Prepper’s Guide to Protective Clothing as Shelter from Elements

clothing for preppers and outdoors

The types of clothing that you wear is essentially your first line of shelter. Long before you ever make shelter, what you have on you is what will protect you from the elements. 

The exact type of clothing and gear you choose will be wildly dependent on your area and personal preference. I would recommend that everyone take a very close look at their region, their everyday lives, the types of seasons and so son.

Knowing your environment will help determine what type of protective clothing will be the most helpful for you. Pay special attention to the type of fabric as some fabric may be better suited for certain seasons/areas. In addition, you may also want to carry at least one extra pair of clothing. In case it gets wet and you need to change into dry clothes, or in case something else unforeseeable happens; have at least one extra pair.

At the minimum, have some repair items such as a sewing kit, gorilla tape, paracord, glue, etc.

Here are some clothing ideas for preppers:

  1. Hat – beanie for the winter, full brimmed is best, but a ball cap at the very least
  2. Shemagh/Scarf/Bandana – either of these can be used to cover your neck, dip in water to cool you off, can be used as a makeshift roof, sling and much more
  3. Sunglasses – sun blindness is a thing, protect your eyes
  4. Goggles – good for high winds, dust clouds or winter cold
  5. Shirts – loose fitting, long sleeves are best year-round
  6. Pants – loose, long pants are usually best year-round, though I understand the appeal of yoga pants and shorts, this is up to your personal preference and area
  7. Jacket – wind breaker or another type of heavier jacket, hoodie or sweater; anything for additional protection and/or warmth
  8. Socks – merino wool is absolutely best year-round
  9. Rain coat/poncho – stay dry and can double as a quick shelter
  10. Gloves – winter gloves for colder months and general work gloves (leather is best) for dealing with nature and other tasks
  11. Boots – a good pair of shoes will go a long way to comfort and mobility 

Your next line of defense would be gear for additional protection:

  • Sunscreen (even during the winter)
  • Moleskin (though prevention is key, if you happen to get a blister, moleskin is a lifesaver)
  • Insect repellent 
  • Baby wipes
  • Lotion (especially in the dry desert!)
  • Chapstick
  • Umbrella (if this can be attached to a backpack, even better!)
  • Mosquito netting (large enough to fit over your face/neck)

These are the same items that I recommend for kids, as well. I make sure my kids not only have properly fitted shoes and good socks, but also that they wear a full brimmed hat and sunscreen when they’re outdoors, as well as the proper attire.

Everything is personal. If one person says they enjoy wearing cotton in the summer and you don’t agree with that, then keep doing what works best for you. Sometimes we all have to live and learn and figure out exactly what works best for us and our needs.

I would encourage you to try new things, though. I was a die hard cotton sock gal my whole life. One day I made the switch to merino wool and it changed my life. I haven’t worn cotton socks since.

Try new things and see what works best for you.

What else would you add to this list to help protect yourself from the elements?

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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