I’m Creating An Outdoors Capsule Wardrobe For A New Adventure
Summer is here and it’s the season for traveling and vacationing! But, with the Covid-19 pandemic going on, it has not been a normal Summer. We are having to wear masks, wash our hands often and use hand santizer to protect ourselves. Places we would go for vacations are either closed or have rules in place for social distancing and limitations.
My Hubby and I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors, plus it is naturally a safe way to do social distancing. During the past couple of months, we have gone on picnics to local Alabama state parks and about a month ago we rented a cabin (through VRBO.com) in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. While we were in the “Smokies”, as the park is nicknamed, we rode our bikes in Cades Cove on their first designated bicycles/pedestrians-only day (find out more here: https://experiencecadescove.com/blog/guide-to-cades-cove-biking/)! We bought groceries at a local grocery store and cooked breakfast every morning in the cabin, ate picnic lunches every day while in the park and ate in restaurants just a few times.
A Few Photos Of Our Day In Cades Cove
A couple of months ago, I thought it was time to get out and go places we have never been. When we go on vacation, we usually stay in a hotel and eat out for every meal, but with a pandemic going on, that would be a bit difficult.
We Bought A Camper!
Being that my husband and I both enjoy being outdoors, we thought we would invest in a camper and see parts of the U.S. It’s always been a dream of mine to visit the national parks, so by doing so in a camper, we would stay safe, plus it would be our “home away from home”.
Since my Dad, Mom and I went camping A LOT when I was a kid, I already know the basics of camping! We went camping in a tent, so I know how to “pitch a tent”, start a campfire and cook over a campfire and on a Coleman stove. Some of my best memories growing up were the times spent camping. I enjoyed making friends with other kids who rode their bikes around the campground, hearing the owls hoot at night, the smell of the campfire, roasting marshmallows, going swimming and going on hikes.
After doing LOTS of research on campers, a couple of weeks ago, we bought the Mini Max Teardrop Camper from Little Guy Trailers. We had also looked at an Airstream Basecamp and NuCamp Tab 320 and NuCamp Tab 400 series. For years, I have always loved the look of an Airstream camper, but the Basecamp would be at the weight limit for our Jeep Wrangler Rubicon to pull. The Tab 320 was too short in height for us (I am 5’9″ and my husband is 5’10” and we couldn’t stand up the camper) and the Tab 400 was too heavy for our Jeep to pull. The Mini Max was just right and we loved the layout of the interior. Plus it is the Rough Rider package that includes solar and battery backup power, when we are Boondocking! We had the RV dealership install a couple of things on the camper and we pick it up tomorrow!
Here is what our camper looks like (ours is the silver color with black trim)…
We will be taking vacations off and on in our little camper this Summer and probably into the Fall as well. The camper has space to work on my computer at the dinette area and I can also work outside, publishing blog posts and doing maintenance on my site.
Since we have been doing more activities outdoors, wearing my regular clothes in my capsule wardrobe hasn’t worked for me. Some tops are just too dressy to wear while hiking and I don’t like wearing several of my shorts in my capsule, since I’m afraid the fabric will tear or pull.
Creating An Outdoors/Camping Capsule Wardrobe
I’m in the process of creating an outdoors/camping capsule wardrobe for the Summer, to wear while we are hiking, camping and spending time outdoors. This will be a 2nd capsule wardrobe I’ll be using in addition to my regular Summer 2020 capsule wardrobe. We don’t do any extreme activities, so I only need clothes with lightweight and breathable fabrics for the heat and humidity and shoes that are comfortable and durable enough for being outside.
I snapped this photo of my outfit I wore before we left to visit a local state park. This Prana Foundation Tee and Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort kept me cool all day and the Chaco Sandals (similar pattern) were comfy walking all day. I also put my hair in a ponytail when we arrived at the state park to stay cool.
