There is no excuse for not wearing good clothes OR footwear!

It is important that you stay dry and warm in all circumstances. Clothing that is not waterproof and/or dries slowly is not only inconvenient but also dangerous.

Since Survival can often involve a campfire and walking through shrubs and plants, you also want sturdy pants and a jacket that can take a beating. We, therefore, should not and do not compromise on the quality of our clothing It just has to be good, for a fair price i.e. right price-quality ratio (“value-for-money”).

* Bushcraft is the usage and practice of skills, acquiring and developing knowledge and understanding, in order to survive and thrive in the natural environment. … Often the phrases “wilderness skills” or “woodcraft” are used as they describe skills used all over the world.

The difference between Bushcraft and Camping is that Bushcraft is the harder of the two and requires more survival skills than camping. Camping is a luxurious activity whereas Bushcraft is to mimic survival situations and put your survival skills to the test. Being able to adapt to abnormal environmental conditions e.g. bad weather by wearing appropriate clothing and footwear is part of that test *.


With good survival skills, one can live indefinitely in forests. However, you will always need suitable clothing to accompany you and protect you.

Also, when you are in the forest or in a survival situation, making your own clothes is not easy. You can of course do like the Cro-Magnon men and Wear animal skins and leather moccasins : 

But it’s not really practical nor will it be regarded as acceptable, at least for the time being ! Even if these ‘clothes’ are effective and keep you warm (or cool), I think we would all prefer to wear modern and efficient clothes (and footwear). That being said, you still have to choose them correctly and that’s what we’ll aim to advise in this section.

Perhaps because of the urgency factor as well as the fact that clothing and footwear don’t rank high in the ‘essentials of survival’ league, Survival clothes are sometimes even forgotten in Bug Out Bags despite the fact that it is a very important consideration to be taken into account. For example :

The obvious problem is we do not know when a crisis can arise and therefore you may not have the opportunity and the time to get your clothes ready or even change. Imagine having to survive in work clothes …. horrible feeling !

Clothing protect us from rain, sun and wind. They also help to conserve body heat. In the rule of 3, it says that one can survive only 3 hours without shelter . In my opinion, clothes can be included in the term “shelter” but not on this website !

Even if you know how to build a superb shelter , if your clothes are not suitable for the situation, you are going to have serious difficulties.


Here we will predominantly concern ourselves with the requirements for cold (and worse) weather conditions.

However, the most important general rule to obey is to take into account is your environment or ‘potential’ enviroment. If you are in the middle of the desert you will surely not need gloves or big down jackets. 

You have to adapt your equipment AND clothing to the weather conditions. Each survival situation requires different clothing that will meet all of your needs.

If you are in a rainy region where it is often also cold, prepare yourself accordingly . You can bring several pairs of thick socks and a windbreaker. It’s exactly the same for winter or summer – Your Bug Out Bag should change depending on the season at the time.

Good clothing is also clothing that protects you. Personally, even if it’s too hot, I would prefer long pants than shorts if were in a forest. Because the shorts do not protect against insect bites or small cuts from brambles / twigs found in the woods.

When you are in a survival situation protecting your skin from external ‘attacks’ is important. Whether it is the legs as we have seen, the ankles, the face or even the forearms … stay covered!


When it is cold, and it has rained, it is essential to protect yourself against humidity and its consequences. That’s why you need clothes that are resistant to humidity. They will allow you to stay warm during the winter and not to risk hypothermia.

Obtaining clothes with materials, fabrics which are not subjected to humidity will allow you to avoid fever, cough, cold etc… Anything that can weaken your body’s immune system as well as weaken your morale.

A common error is wearing cotton clothing :  whether it’s raining or you are sweating, cotton is a real sponge. It will absorb moisture and your sweat if it comes in contact with your skin, affects body temperature. In addition, cotton dries very slowly . You don’t even have to think that it will dry out whilst you wear it because you will sweat and the cotton will absorb your sweat. 

