly, natural materials take longer to dry and contribute to the rapid formation of unpleasant odors.
  • Thirdly, clothing made of cotton takes body heat, which is critical when camping in the cold season. Cotton is very hygroscopic and can absorb moisture up to 65% of its own weight, and it takes extra body heat to eliminate it. For synthetic materials, this figure ranges from 0.3% to 12% (depending on the type of material). Therefore, moisture is not trapped in the material, but moves to the next layers to dry, which requires less heat.

When we first started going to the mountains, we didn’t think much about what to bring with us from clothing. So, before my first spring hike, I didn’t have anything suitable in my closet. And as a student, I didn’t have the opportunity to buy a new closet for the hike, so I chose something. So there I was, walking the trails of the mountains in camouflage pants that are 90% cotton. The weight is such that I still don’t understand how I got up the mountain.

After a while, we made a break for lunch. The weather was very windy, and lunch took too long. We had almost an hour and a half stop. I was incredibly cold then because the climb was very difficult, and my clothes were wet. In the cold wind, it did not keep me warm, on the contrary, it cooled me down. I couldn’t wait for us to move on to warm up. And when we finally went, after 200 meters of ascent, I began to have cramps in my legs. It was another unpleasant moment.

The conclusion is this: before the halt, there was a lot of muscle tension, and they warmed up. But during the break, in wet and cold clothes, they got very cold. And as soon as we started loading again, the body’s reaction – cramps. Of course, after such an experience in my hiking closet at once appeared trekking pants made of synthetic materials. 

The same situation is with socks. If the composition is cotton, the likelihood of chafing your feet is much greater than from synthetic material. The socks will retain moisture and the skin will wrinkle. This will cause the formation of blisters, and in the cold period of the year – cause of freezing.

The only exception to natural materials is merino wool. This is the only natural material that has a high indicator of hygroscopicity, and does not lose its properties in preserving heat. 

Down jacket for tourism 

Next, let’s deal with the right size down jacket. We are NOT warmed by the down, but by the air that is trapped in it and heated by our body. In order for the down jacket to be really warm, you need to size it so that the down in the jacket is loose, not bunchy, even if you put a sweater under the jacket. I understand wanting to look small and slim, but when it comes to camping, we stay alive and healthy first and foremost. So do NOT take a down jacket that’s too tight to go camping. 

Footwear for hiking 

For me, the right shoes and backpack are 95% of a successful hike. And I’m not talking about technological characteristics, but size and comfort. First, accept that the shoes for hiking must be at least 0.5 cm more than the length of the foot. Or better yet, 1 cm. There are several reasons for this:   

  • There is very often swelling of the feet during a hike, you move all day with extra weight behind you. If the size is close during the fitting, they will be small during the hike. 
  • During descents, the foot always shifts forward a few millimeters. And if you’re still in the process of learning proper lacing, it can move all of 0.5 cm. Then imagine: you go down the mountains for several days in a row, constantly resting your toes on the wall of the shoe. That’s how you can end up without a few toenails. This I say from my own painful experience. 
  • The weather is never stable in the mountains, and you should always have a reserve in your shoes for warm socks. 
  • In winter shoes, an extra inch in length is a reserve for better heat retention. Tight shoes always make your feet feel colder. Again, I remind you that it is the air around the body that provides the warmth, not the clothes. 

One often worries that a larger size is 100% foot chafing. Not really, not if the shoes are properly matched to the foot and the lacing is appropriate. If you like the shoes visually, but they did not fit perfectly in the shoe last or in the design of the top, it is better to give them up and try others. Because during the hike these uncomfortable sensations are amplified a hundred times.   

In summer, hiking in sandals is not a good idea. First of all, it’s dangerous. Mountain roads are well-trodden trails with potholes, rocks, descents, and ascents. And the foot must be well fixed in the shoes. In addition, if you walk in the mountains in sandals, then as a consequence – dust and rocks constantly get inside, which leads to chafing and constant discomfort. Sandals are usually taken to have a change of shoes for long stops and camp. They give your feet a rest from the boots. 


Each person has his own characteristics of the body, so there are no things that would suit everyone. Therefore, when choosing an outfit, you should listen to your body: what heat exchange, what sensitivity to cold, to heat, what intensity of sweating? And, of course, the best adviser is experienced. Only having been in the mountains, a person can say exactly what suits him. It is important not to ignore these feelings, to enjoy nature 100%, and not be distracted by discomfort.

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Ever since I was a kid, I've been fascinated by travel. I inherited this passion from my parents. Since my college years and to this day, I have had a passion for traveling in a motorhome. I am here to share my experiences with you.

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