Prana Foundation Tee in “azurite heather”
Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort in “forge grey”
Chaco Sandals (similar pattern)
Elisa Necklace in “abalone shell”
Ellie Gold Filigree Earrings
Shop Your Closet First
To start off creating my outdoors capsule wardrobe, I first shopped my closet. I had a few items that could be included in my capsule, mostly shoes, and also a pair of denim shorts and a camo tee. We will be doing light activities, but we’ll be in the heat, so I need mostly breathable clothes and shoes for my capsule.
Madewell Frayed Hem Denim Shorts (this year’s style is a bit shorter) – I absolutely love wearing these denim shorts. They are in my Summer capsule wardrobe and since they are a denim fabric, they will be rugged enough. My exact denim shorts are sold out, but here is a similar Kut From The Kloth Denim Shorts and Old Navy Distressed Denim Shorts, both with a frayed hem.
Camo Tee (similar) – What would an outdoors capsule be without a camo t-shirt, LOL! My exact camo tee is from 2 years ago from my Fall 2018 capsule. Here is a similar Amaryllis Apparel Camo Tee and Target Camo Tee.
Chaco Sandals (similar pattern) – These were my daughter’s first chacos when she wore a size 9. When her foot grew to a size 10, she gave these to me to wear. I pulled them out of my closet and wore them on our last hike in a local state park and loved them. When I was at our local outdoors store I tried on a pair with the XCloud footbed and they were so comfortable. Plus, mine have white paint on them, so I’m not sure if I will include them in my capsule. Here is a pair similar to mine with the gray color footbed, but different pattern.
Birkenstock Granada Sandals – I love these sandals and sometimes wear them on Sundays when I change to comfortable clothes after church. I included them in my Summer 2019 Capsule. I have the “tobacco” color.
Skechers Sneakers (similar pattern) – I bought these from a Skechers Outlet and have worn them a few times hiking and they are SO COMFY!
Shop For Your Capsule Wardrobe
I went to a local outdoors shop and found brands such as Patagonia, Prana and Kuhl. They are sustainable/ethical brands, which is a plus! I bought a few basic bottoms in neutral colors so they would coordinate with other pieces in the capsule…
For size reference: I am 5’9″, about 160 lbs and wear a size 9 in shoes. I typically wear a size Medium or Large in tops, depending on the brand and style. My normal size in bottoms is a size 10 or Large.
Patagonia Happy Hike Shorts in “ink black” – This was the first item I tried on and wow they fit great! I bought a size Large.
Patagonia Quandary Shorts 7″ in “shale” – Here are the 5″ Quandary Shorts in more sizes to choose from.
Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort in “forge grey” (same style, different colors) – OMG when I tried this skort on, I immediately loved it! It was just the right length, not tight and the loved the color. Since it is a “skort”, it is a pair of shorts built in underneath the skirt! I think the forge grey may be sold out, but it is available in “drifter grey” and “pumice” colors. I also like this Columbia Skort, which is also budget-friendly!
Kuhl Trekr Shorts in “stone” – These shorts are a khaki color, which will coordinate well with almost any color top.
Prana Foundation Tee in “azurite heather” – I wore this tee this past weekend with my Patagonia Tech Fishing Skort when we visited a local state park and did a short walk on the nature trail (see my outfit above).
Under Armour Sackpack – I also bought this sackpack to bring with us on short hikes for our drinks, snacks, cell phone, bug spray and sunscreen. I really like this one, since it has several outside pockets and clips on the outside to store your belongings.
I’m waiting on 2 online orders to arrive which are more pieces for my outdoors/camping capsule wardrobe. The full blog post with everything in my capsule is coming soon to the blog!
If you spend time outdoors or go camping in the Summer,
what are your favorite clothes and shoes to wear?
What are a few essentials you carry with you on your trips?
This was the featured Bible verse in our church service this past week…”Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1
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Great post, I’m waiting for an update about full camping wardrobe.
For me, the most important in camping clothes is durability and comfort. My essentials would be a shoes and a hat.
Really enjoyed this vacation post! Glad you included park and bike info, camper specs, as well as camping clothes. Very helpful! We are new to the south and Mae appreciate the inside scoop on local vacation places.
