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What to Wear to Sleep In While Camping or Backpacking

For me, nothing can take away the joy of camping or backpacking faster than a sleepless night. A good night's sleep is one of the things I look forward to when in nature. The cool night air, clear stary sky, the night sounds, and a warm fire after a meal of fried fish and I'm primed and ready to drift off into La La Land. One of the best ways to help me have a good night’s sleep while camping or hiking is the clothes, I wear to sleep in.

So here is what to wear to sleep in while camping or backpacking. In the summer, wear thin synthetic socks, comfortable fitting moisture-wicking synthetic or silk underwear briefs with tagless bands, light silk long underwearpants, silk knitted crew t-shirt, and a silk night sleeping cap. In winter, wear wool blend hiking socks, soft itch-free wool blend briefs, soft/ thin heavyweight wool pants, long sleeve thin wool t-shirt, and a pocket wool beanie.

In this article, I have spent hours putting together my personal best of these for price, comfort, and long-life with a data chart I’ve created for you. It’s been a while since I have bought some of these since they are pricey, but I only use them when I camp or hike. I have not put links in the chart so you will need to search Google for these. I would start with the brand first. They should be easy to find.

Sleeping Clothes for Camping and Hiking

Should you sleep in jeans?

I’ve been asked this question a few times, but don’t recommend you sleep in jeans because the cotton fabric holds moisture and the seams and belt loops are very uncomfortable when you're lying down. The reason I like synthetic, silk, or wool to sleep in (depending on the weather) is they are very comfortable and don't stick to you or cause your sleeping bag to bunch up when you roll over during the night.

These fabrics are slick and slide with you without bunching up or twisting around your waist. They also feel soft to the skin and don’t hold moisture while reflecting your body heat.

You can make your sleeping bag even more comfortable by using a silk sleeping bag insert. I wrote another article on this if you are interested, called, “Why use a sleeping bag liner?”

The sleeping bag liner just adds a whole other level of comfort to my sleeping experience when camping or hiking and helps keep out bugs.

Going to the toilet at night while camping.

Since I turned 60 years old, I usually take a trip to the potty once a night. If it’s winter I keep my field jacket and flashlight beside my bedding at night as well as a pair of flip flops or loose-fitting tennis shoes.

These items just make the trip a little quicker to go to the toilet and get back into my bedding easier than trying to get dressed and undressed. In the summer I just use my flashlight and flip-flops.

A time saver.

These synthetic, wool and silk undergarments are so comfortable you can just slip on your shoes, pants, and outer shirt or jacket right over them and go about your daily camping activities. And unless you get them really wet or soiled you can just slip off your shoes, pants, outer shirt, or jacket and you are ready for a knap (my favorite) or good night’s sleep.

When you get home.

Another good thing about these types of fabric is they can be washed in your washing machine on a gentle cycle setting. I do use cold water and mild detergent and air dry them. Then I keep them in their own little duffle bag in my garage so when I’m ready to go they are.

But you may need to read the instructions on the garments just to make you don't damage them when you give them a cleaning. Don't ever send them out to be laundered. These folks unwilling may destroy a $50 silk undergarment without meaning to. I'm really frugal, so for me, when I invest in these luxury’s I want them to last a long time.

All right then, I hope my ramblings and my chart helps you out. If I get a chance, I'll go put links in it to help make it easier to look these up.

These are expensive garments but to me, they are worth every penny to help me have a better night's sleep. I hope you find the same is true for you.

In the meantime, take a kid camping or hiking, because it will change your life.

All the best,

Alex Anderson


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