Coolers: The joy of car camping is that you don’t have to squeeze tiny packets of ﬁeeze-dried food into your backpack just to get a little sustenance You can bring morning. When the sun starts baking simply zip off the pant legs and voila you’re wearing shorts. Look for jackets with “pit zips” zippers at the armpits that allow for copious ventilation where you need it most.
Shorts and T-Shirts Beyond Cotton Your children’s dressers are likely ﬁlled with dozens of cotton T-shirts and shorts. And they’ll do ﬁne for camping. Cotton is comfortable and most young kids don’t sweat very much. But cotton is a hydrophilic material meaning it loves water. If those cotton shorts get wet while Junior is fording a river they won’t dry very quickly. You’re better off with outdoor garments made with synthetic fabrics like nylon and polyester which are designed to wick away moisture and dry quickly. Look for outdoor speciﬁc shorts and shirts from The North Face Columbia Royal Robbins ExOfﬁcio and Mountain Hardwear.
If your clan is full of fair-skinned freckly green-eyed Celts like me or you’re camping at high elevation or near the equator you might consider clothing with Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF. It’s the SPF ofthe fabric world. Polyester fabric is naturally better than cotton at deﬂecting the sun’s rays so that’s a good ﬁrst step Garments designed speciﬁcally to block the sun’s rays often use polyester but they also employ special dyes and treatments and are constructed with tightly woven ﬁber. Most mainstream outdoor- clothing companies have UPF clothing in their lines. Columbia in particular has a robust collection of UPF shorts and shirts designed for kids. Companies like Sun Precautions make clothing exclusively for sun protection.
Socks The ﬁrst step to keeping feet warm dry and blister~free is to abandon the baggy white cotton tube socks. Use them for sock puppets. Cotton is in- famous for sucking up moisture drying slowly and leaving you with cold feet. And feet sure do sweat. According to the California Podiatric MedicalAssociation each foot has 250000 sweat glands which on average produce enough sweat each day to ﬁll an eggcup.4