How wonderful it is to enjoy the beauty of our planet❤️
I am so glad you are doing this capsule! We spend SO much of summer adventuring and, even with the pandemic, have taken some lovely trips in the beautiful mountains!
I would be looking for a wardrobe I can layer, in interesting colors, that is packable, breathable, and functional. Our nights in Idaho are much colder than the days, so I need a warm, lightweight jacket. I am excited to see the capsule:)
Really want to hear about the bikes & would love to see a review of them. How did you decide which one to buy?
I love the on the fly lululemon shorts and rubber Birkenstock’s for outdoor activities.
Lately I’ve been “Glamping“. There is a resort near where I live that has individual cabins. I check myself in for two nights. I pack a mini bar (including champagne) in a beautiful basket and just enjoy sitting on the porch and being outdoors. Because the restaurant of this bed-and-breakfast is closed, a beautiful breakfast and afternoon tea are served as room service. It’s a very safe and respectful environment.
I pull things from my summer capsule wardrobe that have a bohemian flair.
-Johnny Was Maxi Dress Teal embroidered
-Johnny Was Kimono
-Floral shorts (2019 Summer Essentials)
-Coral top (2019 Summer Essentials)
-White tee (2019 Summer Essentials)
-White pants (2019 Summer Essentials)
-brown leather sandles
-Keds slip ons
I’m so excited to see your outdoor capsule! Keen Newport sandals are a must have for any outdoor adventure. Comfortable enough to walk in, sturdy enough to hike in, closed toe for extra protection, and waterproof for swimming, fishing, crossing streams, or getting caught in the rain.
So excited for you and your family to join the camping world! Can’t wait to see the next outdoor wardrobe post. We are huge campers and there are so many campgrounds within just a few hours drive for you. Desoto has been one of our favorites for over 10 years.
I love my Merino Women’s MIA Short Steve V Neck T-shirt. Light weight and can used as a base layer for those chilly mornings. Also have a 1/4 zip long Sleeve for cold days when long sleeves are needed. Compact for easy packing also.
A few of my faves for camping:
-Columbia Omni Freeze Dress (use as cover-up- it dries fast)
-Keens (chaos are cuter but don’t protect my toes from rocks)
-Solomon Speedcross 5 Trailrunners (great for either hiking or running
-Patagonia Better Sweater Vest (layers are necessary)
-Columbia Black Fleece Vest/Jacket
-Patagonia Women’s Fitz Roy Bear Layback Trucker Hat
-Old Navy Active Dolphin Shorts (they dry quick & have great hem lengths)
-black leggings- all lengths
-Slides (Birkenstock’s, Crocs, Adidas, Nike, etc you can slip on quick with socks to make potty runs
Leanne, I would LOVE a summer outdoors capsule! Or really just a mini capsule like you did with loungewear when covid lockdown first began. Enjoy your new camper and time with your husband!
I loved this post. This is my mode right now too. I bought Athleta Textured Brooklyn Joggers. They are awesome and I highly recommend plus they come in reg, y’all, and petite. Also their organic tees are great.
Enjoy your camping with your husband.
Hi Leanne – this capsule wardrobe is a GREAT idea! Pretty please include fall clothes too.
I am in the process of “convincing” my hubby we should invest in a small camper. Did you consider a campervan? I’m wondering if that would be easier when doing trips with only a night or two in each place. How cumbersome is it to unhitch and set up your cute teardrop camper? Does it have a shower and toilet?
We miss seeing the kids and grands and I thought this would be the perfect way to see them AND to have a few trips travelling within the US as we won’t be able to travel overseas for a while.
I highly suggest that you should try out some wool tops, like Woolx, for travel. They don’t stink for days and wick moisture. I will be trying to switch out most of my travel capsule wardrobe to their clothes!
