› Camping clothes

What camping clothes do you take around Australia?

Your camping clothes are the comfiest ones in your cupboard. The ones you drag out of the washing basket time and again. But how many should you take on your trip around Oz?

In the Kimberley.Red shorts, white top, favourite hat.
On Lombadina Beach.Same red shorts, different khaki top, favourite hat.
At Mitchell Falls campground.Same red shorts, white top, favourite hat.

Spot the difference: Three photos...but same shorts, same hat and only one change of shirt!

No matter what you take, you will find yourself wearing out your favourite gear...as you can see above. Take clothes that:

  • Are comfortable and breathable,
  • Wear well and don’t need ironing,
  • Don't show the dirt (where possible),
  • Can cope being washed over and over in a commercial washer, and
  • Coordinate with everything else (solid colours are good).

You’ll find most gear in your cupboard, but some things you might have to buy. Make sure you choose durable, good quality items that will last.

Here are the camping clothes I’d take per person:


  • 7 x T-shirts or tops – avoid too many sleeveless, because the sun is hot up north!
  • 2 x long-sleeved tops
  • 4 x shorts or three-quarter pants (or skirts for girls, but they are not very multi-purpose)
  • 2 x long pants (include a good quality, light-weight pair for hiking)
  • 2 x pyjamas (or use a t-shirt/singlet/cotton dress – make it multi-purpose!)
  • 7 x underpants (plus for ladies - 3 or 4 bras)
  • 2 x singlets / vests (for extra warmth, or as sleepwear)
  • 4 x socks (make one pair for warmth)
  • 2 x swimmers / togs
  • 1 x swimming rash vest
  • 2 x washable hats


  • 1 x sturdy walking shoes / boots
  • 1 x comfortable walking sandals
  • 1 x thongs / crocs (for the shower)

Winter gear

  • 1 x lightweight jumper/sweater
  • 1 x warm jumper or fleece – invest in a good quality one
  • 1 x rain-jacket or shell – invest in a good quality one
  • Plus extra winter camping gear if you are not travelling with the seasons.

Special occasions

Take one all-purpose ‘special occasion’ outfit or a nice shirt you can wear with jeans. You’ll probably find you don’t have much cause to wear it, but it’s nice to have when you need to be a little bit fancier.

Sports gear

We were in a habit of high-intensity exercise before we left on the trip. So, we also took two sets of sports gear and a pair of sneakers. We did exercise during the trip, but far less than we expected.

If you exercise every day now, include sports gear on your camping clothes list. If you don’t – leave your sports gear at home. Although your incidental exercise will definitely increase, you are not likely to start a new sports regime on your trip.

Storing your clothes

We used plastic storage boxes for our camping clothes, which we kept inside the camper. We had one box for us, one for the kids. We kept a suitcase in the car boot for clothes we weren’t using every day. Depending on the weather, the clothes from the suitcase cycled through to the boxes and vice versa.

Your camping clothes should always be your favourites.

If you didn’t wear that shirt at home, you can guarantee you won’t wear it on the trip. It will just take up valuable space.

Don’t pack extras just in case. Instead, when your clothes start to wear thin or fall apart – stop in the local op shop for more. You’ll find new favourites and pick up some local knowledge while you’re there!

› Camping clothes