The clothing a traveler chooses to wear on an adventure is perhaps even more unique and individualistic than the vehicle he or she chooses to drive. Clothing and accessories should be selected based on the needs of the traveler and the environment that they are traveling in.
It should be no surprise then that apparel found on this list would also be at home at your worksite, along the hiking trail or at your favorite fishing hole. Due to the personal nature of clothing, we have assembled a list of useful clothing as diverse as you and wherever your adventures take you.
KUHL — RYDR Pants
KUHL is known for creating tough gear that holds up to the toughest conditions. The RYDR pants are designed for those that live life on the move. KUHL designed these pants with toughness and durability in mind as evidenced by the gusseted crotch, articulated knees, and rugged material that doesn’t shrink when washed. The full fit though the thighs, knees, and lower legs provide maximum comfort and flexibility. These pants are perfect for long days of driving or day-long hikes through the woods.
Filson—Tin Cloth Bush Hat
Your overlanding travels will undoubtedly take you to areas with a lot of sunshine, making a wide-brimmed hat invaluable. The wide brim provides total coverage of your face and ears and the durable fabric protects you from wind and rain. The adjustable chin strap on this bush hat keeps it in place in the strongest of winds. There is a reason that great adventurers like Ernest Shackleton, Teddy Roosevelt, and even Indiana Jones wore a flat brimmed hat.
Duck Camp — Hooksetter Shirt
Breathable and durable layers are vital when dressing for unpredictable conditions. Fishing gear is often designed with unpredictable conditions in mind and the Hooksetter shirt from Duck Camp is no exception. The UPF40 fabric is breathable and UV-resistant with venting in the yoke of the back. This shirt is designed to keep you cool in the spring and summer and be a comfortable layer for cooler months.
Wildly Good — Merino Wool Socks
We have told you about Wildly Good socks before and for good reason, they are fantastic socks. First and foremost, the 80-percent Merino wool socks are extremely comfortable for several days at a time whether you are driving, hiking your favorite trail, or working away at your desk. One would think that wearing the same pair of socks for the greater part of a week without washing them would produce quite the odor, this is not the case. The extra-fine wool and mesh upper increases ventilation and reduces bacteria and stank. Best of all, Wildly goods is a one-percent for the planet member donating a portion of every sale to a non-profit organization working on conservation issues worldwide.
Carhartt — Rugged Flex Relaxed Straight Jean
Just because you can wear a pair of khaki-colored cargo pants to a border crossing doesn’t mean you should. The importance of having a normal pair of jeans is invaluable to blend in, get your hands dirty under your rig, or to simply sit around camp. The straight jeans from Carhartt are made of strong denim with RuggedFlex technology that allows movement in all of the right places.
Patagonia — Nano Puff Jacket
There is not a single piece of apparel that is more versatile than a simple puffy jacket and the Nano Puff from Patagonia is an excellent choice. At a mere 10 ounces, the Nano Puff is lightweight and packs down into its chest pocket for storage. The Nano is not the toughest jacket out there, a challenge for all “puffy” style jackets, but it is resilient enough to withstand everyday use. The weather resistant exterior keeps light rain at bay while the synthetic insulation will keep you warm even when it gets wet.
Orvis—Flat Creek Tech Flannel Shirt
A good flannel layer is almost essential when traveling by vehicle in cooler temperatures. The Flat Creek Flannel from Orvis is well-made, as one would expect from Orvis, and makes a great base layer for cooler travel. The fabric is comfortable and it is sustainably sourced from recycled plastic bottles. Intricate details like flap closure and a pen-protector sleeve on the pockets make wearing the Flat Creek Flannel a joy.
Outdoor Research — Whitefish Hat
When the temperatures start to drop, keeping your extremities warm and covered from the elements becomes a serious matter. Outdoor Research has packaged many options into a convenient hat that will keep you warm in most winter environments. The Whitefish Hat has fleece-lined ear flaps and a hidden face mask, a very valuable feature these days. The polyester shell repels snow and rain to keep you dry in most any weather.
The North Face — Motivation High-Rise Tight
Although female travelers are completely entitled and able to wear the same clothing and gear that men pack for adventures, in most cases there is likely a female-specific product made to fit and perform for women. It is hard to deny the usefulness and value of a quality pair of leggings like the High Rise Tight from The North Face. These leggings are soft and high-waisted to provide a comfortable and flattering fit for long days on the road or on the hiking trail. The jury is still out if leggings are as flattering on male travelers, your mileage may vary.
Arc’teryx — Piedmont Vest
Next to the puffy jacket, the puffy vest is likely the next most versatile article of apparel for overland adventures. A high-quality down vest like the Piedmont Vest from Arc’teryx is useful in a variety of temperatures and environments. Layering is simple under and over the 750-fill down vest to regulate temperatures throughout long days on the trail. At a mere 10-ounces, the down insulation is lightweight and dense for optimal warmth.
KAVU — Beber Belt
A simple and generic belt is not only useful at the obvious task of holding up your drawers, a belt can serve several other purposes when you are far away from civilization and survival is paramount. The nylon webbing used in the KAVU Beber belt is tough and durable for any hike, ride, or adventure. The belt buckle is infinitely adjustable and doubles as a bottle opener making this a truly adaptable piece of kit.
Patagonia — Torrentshell 3L
There is perhaps only one thing as frustrating as getting rained on while adventuring and that is shopping for a jacket to stay dry while adventuring. Let us save you the trouble and present one of the best combinations of features for your dollar- the Patagonia Torrentshell 3L. The shell is waterproof and windproof with zippered armpits to regulate body temperature. The neck of the jacket is lined with fleece for all-day comfort. Like most of Patagonia’s lightweight jackets, the Torrentshell packs into its own pocket for compact storage.
Marmot — Basic Work Glove
The Marmot Basic Work Glove is everything you need in a winter work glove and nothing you don’t. The leather outer repels water and protects your hands while feeding your winch line or digging yourself out of a mud-hole. The liner of the Marmot Basic Glove is made of Driclime and wicks moisture easily. Every overland rig should have a pair of sturdy work gloves in the glovebox.