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  1. #1
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    Default Going bra-less at camp?

    Hi ladies, I'm trying to finalize my gear list and I'm torn about whether to bring one bra or two. I definitely want a comfy synthetic sports bra while hiking, and I definitely don't want to wear one while sleeping. But when I get to camp and take a quick baby wipe bath in my tent, I'll change into my camp clothes (wool base layer, top and bottom, plus puffy when it's cold) and I don't really want to keep on the sweaty sports bra until bedtime.

    What do y'all do while you're at camp? Do you carry a camp/town bra for the evenings, just wear your hiking one until bed, or go without?

    The obvious solution in terms of simplicity and weight would be to go without, but would that make you feel uncomfortable at camp? Ever had men be weird about it? When it's cold enough to wear the puffy, no one would be able to tell, but in the summer when it's just the long sleeve tee, I think I would feel self-conscious. When I section hiked for a couple weeks in summer of '16 I did both. My camp shirt was just a loose t-shirt, so I didn't feel like it was noticeable to go without, but I recently watched a couple female thru hiker vlogs and saw that a lot of guys had written really creepy comments about this on their videos. So now I'm second-guessing how okay it is.

    Thoughts?
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
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  2. #2

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    I’m always braless in camp and hike braless if solo and in a remote area. I also (nearly) always wear a cami so it’s not very noticeable. I’ve only encountered one person who didn’t stop staring at my chest.

    While in Damascus, I was sitting with a group of hikers when one of the females pulled her bra off from underneath her shirt to add to a laundry basket...no one cared..and I saw a braless hiker at a bar & grill in Hot Springs.

  3. #3
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    Burn it! The stories I could tell from life as a male knitter and spinner

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhutt View Post
    Burn it! The stories I could tell from life as a male knitter and spinner
    Amen!

    (I’m a knitter, spinner, and weaver...maybe that makes us free spirits).

  5. #5
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    Is it okay? It depends...

    My husband DEFINITELY notices. He's very shy and would rather talk to a tree than a woman, so he's not going to do anything to you. But he WILL see it. While he won't stare directly, if he can stare without being noticed, he will stare. Sometimes he's disgusting and creepy, or maybe he's just normal - depends on the point of view. Either way, it's reality. Men of all types exist, and they hike. A few of them could interpret your relaxed dress as some sort of invitation. On the other hand, some of them will talk inappropriately about your body regardless of what you wear or don't wear.

    Safety is important. Are you traveling alone? Are you physically able to defend yourself? Are your breasts large/prominent? Are you social, or keep to yourself?

    I personally don't go bra-less very often because I can't do so comfortably, although I wish I could. Taking that thing off at the end of the day is a relief. Putting it back on in the morning is one of my least favorite things.

    Freedom and all that stuff, yeah, do what you want, hike your own hike, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but please be careful.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by illabelle View Post
    Is it okay? It depends...

    My husband DEFINITELY notices. He's very shy and would rather talk to a tree than a woman, so he's not going to do anything to you. But he WILL see it. While he won't stare directly, if he can stare without being noticed, he will stare. Sometimes he's disgusting and creepy, or maybe he's just normal - depends on the point of view. Either way, it's reality. Men of all types exist, and they hike. A few of them could interpret your relaxed dress as some sort of invitation. On the other hand, some of them will talk inappropriately about your body regardless of what you wear or don't wear.

    Safety is important. Are you traveling alone? Are you physically able to defend yourself? Are your breasts large/prominent? Are you social, or keep to yourself?

    I personally don't go bra-less very often because I can't do so comfortably, although I wish I could. Taking that thing off at the end of the day is a relief. Putting it back on in the morning is one of my least favorite things.

    Freedom and all that stuff, yeah, do what you want, hike your own hike, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with it, but please be careful.
    Yes, unfortunately, you have to accept human nature and social mores and be appropriate about when and where you choose to go braless. Which is why I only hike braless when I’m certain no one is around, and usually have a jacket handy.

    However, hiking long-distance puts people in intimate circumstances and things like that aren’t a big deal, especially in camp.

  7. #7
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    I spend very little time AT CAMP and AWAKE at the same time. Mostly it's 1) arrive at camp 2) setup tent 3) eat 4) sleep. However, when I stop hiking for the day, if I'm at all damp and sweaty and it's below 75 degrees I will duck into the tent as soon as it's pitched to take off my bra and put on dry layers, usually two, because I get cold very quick when I'm done walking. If anyone notices, I don't know and so far, I haven't cared.

    On a slight tangent - a sports bra is the one piece of gear where I've never found anything that made me truly happy, mostly because of the above - I can't find anything that will dry quickly. I guess any kind of stretchy material just isn't made for it.

  8. #8
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    I keep a lightweight longsleeve button-up shirt (Columbia Silver Ridge) that I have for sun and/or bug protection. Dries practically instantly. It's large and loose enough so that I don't have to worry about being bra-less in camp.
    fortis fortuna adjuvat

  9. #9
    Registered User Sandy of PA's Avatar
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    Only wear a sports bra in town or swimming as a top. I find that bra straps under pack straps chafe me, I am not big busted. I wear Camo hiking shirt to make lack of bra less noticeable. Therefore I carry one lightweight sport bra. 1.8 oz.

  10. #10

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    I used to take mine off when I changed into sleep clothes, now I don't bother and just sleep in it. But I have a super-comfortable light sports bra I barely notice so that makes a difference. When I do clean up and change into sleep clothes it's right before bed anyway so going braless wouldn't be noticable.

