A modest investment in well-made outdoor clothing will assure that you are comfortable in all weathers and better able to enjoy your experiences in the out of doors. I have never regretted spending a little more for clothing that is as durable as it is functional.
That being said most of these choices are are reasonably priced, and worth the cost even if it’s likely they will be outgrown before they are worn out.
You can send yourself and someone else an Outdoor Clothing Wishlist at the end of this post.
Woolrich Utility Vest
I am wearing my trusty, cozy, wool utility vest as I write. Nothing brightens up a cold gray day quite so well as the warmth of wool, either at home or in the campsite. Besides the utility of a few extra pockets the vest also forms a vital part of my dashing, old guy profile.
Woolrich Utility Vest at Amazon
I’ve worn out a dozen pairs of these gloves over the years. Most of the time when I am outdoors in winter I need to use my hands, and I have yet to find a full glove that keeps my hands warm and allows for the kind of dexterity required while camping or working outdoors. When the temperatures really plunge I can put a pair of mittens over my fingerless gloves. The wrist portion is long enough to cover your writs and that tends to keep your finger warmer.
Fingerless Ragg Glove at Amazon
Tilley LTM6 Airflo Hat
I’ve worn my Tilley Airflo it camping, backpacking, canoeing, and touring for about a decade and it’s one tough hat. It’s been crushed, soaked, washed and re-washed without showing any appreciable wear. I doubted my sanity spending what I did for it, but it’s been a solid investment.
Tilley LTM6 Airflo at Amazon
Stormy Kromer Wool Hat
Nature makes a few perfect heads, the rest are covered with hair. Keeping my perfect head during the winter can be a challenge, but my Stormy Kromer wool hat performs admirably. An integral wool band can be slipped over my ears when the wind blows. I have a large hat size (my wife insists that it get’s bigger every year) but the Stormy Kromer hats are available up to XXL, so a good fit is assured. As I noted in describing the utility vest above this hat is crucial to my dashing old guy profile.
Stormy Kromer Wool Cap at Amazon
The design of the classic wool watch cap hasn’t changed in decades, and they are as near a perfect winter hat as you are likely to find. There are any number of stylish beanies out there (I wonder at the hipsters who wear them year round, what are they thinking?) but my favorite is the the simple wool watch cap without stripes, zig-zags, or clever sayings and corporate logos embroidered on them. They are a lot cheaper too; the one I have set me back all of ten bucks.
Wool Watch Cap at Amazon
Terramar Thermolator II Balaclava
In cold weather I wear a balaclava over a knit hat when I bed down for the night. The balaclava keeps my knit hat on my head and adds a bit of warmth around my neck. Remember that if you keep your head covered your feet will stay warm too (no, really; it works!).
Balaclava at Amazon
I discovered NEOS overshoes (New England Overshoes) working on a film outside in cold, wet, snowy weather all late fall and early winter. Several members of the film crew wore NEOS and spoke highly of them.
A gusseted opening makes them easy to get on or off, and a drawstring closure snugs them up around the ankle to keep snow out. As the name implies NEOS are worn over shoes or boots. I have the insulated Voyager model and they are very warm, easy to put on or take off, and totally waterproof. I have worn them on snowy camping trips when temperatures didn’t get much higher than 20F day or night and they kept my feet nice and toasty.
The lighter-weight uninsulated Neos Villager is great for rainy or snowy days around town.
Neos Voyager at Amazon
Keen Newport H2 Sandal
I bought a pair of Keen Newport H2 sandals because they sported an enclosed toe. They looked like the perfect thing for canoeing and two weeks on the waterways of Algonquin Provincial Park proved it. I was concerned that they wouldn’t be heavy enough for walking long portages, but I was wrong, they were great on portages of a mile or more and my feet didn’t hurt at all. I could have left my heavy hiking boots at home.
Keen Newport H2 at Amazon
Acorn Fleece Socks
I keep a pair of fleece socks in my sleeping bag to wear at night, dry, warm feet after a long day of hiking or running around camp can be a real luxury!
Acorn Fleece Socks at Amazon
2mm Neoprene Water Sock
Neoprene socks are great for wading in cold water while getting in and out of canoes, and for staying warm in cold weather.
Neoprene Water Socks at Amazon
Outdoor Layering System
Here are some solid choices for an outdoor layering system that suits the mid-atlantic four season climate where I live.
The BASE, MID, and SHELL layers form the basis of the system for all seasons, The BASE2 layer is added when it’s cold, and the INSULATING layer when it’s very cold.
Ex Officio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer Tee and Brief
These are not your grandfather’s longjohns! Polypro is warm, and wicks moisture away from you skin to keep you comfortable when you are very active outdoors. Coldpruf is available in different weights to suit the climate you’ll be in.
ColdPruf Polypro Top at Amazon
ColdPruf Polypro Bottom at Amazon
Nylon Shirt and Convertible Pants
A nylon mid layer will dry quickly, is adaptable to varying temperatures and affords protection from the sun.
Fleece Jacket and Pants
A very versatile layer adaptable to a number of conditions.
Columbia Rain Jacket and Pants
A waterproof-breathable shell will keep you dry, warm from wind, is lightweight and packs small.
Outdoor Clothing Wishlist
Check the items you’d like to include on your wishlist and send it to yourself and someone who can take a hint!