This post is part of the Backpacking Gear for Beginners course.
Why do you need camp shoes?
Camp shoes are lightweight shoes like Crocs or flipflops that you can wear around camp. Taking off hot, heavy hiking boots at camp and putting on fresh socks feels amazing and lets your feet air out and recover. The longer my hiking days, the more I want to take my boots off at the end of the day.
Camp shoes should be lightweight and comfortable, almost like slippers you can wear around camp.
They aren’t required for backpacking. If you’re spending lots of time in camp, it’s nice to have a break for your feet. But if you need to save some weight, skip these and just wear your boots around camp. I highly recommend giving your feet a break at camp though. It’s one of the tips in our Guide to Preventing Blisters.
Can you wear them with socks?
Flip flops don’t work well with socks if it’s cooler. Most crocs or water shoes can be worn with socks to keep your feet warm.
Go as light as you can with camp shoes. Just being in your pack, they will just be more weight to carry.
Keep an eye on the weather
If the weather is going to be hot and dry, something open like flip flops might be appropriate. If the weather is going to be wet and cooler, something covered and water resistant might be better.
Can you wear them for water crossings?
If there are water crossings on your trip, you might choose to wear your camp shoes to do that. Make sure you can dry them out before you get back to camp.