Sew your own camping hiking wardrobe

You CAN sew your own camping/hiking wardrobe! With both natural and technical fabrics, you can sew the things that will work for you for camping and hiking trips. I’ve selected a bunch of free sewing patterns you can try for this (as well as recommendations to linked fabrics.)

Sew a wardrobe for camping and hiking with free sewing patterns

You should identify what you need for these activities first. For camping, generally any casual clothing in a not-white color is probably suitable, but you may want cozier, warmer or more rugged clothing for your activity or weather conditions.

Luna jogger pants and Antero shell top

The Luna from Made by Rae above is a great woven jogger, and this lightweight pair of joggers have come with me camping more than once. The top, a fancy gold-shot linen fabric is probably too fancy for the campground, but the top’s breezy shape works great in many other fabrics including cotton, linen and even lightweight wool/linen blends.

These Pietra shorts and the Antero shell in pieced fabric got worn and worn again and again on vacation which also included hiking, river rafting and lots of adventuring through central Europe. I hiked in these (in the rain) in the Alps too!

Generally you’ll need 2-3 tee shirts, 1-2 long sleeve tops, hoodie/fleece and 1-2 pair of pants and shorts.

You are NOT limited to regular “camping clothing” – e.g. standard cargo pants, etc. You can have whatever kind of pant or short you want! Cargo pockets, however, are useful at campsites!

Tee shirts: Everyone has a favorite tee shirt pattern, and you should pick one that fits YOU well – you have a lot of options – cut on cap sleeve, regular set in sleeve, drop shoulder sleeve – just consider what you need if you’re wearing a pack on your back during your activities.

Fabrics like bamboo, cotton, rayon all wick. Cotton does not dry quickly (unless cotton/poly.) You can also choose athletic wicking fabrics as well. Wool jersey is a fabulous fabric for a long sleeve tee shirt, and there are some excellent washable lightweight wool fabrics. Some good patterns are the Cashmerette Concord tee with tons of options, the Jackson Tee from Helen’s Closet (which also has a pullover sweatshirt or hood option). Freebies include the Stellan Tee from French Navy Patterns. You probably have many tee shirt patterns in your stash too, and you should use one of those first.

Shorts sewing patterns for camping and hiking:

I love the Pietra short with it’s deep front pockets, high waist, back elastic. For camping, add back patch pockets (with or without an internal velcro square to secure them). A gym style short is always helpful to have, and for that, you can try the Ventura from Mood (free.)

Here are more free patterns for shorts from Mood fabrics:

Pants sewing patterns for camping and hiking

You do not have to choose a cargo pant – or even a traditional cargo pant. If you want to, try the free Adair Cargo Pant from Mood Fabrics (they also carry twill, corduroy and other fabrics for them.) If you do not want a traditional cargo pant, try a full elastic waist pant like Sew House Seven’s Free Range Slacks. Available in both slim and wide legs, these have front pockets, add a patch pocket to the back and hack the side panel for an inset pocket.

You will need cozy at-camp pants, and for that I recommend one for knits, try the freebie Dash Sweatpants from Petite Stitchery, or the Yoggers also from Petite Stitchery (both freebies.) You can sleep in pants like this with some cozy alpaca or fluffy socks in your sleeping bag. If your weather is mild, sleep shorts and a tank top are a great choice.

You can add a drawstring / ankle elastic to secure your pants to your socks for hiking in taller grass. Instead of sewing up a full hem, leave the inner or outer ankle open 3/4″ on the inside at either the inner or outer leg seam. Thread a stretch drawstring inside, add a drawcord lock and when you wear the pants, cinch them and tuck the cord and the lock inside the hem opening that you left! You could add grommets or even small buttonholes and let the drawstring and cord come outside the pants, but that often catches on things. Having them tucked inside the hem is a great choice for hiking.

Sweatshirt hoodie and jacket sewing patterns for hiking and camping:

Can’t go wrong with a cozy layer for by the campfire at night, I like the Closet Core Mile End sweatshirts for style and comfort. You can also select the freebie Mood Ventura Sweatshirt and shorts for a stylish sweatshirt and shorts combo: Mood always has great fabrics to pair with their patterns.

I also love a sweatshirt in lightweight fleece, try the fleece from Mill Direct Textiles the makers of Polartec products.

You can even make one in a water/wind resistant hardface with fleece on the inside!

A good zip front jacket is Cory from Mood (also free!)

Fabric recommendations for camping and hiking sewing patterns

For all: choose medium to darker fabrics – camping and hiking can be dirty – but you don’t have to choose just black or gray – try a purple, teal, sage green, dark red, brown, even a beige or medium cream/oatmeal color if you want a light color.

Tencel is a great fabric for lightweight hiking pants that are breathable – it’s sturdy fabric that is still lightweight, and makes a great woven jogger camping pant (saw a lot of these in Europe at the popular outdoor stores.)

All of the Mood fabrics patterns come with linked recommendations and Mood is an excellent source of fabric online. Your local indie fabric store will also carry fabrics suitable for these types of garments too. I love to sew with natural fabrics like linen and cotton and wool, and these are great for camping. For hiking you mght want more technical fabrics (tencel, poly/nylon).

Accessories to sew for camping and hiking

There are excellent patterns for accessories like fanny packs/bum bags too, try the Petite Stitchery Aster Crossbody for a large crossbody bag (free!). I also like the Ferris Fanny Pack – THREE sizes available in that one, from small to large, to carry your things while you hike or around the campground.