So you will have to hang it out on a paracord clothesline and waste time drying it. In survival, every minute is precious.


Leaving the least amount of skin in contact with the outside is already a very good precaution to avoid insect bites. Even if most insects in the forest cannot afford to kill you, the effects of their bite can still bother you. Furthermore, in a survival situation a small wound can quickly get worse. Here the key phrase is: ”  Prevention is better than cure” .

Nowadays there are even mosquito repellent clothes to prevent bites. Even though these clothes are popular for tropical climates, we can still take them in our survival bag ( i.e. BOB ). These clothes usually have long sleeves made of special fabrics.


In survival there is no room (or very little) for aesthetics (beauty). Costumes or other such frills and fancy gadgets don’t belong in your survival bag. The only exception that can be made to this rule is jewelry. If you have precious metal jewelry (silver and gold for example) it may be worth bringing them with you. They can serve as currency of exchange and as a store of value.

So don’t overload yourself with clothes or accessories that you will never need in a survival situation. Your perfume, necklaces and curb chains that have no monetary value stay at home.

Every item of clothing you put in your Bug Out Bag should be 100% comfortable for you. Avoid clothes that are too tight or too loose, which may get in the way of your duties as a survivor.

Every unnecessary item of clothing you don’t put in your bag is weight saved. And so if you have to walk long distances, you also save a lot of energy. You can also use the extra volume gained to put in additional/extra articles more useful for your survival.


Natural disasters don’t just happen in summer or winter. They arise when you least expect them. That’s why you always have to have everything you need in your Bug Out Bag .

In all cases, you must include clothes for winter and for summer in your bag. The first reason is that by doing this you will be ready at all times. The second reason is that a crisis can last for years . So you will have to survive several summers and winters.

We are not going to lie to each other if you live in Europe the cold is a much greater danger than the heat. So I think it’s still better to focus on warm clothes .

A perfect garment is a garment that adapts to time. Also, it is viable not only when it is cold but also in high heat.



Having several layers of clothing in synergy will allow you to face any type of climate. The good layering of your layers of clothing will provide good insulation and you will be protected as much as possible from the elements.

If you took the time to make a smart and thoughtful outfit you will be able to face all climates with the same outfit even in countries, regions where temperatures can vary a lot during the entire day.

In a perfect and well thought-out outfit, each layer has its uses and meets a specific need. A good hold will also allow you to remove layers easily when they are not required. In practice, the three-layer system is mainly used for the upper body

The first is the inner layer the one that is directly in contact with your skin. This layer should help you regulate humidity . This layer will keep you dry.

Then the second layer which is just above the first. Its purpose is to conserve your body heat as much as possible to avoid all the risks of hypothermia. The intermediate layer provides the right amount of insulation and must be able to transmit perspiration moisture to the outside. Depending on your activity and the weather conditions, a thicker or thinner intermediate layer of materials such as polyester, wool or fleece is of course used.

Then comes the outer layer. It will have to protect you from the elements  whilst at the same time your perspiration is transported to the outside. This protection can just as easily be rain or wind as it can be rays of sunshine.

On a final matter, to regulate your insulation or your cooling as and when required, you can use a cap, a thin hat, a thick hat and a hood of various types. Heat loss through the head also falls outside the system of the three layers, while the head is an important heat regulator.

Now, let’s illustrate what we have just described with an excellent infograph from epik :


For survival clothing there are recommended materials and others to avoid such as canvas which tears easily for example. I admit that I am not an expert in the field of textiles. But by doing my research I was able to find some materials that do the trick for survival clothing.

Note that many clothes are now made of several fabrics / materials and that makes them very good survival clothes.


Nylon is an excellent fabric that does not absorb moisture and dries very quickly. This fabric is very resistant but still retains a certain flexibility. Nylon is generally used for sportswear, socks or even tights for women. So it’s ideal for damp and cold areas as this fabric retains heat as well.

