What to Wear on the Napali Coast

Old School

There was a time in the mid 1980's when I would bring just a tank top and shorts when camping on the Napali Coast. A couple hundred feet after hitting the trail, I would carefully remove my clothing and put it in a zip-lock baggie, and I wouldn't open it again until I was almost back to the trailhead. This allowed me to hitchike from the Ke'e Beach end-of-the-road with clean clothing.

After I had spent about 2 years on Kauai, my blood thinned and I would submit to wearing clothing during the cool winter evenings... and finally even the days. Today it is fairly rare that anyone will go naked in the campground other than when swimming in the ocean or showering under the waterfall.


Most everyone brings way too much clothing to the Na Pali. For summer time I would suggest a couple of pairs of shorts and a couple of tops. A sarong is useful for many things when camping, doesn't weigh a lot and folds up small. If you end up staying longer than planned, you can always just do a little laundry.


In the winter, in addition to the shorts and shirts and sarong, I typically bring a light, long-sleeve shirt and some nylon long-underwear like skiers-wear. The evenings can get a little chilly in the rainy winter months, so if you tend to run cool, you might want to consider a cotton sweat-suit or even jeans and a light jacket. A light poncho is also nice in the rainy months.