I am in Grand Teton National Park right now! I am new to the national parks but lovng them. I am very much a pear and love Duluth Trading co for pants. The Dry on the Fly style fits so great in all leg styles. The Namastash pants are stretchy with lots of pockets. My Topo trail running shoes are so supportive and comfy. Being dressed well has allowed me to do 8 hour hikes feeling so confident and not tugging on my clothes or getting chaffed. Can’t wait for more of your recommendations.
We didn’t consider a campervan since we wanted to unhook the camper at the campsite and be able to sightsee in our jeep. Our camper has a shower and toilet in the same area. We pick up our camper tomorrow and are super excited!
Oh how exciting to be in Grand Teton National Park! I hope you have a fabulous time there! I’ll be creating a Fall outdoors/camping capsule wardrobe, so I will look into those pants.
Thank you for the wool top suggestion Kristen!
I agree, Athleta is a great brand Kelly. I’ll check those joggers out and their organic tees!
I’m waiting on my “Happy Camper” tee in my Amazon order to come in, then I will publish a try-on session blog post with all the pieces of my outdoors/camping capsule wardrobe.
Those are great recommendations Jenny, thank you! I’m going to check those out!
Thank you Ann for recommending that t-shirt!
I’ll be publishing a try-on session blog post in a few days featuring the outdoor clothing brands. We went on a hike in Desoto State Park about a month ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! It had been years since both my husband and I had been there. We also like to go to Cheaha State Park and plan on going camping there too.
Thank you for recommending the Keen Newport sandals! My husband just bought 2 pairs of Keen sandals this past weekend, one being the Newport for men, and he loves them.
Your “glamping” getaway sounds wonderful! Nothing like relaxing outdoors, especially with champagne! Thank you for sharing your favorite items from your capsule.
Thank you for sharing your favorites Megan!
My husband and I actually found out about the electric bikes at our local outdoors shop. They have a bike shop and had a Townie electric bike there which we tried out. My husband instantly knew that was the bike he wanted. He had knee surgery several years ago so the electric assist helps him out. I bought one too, in a different color, to keep up with him, ha!
Yes, I agree, the outdoors is beautiful and being outdoors is so refreshing Ann! The outdoors capsule I’m creating is just that, has a few interesting colors and is easy to wear, plus is also easy to add a jacket or light cardigan on cool nights.
Thank you Mary! Also check out travel pins on Pinterest. There are bloggers who share their blog posts on Pinterest about their travels.
Thank you Gabriela! Yes, I agree, comfortable shoes and a good hat to shield the sun are great essentials.
I’m so excited for you! I wish you safe & fun adventures. Please keep us posted on your travels.
What a brilliant idea, I’m always outdoors with my dogs so this would be great for me. Thinking outside the box. Well done. Xxx
An outdoor/camping capsule is an amazing idea!!! Can’t wait to see what you pull together. I’d love similar capsule for fall.
The outdoor capsule is a great idea! Can’t wait to see it.
So glad you got to go on a trip. Sounds so fun!
Your trip sounds so great. I hope you will love your camper as much as we do. The outdoor capsule is a great idea! Can’t wait to see it.
When camping, I always wear closed toed waterproof shoes, a t-shirt, and a pair of quick dry skorts in case we decide to wade or swim. It’s 105 right now! I always bring a cotton dress and flip flops to put on after my shower. Cool and comfortable.
Wow I’m so jealous! (And excited for you). I hope you will do some travel posts of your adventures and favorite places.
For outdoor wear, I find I’m pretty flexible with tops and can find many things that work but I’m more picky for my bottoms. For me the two main requirements for bottoms are stretch and “quick-dry” (for summer). I have had good luck with shorts from Eddie Bauer and pants from Kuhl and Athleta. I LOVE my Athleta pants for travel (except the heat of summer) because they’re so versatile. I can hike in them, wear them to a nice dinner and even easily layer long underwear under them in cold weather. I do prefer long sleeve lightweight tops for extra SPF and I think they’re cooler. And love my Teva Universals. Happy Travels!
I really want to check out the e-bikes…and we are campers for sure!! The only way to travel right now in my opinion!! Love your blog! Keep it up! 🙂
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