If you’ve never sat in front of a bonfire with your friends or family, you don’t know what you’re missing. The warmth on your face, the mesmerizing flames, and the crackling of the fire are things you can’t describe unless you feel them. While bonfires are welcome in chilly fall weather, they’re also great on summer nights after the temperature drops. They’re even great at keeping pesky mosquitos away. If you have your first bonfire in your future, you might be wondering what to wear, as you want to make sure you are comfortable without being over- or underdressed. We’ve got you covered. Here’s our advice on what to wear to a summer bonfire, no matter where it is.
There are two types of beachside bonfire gatherings: more formal ones, where you’d probably want to wear sandals and a dress or khaki pants, and more casual ones, where you can pretty much wear your swimsuit and a T-shirt or beach cover-up. Whether it is daytime or nighttime will also make a difference.
During the daytime, if you’re worried about sun protection but still want to stay cool, a rash guard is great because it looks and acts as a very lightweight top. You can find them with long or short sleeves, and many have UV protection. Plus, they dry super quickly in case you end up going for a dip in the water. For nighttime, it’s a good idea to have a long-sleeved top or button-down shirt that you can keep wrapped around your waist in case any beachside breezes surprise you. Shorts or capris that won’t drag you down as you’re walking through the sand are good choices as well.
When you’re camping in the woods, you’ll want to be sure to cover your legs during a summer bonfire; otherwise, the bugs and mosquitos might consider you dinner. Jeans or lightweight cargo pants are great for this reason. You might also want to spray the outside of your pants with bug spray. In addition to the pants, a flannel shirt is great because you can roll up the sleeves and unbutton it if you get too warm. If you get too hot, you can always take it off and wrap it around your waist as long as you have a tank top or T-shirt underneath. Flannel is a durable fabric that can easily withstand any encounters with prickly branches and any wood you end up carrying to the fire, so it’s a good choice to wear on a camping trip.
When you have a bonfire in your own backyard, anything goes as far as your wardrobe is concerned. If you want to be comfortable and not too hot or cold, leggings are a great option. You can always roll them up from the ankle if you get too hot, and then roll them back down if you get too cold. In the absence of any neighbors who come over to join the fun, feel free to wear whatever your heart desires — you can even don your pajamas! You can always run back inside if you want to change. That’s the beauty of backyard bonfires.
Maybe you’re on a camping trip or trekking cross-country in an RV. What you wear to a bonfire when you’re on the go will pretty much be the same as what you would wear while camping, depending on the weather. After all, if you get too uncomfortable, you can always go back into the RV and change your clothes.
One of the most important things to have with you when you’re on the road is a bag of supplies for bonfires. It should include matches to light the fire, as well as blankets for you and your companions to cover up with in case it’s chilly or to sit on if you don’t have chairs. Of course, it’s also a great idea to include marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate as ingredients for s’mores. A sturdy canvas tote you can label “bonfire bag” is a fun way to do this, and even makes a great gift for any friends who go camping or RV-ing.
What you wear to a bonfire will likely depend on how formal it is and how chilly or warm the summer night is. One thing that’s certain, however, is that bonfires are a great excuse to put your phones down, disconnect from the screen for a bit, and enjoy each other’s company.