Love camping and hiking, and want to upgrade your gear? Here are a few of my favorite camping gear ideas for women!
Ladies! If you’ve spent much time looking for hiking and camping gear, you’ve probably noticed something.
A lot of the standard camping gear out there is not made with women in mind.
It’s easy to find outdoor gear for men, but some of the standard items are too large for those of us who are a little vertically challenged.
Other gear (like hiking boots) most definitely exists, but for some reason the women’s sizes aren’t stocked as well as the men’s sizes in a lot of outdoor gear stores.
And that, my friends, means we have to shop online.
Here’s a list of my top camping gear recommendations for women. Everything’s available online, so you don’t have to hunt it down in person.
The Best Women’s Camping Clothing
The following are the clothes that I grab when we head out for a camping or backpacking trip.
These clothes make my hiking trips more enjoyable and comfortable, and I highly recommend them!
I own everything listed, and have worn them on various trips.
Headbands (Sweat Bands + Ear Warmers)
Camping often means fewer showers. Or even if you have showers available, you might not have a mirror, hair dryer, straightening iron, mouse, gel– whatever you normally use at home.
Camping trips mean messy hair and ponytails.
Recently, I’ve also been using these Buff headbands, and I love them because they’re quick-dry.
These multi-purpose headbands also work as a sweatband for hot days or sweaty hikes, ear warmers for cold days, and they wash out beautifully.
Merino Wool Underwear
Wool undies are a little bit of an investment, but are well worth it.
Merino wool dries quickly, and will keep you cool when it’s hot out and warm when it’s cold out.
Plus it naturally keeps odors away longer, and is easy to wash and air dry on the go.
I own several pairs of Icebreaker’s merino wool undies.
I also have been thrilled with Branwyn’s merino wool bra. I recently wore it on a five day backpacking trip and it performed beautifully.
Merino Wool Leggings + Joggers
If you’re ready to splurge on some comfy all-purpose pants, these Icebreaker merino wool jogger pants are my current favorite.
These pants are great for hiking, or (my personal favorite) as a cozy pajama pant that’s sure to keep you warm at night.
We’ve also tested out some merino wool leggings, but so far the Icebreaker merino wool jogger pants have been our favorite wool bottoms (by a far!). If you’ve found wool leggings that you love, let us know!
Women’s Camping Tops
Quick-dry tops are fabulous for camping, because they’ll keep you (you-guessed it)– dry!
That’s going to keep you cooler in warm weather and warmer in cool weather.
My current favorite top is this BALEAF women’s UPF50 quick-dry shirt. I love that it has built-in sun protection.
Women’s Hiking Pants
I like hiking pants that roll up to be capris, and I like it even better if they can pass for casual, non-hiking pants for travel.
My favorite hiking pants are the prAna Halle II. These are an updated version of an old favorite. Like the older version, these quick dry pants are boot cut and flattering for curvy figures.
The updated prAna Halle II has a mid-rise waistband and (excitingly) real pockets! I can slide my iPhone 11 into the front pockets and it is amazing.
Women’s Outdoor Coats
One of the quickest ways to turn my mood upside down is to get me chilled to the bone.
Everyone is happier when I have a warm coat.
My favorite coat is my North Face Triclimate Jacket— it has a waterproof outer coat, a fluffy down inner coat (that can double as a pillow in a pinch!), and the snowboarding snow skirt fits around my hips nicely!
And no, I don’t snowboard.
Are your outdoor adventures taking you to the beach or hot springs?
Best Women’s Camping + Hiking Shoes + Boots
These are the shoes I bring along on each camping trip!
I love the Crocs as shower shoes, the hiking sandals make a perfect campground shoe, and the hiking boots are my current favorites.
If you’re staying at a campground, and plan on using their shower or pool, bring along some rubber shoes.
You could definitely just use rubber flip flops, but I like to wear these cute Crocs sandals. They’re cute, casual sandal if we go somewhere in town.
I also like to bring hiking sandals along when I go camping, even if I’m not going on a hike.
My favorite hiking sandals are my Keen Clearwater CNX sandals. They’re great campground shoes, and if you’re walking through creeks or streams, they have good grip in the water.
If you’re doing a lot of hiking, invest in a pair of good hiking boots. My personal favorite is the Keen Pyrenees.
I recommend any Keen or Merrell boot.
More Camping Gear for Women
Here are a few more things that I always throw in the car before heading out on a camping trip.
Favorite Mini Purse
This might seem obvious, but I don’t want to take a large purse (or really, any purse!) out on a hiking trail. But, for a long backpacking trip, there might be times when you need some way to carry your phone and ID.
My favorite trail-friendly purse is this Kavu wallet purse. It’s large enough to hold my iPhone 11, plus a few other small essentials. And then it easily slides into my backpack when needed.
Backpacks for Women
Guys, I’m short.
And when I went backpack shopping (especially for overnight backpacking packs), I found that even some of them women’s packs were too long for my torso.
If you’re on the petite side, I highly recommend a pack with an adjustable torso.
I use this Osprey Day Pack is large enough to hold water, snacks, and whatever else you need for an extra-long day hike, and is made with an adjustable torso.
If you’re on a budget, I also own this inexpensive Rupumpack daypack, and have found it to be a great pack.
I’ve been using this Deuter Kids 40 pack for several years. If you’re short and are looking for a sturdy overnight backpacking pack– I highly recommend this one.
It’s made with an adjustable torso, and isn’t just for kids!
Are Women’s Trekking Poles Worth It?
Did you know that there are women-specific versions of trekking poles? I didn’t until recently, and I decided to give them a shot.
What’s the difference?
The poles are somewhat shorter than a standard trekking pole, usually by a few inches. Also, the hand grips are slightly smaller.
Was there a difference? Yes actually!
As mentioned, I’m fairly short (at 5’2″), and I typically hike with my trekking pole on the “minimum” end of the extension area. With these poles I could move the poles a little farther up and extend them more. Does this make them more sturdy? I’m not sure.
What about the hand grip?
Compared to the grip on the standard Black Diamond Alpine carbon trekking poles, the women’s pole grip did look and feel slightly smaller and easier for my (fairly small) hands to grip.
When compared the the Kelty poles, the women’s trekking pole handle was significantly smaller (but the Kelty handles are also larger than my standard Black Diamond poles, so this was expected).
So should you buy a pair of women-specific trekking poles?
Maybe! The difference didn’t seem life-altering, but I do think I now prefer these slightly smaller trekking poles. If you’re short and have small hands (woman or not!), these poles may be more comfortable than the standard version.
Cell Phone Holder
My phone won’t fit into the pockets in my hiking pants.
And yes, we could go on and on about why women’s pants don’t have large pockets like men’s pants do, but instead I’ll just show you what I use to solve that problem.
The Clakit Smartphone Backpack Shoulder Strap Pocket clips onto your backpack strap, and keeps your phone within arm’s reach.
Do you have any favorites that I missed? Let me know in the comments!