  11. #11

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    I only have one and it is the one I wear pretty much continuously even for sleep. Sometimes if I am sweating a lot I will take it off to dry out but it dries fast enough even with just a short amount of time with my hiking shirt off when I get to camp. I have never had a single instance where I wished I carried more sports bras and being a gram weenie there is no way I would carry an additional sports bra in any case


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  12. #12
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    I have two: one sports bra for hiking in and one light-weight cotton sports-type of bra (not confining - but loose fit - and COTTON) for camp/sleeping.

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the input! I can't hike comfortably without some kind of support, so burning the bra is not an option, but I'll probably stick with just one. xD I'll only plan to keep it on at camp if there's anyone giving me weird looks or comments about it. I am going solo, but along the edge of the Nobo bubble, so I'm pretty confident there will be enough good people around to keep the bad apples at bay.
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  14. #14

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    I wear loose camp clothes without a bra in camp. If I feel as if I need more cover I throw on my puffy.

  15. #15
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    Hi, Ladies. I fall squarely into the braless in camp contingent. I have never had any problems with unwanted attention. It's also much more pleasant to sleep "free." One small downside is putting on the clammy bra the next morning. But no worse than getting on the other gear, I guess. I am a big fan of the Hanes Jog Bra. It dries quickly and, for me at least, very comfortable while hiking with nice t-back design.

  16. #16
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    I always go bra-less at camp. You will be tired and preoccupied as should everyone else, no one will care. YOU will thank yourself when you are in your clean camp clothes at the end of night. Its like a nice warm hug at the end of the day. However it does really blow putting dirty clothes back on in the morning. I also go with out undies at camp!! I carry 2 pairs and rinse them at camp hang to dry and rotate each day. This girl doesn't do dirty underpants!!!!

  17. #17
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    I judge what situation I'm in as to whether or not just to go braless. If we stay in a shelter with a lot of people in the summer, I will change out of one to put on the other. If we are alone or a little distance from others, then I have no problem waiting to put on my bra. I don't think I would be able to go braless while hiking though.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponypetter View Post
    I judge what situation I'm in as to whether or not just to go braless. If we stay in a shelter with a lot of people in the summer, I will change out of one to put on the other. If we are alone or a little distance from others, then I have no problem waiting to put on my bra. I don't think I would be able to go braless while hiking though.
    Yes, most grown women don’t need to be told to be aware, watch their back, and make wise choices...including when and when not to wear a bra.

    If you have an opportunity to hike when there’s no one around, you should try going braless so you can judge for yourself what it’s like. It is amazingly comfortable. Keep a jacket handy and you can quickly put it on backwards while wearing your pack if you encounter people and aren’t comfortable.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    "I'm pretty confident there will be enough good people around to keep the bad apples at bay."

    Yes we watch out for each other as a trail community. Bad actors still exist though. But, good personal judgement and awareness are still of a higher priority. You're a traveler. You know. Don't let that awareness and good judgement default completely to others.

    Have a great journey.
    Caution is my default setting, and I'm hardly about to abandon it just because there are other people around to save me like noble white knights. That's not what I meant when I said I was confident that the presence of good people would keep the bad apples at bay. I don't intend to pass off the burden of my safety to anyone else. Of course I will still use common sense and be careful. As Traffic Jam said, these are things most women don't need to be told.

    Instead, I was simply stating my bare minimum of faith in humanity, the belief that a bystander would intervene in a harassment situation. (Or more so, that even bad apples have enough conscience to be less bad when there are witnesses around.) Is expecting basic decency from my fellow hikers really neglecting my responsibility to use good judgement?


    Frankly though, it's a bit frustrating to be told in one thread that I need to be discreet about my bra, but then in other threads be told I'm being silly for considering pepper spray for self defense. I mean, if something as trivial as the vague silhouette of my breast through some fabric might incite bad behavior from a rare bad apple, doesn't it follow that a means of self-defense is a good idea to carry? I mean, if that's all it takes to cause that bad apple to do something inappropriate, we must already be treading a veeeerrrrry thin line.

    Not trying to be argumentative, just venting about the hypocrisy that I've observed while doing research for my thru. It's even worse in the facebook groups. @Dogwood, I think the intent of your advice was well-meaning and sound ("Even though hikers look out for each other, don't throw caution to the wind"), but it was a bit patronizing, and when juxtaposed with all the advice I was given about the pepper spray, it was just a perfect example of the contradictory things hikers (especially women, but not exclusively women) get told when looking for advice. Granted, that's the nature of the internet, so maybe I'm overreacting and my frustration is just a sign I need to stop reading my computer screen and start hiking! (Two weeks away now! )
    A.T. 2018 Thru-hike Hopeful
    Follow along at www.tefltrekker.com

  20. #20
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    When I did an AT section/ Long Trail Through Hike and I saw several male thru-hikers turn around and powder their balls while I was standing right there, in the shelter with me. If men can do that, you can go without a bra around camp if you choose.

    I would occasionally go bra-less around camp, usually wearing a sweat shirt but not always. No one cared.

    I carried pepper spray on my section and I bring it every time I hike alone. People on this forum told me not to, but I still brought it. People can be very opinionated, but when you get out there you'll find there's a lot of different people doing this in different ways. Personally I was glad I brought it.

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