Ethical clothes for camping: the essentials

Ethical clothes for camping: the essentials

I used to be afraid to wear my everyday clothes camping, for fear that I’d ruin them. And it’s understandable—you don’t want to get a hole in an ethical piece you’ve saved up for, or in the perfect vintage jeans you spent months searching for. But sometime in the last year, I decided: damn it, I’d use my clothes, I’d live in them, I’d let them fulfil more purpose than just sitting at a desk at my office job.

I’ve always been an advocate for clothes that work for you, and do double-duty. The stronger, the more flexible, the more versatile the better.

A lot of versatility is not in the makeup of the clothes, but in your attitude towards them. If you feel comfortable in that linen tank top, then why not wear it while camping OR in the office, too? Opening your mind up to these possibilities is where it starts.

So, how to pack for a trip that involved camping and city-dwelling?

Honestly, at first I was stumped. But let’s get honest: layering is your best friend, and when you’re flitting from town to town, no one knows if you wore the same sweater yesterday. I went back to my old faithfuls: jeans and t-shirts. It’s what I wear every weekend, so it’d be good enough for camping!

Here’s my list of must-haves when camping / travelling through the northeast:

  • 2-3 pairs of jeans
  • 1 belt
  • 1 long sleeved top
  • 2 t-shirts
  • 1 tank top
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 1 pullover
  • 2 flannel tops
  • 1 jean jacket
  • 2 pairs of warm woollen socks
  • 1 hat. For the sun, and to feel, you know. Cool.

Okay, I brought more than that. Mostly because I wasn’t sure what I would use. But after a week on the road, this is what I really wore the whole time, on repeat. I hope that this breakdown can help you on your next trip! Below, I’m highlighting my favourite pieces of the trip!


I love jeans and it’s no secret. They can completely change a look, with the same old t-shirt. I brought 3 but could have survived with 2.

Pair no.1 // Levi’s 501 light wash

Pair no.2 // Iris Denim Whatta Man

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Pair no.3 // Vintage Levi’s 505 blue


Black always makes me feel put-together, and these are no exception. I think I re-wore the Tradlands one for most days of the trip. I never get a chance to wear Beatles one when I’m at home or work, but I love it. So it’s become a nice treat to wear when I’m on-the-go camping.

Shirt no.1 // Tradlands Girlfriend T-Shirt

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Shirt no.2 // Old Beatles Tee


I stand by the fact that we should never need to buy new flannel. There’s SO MUCH out in thw world, and flannel is meant to last! Thrift it, give it a good wash, and you’ve got yourself the comfiest camping gear ever! Hint: shop in the men’s section for some good oversized flannel that’s perfect for wearing with leggings or tying at the waist.

Flannel no.1 // Ontario Provincial Parks

Flannel no.2 // Secondhand


Aliya Wanek Ami Sweatshirt

I brought one sweater, which could have been a risk but it was the best decision ever. Sweaters can easily make a small bag burst at the seams. I gambled and chose to bring my Aliya Wanek sweatshirt, because it’s cropped at waist-length and looks good with everything. And no regrets here! It was nice and breezy when worn on its own, but cozy enough to layer with my vintage denim jacket for nights by the fire.

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Miakoda Organic Bamboo High Waisted Athletic Leggings

There were a few pieces that did double-duty while I was travelling. The best? My Miakoda New York Bamboo High Waisted Athletic Leggings. I’d been eyeing them for a while because they’re made of organic fibres and are more breathable than my recycled water bottle leggings. I wanted ones that I could sleep in, hike in, work out in, and lounge in. I partnered up with Miakoda and they generously gifted these to me—and I tell you, I wore them every single day of this trip. When you’re sleeping in leggings, you want to make sure they’re healthy for your body and I slept in these every night, feeling at ease because of the thoughtfulness of the fibres chosen for them. And of course, I hiked through Robert H Treman State Park with them in an absolute downpour to find waterfalls, too. Believe it or not, they were dry by the time I had to go to bed.

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(Psst, you can grab 15% off these leggings or any Miakoda New York purchase with code PETRAALEXANDRA)

The rest of my pieces: long sleeved top, denim jacket, hat, etc. were either thrifted or have been in my wardrobe for a heck of a long time and are still great! Don’t underestimate the power of good ol’ pieces.

Do you have camping or travel essentials? Let me know in the comments section below!



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