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How many changes of clothes for six days on the trail?

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We have our six day Appalachian trip coming up. How many changes of clothes do you recommend?

Number of shirts?

Number of shorts?

Number of socks?


Camp shoes are they necessary?



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Camp shoes?


Do you mean a pair of sneakers while hanging out at your daily campsites?


I'd say yeah, that way your hiking shoes/boots get a chance to air out and that little bit of dampness from sweat can dry out.

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I wouldn't carry much of a CHANGE of clothes other than an extra set of socks and shorts.



Wash the socks and shorts as needed and dry them the next day.


Add or remove clothing as needed for the weather conditions.


Being skilled in recognizing when it's time to add or remove clothing is one of the important hiking/backpacking skills, in my opinion.

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I would wear the same t-shirt all 6 days, while backpacking. I change into the dry one, when we make camp, each afternoon. So I have two. But only one long shelve shirt, one sweat shirt, one rain suit. One pair of zip off pants. If I fall into a river, etc., I put on dry underwear, and wear my rain pants. I usully change underwear, every other day. Socks like Basementdweller suggested, but would have a third pair. (Really 6, because I wear a liner, and a wool sock.)


I do not take camp shoes, when I am backpacking. It would be nice, but I would not want to carry them.


Have fun at the Appalachian.

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yeah, that's what I meant. If by camp shoes he meant something different than the shoes or boots worn while hiking all day.


When we go camping, I wear my boots pretty much all day. But in the after noon, while hanging out at camp, I change my socks and change into my Reboks and let my boots air out and dry.

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Here's what clothing I wore or carried during warmer months while thru-hiking the AT.

Worn while hiking:

1 pr. Convertible pants (North Face Paramount)

1 pr. underwear (Exofficio boxer/briefs)

1 pr socks (Smartwool)

1 wicking T shirt (the BSA one are good)

1 pr. Hiking shoes, Brooks Adrenalin Trail Runners with Superfeet insoles



1 pr. underwear

2 pr. socks (one spare, one for sleeping)

1 lightweight shorts

1 wicking T shirt

1 Smartwool lightweight long sleeve shirt

1 Down jacket (it can get cool in the evenings, also my pillow)

1 DryDucks rain jacket


Most clothing was treated with Permethrin

I used Crocks for camp shoes.


You could probably do away with the shorts and T carried, I wore these while doing laundry in town.

What section of the trail are you doing?




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I'm with Eagle732's list. Obviously it would cut back in some areas for only 6 days and significantly for summer. One modification is that I just go barefoot around camp. No extra shoes. Also I use a pack poncho rather than a rain jacket if it's light rain or winter but most of the time I try to take winter trips when the precipitation will be frozen. Other times if it's a real downpour, I just try to protect the pack and go with a hat to help keep it off my face (and glasses) and no other raingear (summer of course). I just let myself get soaked through quickly and then I'm completely free.

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Generally I wear one set of clothes and pack the other. I'd bring a wool or fleece sweater and a rain jacket. I don't do long pants unless it will be frigid, just go to bed when it gets cold.


I've done some AT in Georgia when we were there.


For only 6 days check the weather forecast and you may be able to save some weight.


I'll tell you that I like my higher-end gear for backpacks, sleeping bags and tents. But for clothes, I just grab whatever t-shirts, shorts, underwear and socks are clean. Don't care much about the technical side other than obvious stuff that would get in the way of pack belts and straps.

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Don't know how many stream crossings are on the AT, but in wilderness areas, I carried a pair of water shoes instead of sandals/crocs. They had a durable sneaker tread, so I could hike in them a ways if I was tired of the boots. downside: They would stink to high heaven if they never aired out.

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"Eagles list is probably $500 as well."

No doubt I spend money on good gear.

But I don't think my clothing list is too expensive. Other than the down jacket everything else pretty standard.

Obviously if you're going backpacking once a year with scouts you don't need the best gear.

But the good quality stuff lasts. Other than the socks and shoes everything else has over 3,000 AT miles on it and countless scout trips.

The North Face Paramount convertible pants are $65, get them in green and wear them for scout pants, that's what I do.


I like Crocs for camp shoes, I know a guy that hiked the entire AT in Crocs in 2008.


I entered the AT's Hundred Mile Wilderness in Maine the day after Hurricane Irene last year. Lots of river crossings, most of the time I just walked across without taking my hiking shoes off, they were wet anyway. Heck the entire trail was a river crossing.





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Who changes clothes? Certainly no scouts I know. ;)


1 shirt

1 pair zip-offs

2-3 pair of socks.

2 pair poly underwear.

layers as needed.


If you're hikin' in big honking mountain boots pretendin' the AT is a scree and glacier route in the Himalayas, then yep, bring a pair of camp shoes. If you're hikin' in lightweight hikers, not needed.


Anything else is just extra weight, so pick da luxury item or two that will make yeh the most happy and leave da rest at home so you can enjoy yourself.




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