You still have to be careful because nylon cannot withstand fire. So when you light your campfire , be careful not to bring your nylon clothing too close to the flames.


Polyester is a material derived from a chemical reaction involving petroleum, air, and water.

It is a hydrophobic fabric so repels water / does not absorb water even in large quantities. The small flaw of polyester fibre is that it tends to get dirty quite quickly. But to counter this defect, is its quality. This fabric has impressive elasticity properties and is wrinkle-resistant, so no ironing is necessary for polyester garments.


Wool is an excellent material against the cold because it keeps you warm and protects you from humidity. In winter, taking a woolen sweater is in my opinion – an obligation. Even when the wool gets wet, it still keeps you warm.


In this part I will tell you a little more about the clothes I would wear and recommend. If I go into the forest / woodlands, I like to wear comfortable clothes that keep me warm. Consequently, my choice is varied being made up of a wide range of clothing fabrics.


I am a big fan of sweaters. We can take them with us whatever the weather, whether it’s hot or cold. There are different types of sweater. The one with the zipper and the hooded sweater.

Sweaters with a zipper are interesting to be able to simply and quickly ventilate. But don’t forget that zippers can break . And in a survival situation it’s hard enough to replace the zipper on your sweater. So I have some reservations about this type of sweater.

So I leaned over the hoodie. We don’t have the zipper problem and we even have a hood that can protect us from the elements . Make them wide enough to maintain a good range of motion.

The downside of the hoodie are its pockets . Indeed, generally there are no closures, it is open pockets. In addition, the pockets are small so you can not put much inside. Care ! with the pockets open, you can easily lose important items e.g.keys without realizing it straight away !


For the pants I prefer jeans because I find them solid, resistant and quite comfortable to wear. Also consider the cargo pants . It’s a mix between jeans and chinos. It is very comfortable to wear (more than jeans) and above all there are several pockets.

Pockets can be closed (unlike jeans). This is a definite advantage , so that you don’t inadvertently drop equipment or resources that could save your life.

I don’t have a particular model to present to you. But I recommend military style cargo pants – they make great survival pants!

At the moment cargo pants are in fashion. But I find most models that are “trendy” too tight , tight. You still have to take it wide enough so as to not limit your movements.


I like to take a jacket, whether thick or light, in my survival bag. It can be a layer that protects you from the elements as well as a layer that will keep you warm.

The big advantage of the jacket is the large number of pockets it has. This allows you to carry small tools or fuel like tinder or pine resin .

Personally, I have a thick padded jacket to keep me warm during the winter. The jacket is cotton with a polyester lining. So two interesting fabrics as we have seen. It has 4 pockets, the only downside is that the pockets are closed with buttons. And like zippers, it can be fragile and difficult to replace.

Otherwise, as a light suit, I have a Result jacket and I’m really happy with it. It looks like what guys have on construction sites. There are several large pockets which are really the best for storing tools. In addition, the price is really interesting. See the price .


A compulsory layer for our survivalist outfit. The windbreaker protects you from all kinds of bad weather. What I like about the windbreaker is that it doesn’t make you warm like a wool sweater. You can even wear it when you’re working out without having to sweat .

In addition, the windbreaker is a light and thin garment that will not take up much space and will not weigh down your Bug Out Bag. It is for me a must have for survival outfit.


So I have a great affinity with this garment. What I love when I choose an item of equipment or clothing is that it is versatile

The poncho will protect you from heavy rain. It’s wide and flexible enough to protect your backpack and personal items. You can also use it as a tarp for a survival shelter . In addition, the poncho does not really take up space, we could even put it in a survival kit .

For the ponchos you have a lot of choices.  A popular model is the Azeekoom poncho : it is solid, practical and it was intended to be used in the construction of a survival shelter. In terms of price, it’s really affordable.


Gloves are important to protect your hands from cold or injury. Here for survival we can not take mittens or gloves that are too thick, which will reduce your ability to manipulate objects. Best to look for thin gloves that grip well so that it’s possible to firmly grip equipment.

Seibertron gloves : There is the mitten option but I’m really not a fan of it for survival reasons. I much prefer the normal version.

SOCKS (Waterproof)

Dry socks are one of the most useful pieces of clothing that you may never have heard of. They are made of waterproof materials and can be worn like any other pair of socks. The difference is that these socks can keep your feet dry in the pouring rain or even when you are walking in a small stream.

Waterproof socks vary in materials, design, comfort level, and other aspects. It is therefore important to choose the right socks for your needs to keep your feet as dry as possible. This is another topic we discuss in our members section if you’re ready to buy a pair of waterproof socks – we can definitely help you find the perfect pair. Our buying guide will walk you through the essentials to consider such as :

(i) the advantages 

(ii) What types of waterproof socks can you find on today’s market?

(iii) actual recommendations.


Footwear (shoes and boots) play a major role in your survival. In the event of a disaster or crisis, you will surely have to move from one place to another AND, perhaps, quickly. Furthermore, you might not be lucky enough to be able to use your vehicle to get around.

In addition, you will surely have long distances to cover if you live in the city and need to reach the countryside. It’s during this kind of experience that we realize that our footwear e.g.the soles are not that comfortable after all.

This is why it is super important to choose shoes that suit your feet perfectly. Avoid anything that is too tight , it will make your feet swell and you will get blisters…a real ordeal.

As regards footwear, we have the choice between classic shoes oriented for hiking or military or tactical boots . Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The military boot will be heavier but also more resistant than hiking boots.

I have a preference for boots. When I walk in the forest I feel secure. I am not afraid that a stone or a sharp object will pierce my sole and hurt me. Miltec boots made of leather and with solid rubber soles have a good reputation for quality and durability. 

Needless to say, we discuss, explain and advise in a concise manner the topic of Survival Clothing and Footwear ( and accessories for face/eye/head/neck protection) in our membership course including appropiate…..

  • images
  • illustrations
  • references and explanations as to what to wear & not to wearPLUS
  • product/model reviews and recommendations.

Below you can read 2 excerpts from this membership content……




When the mercury column rises above 30 degrees, some people suffer from headaches, sweating, dizziness and insomnia. Nothing can be done against the heat. However, if you adapt to the high temperatures and deal with the situation correctly, you can alleviate the heat stress a little and avoid total breakdowns.

Hot and/or humid days call for ‘airy’ dressing – It’s important to allow air circulation to maintain a cool body temperature. If you are not bound by a dress code, put on a dress, skirt, short or long wide pants made of thin fabric and combine it with loose blouses or shirts. Avoid tight-fitting things as well as synthetic materials. When in doubt, long pants and long-sleeved shirts made of cotton or silk are better than skin-tight cycling shorts and body-hugging T-shirts. In addition, put on comfortable pair of shoes.

Generally speaking, fabrics for hot climates should maximize the flow of air through the clothing, allowing heat and moist air to escape.The fabrics should be breathable.

Fabrics that trap moisture tend to create unpleasant odors. Natural fibers are generally better at soaking up moisture from the skin and allowing it to evaporate from the outer surface.

Cotton is extremely comfortable and allows your body to breathe with ease. It absorbs excess sweat. Linen and other natural fibers also breathe and are good at absorbing moisture.

These fabrics tend to breathe more than synthetics such as polyester.

Bear in mind that just because a fabric is lightweight does not guarantee that it is breathable. After all, a trash bag is lightweight but not breathable !

The feet swell quickly in the heat. The wrong shoe size can quickly become torture. If you spend a lot of time outside, you should prefer light-colored clothing and don’t forget to wear a hat. Also, think about the right sunscreen cream for your skin type.

That being said, to conclude, here is the #1 ‘take home’ message from what we have discussed about this introductory topic about Survival Clothing :


Ice packs against the neck, under the arms, and in the groin area, where large blood vessels lie close to the skin surface, will help quickly cool down a victim of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

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