Summer camp is just around the corner and it's time to start packing! But with so many activities and potential weather conditions to consider, it can be overwhelming to figure out all the different gear you ought to pack for your camper. Don't worry—at Everything Summer Camp, this is our time to shine! We've got you covered with this comprehensive guide on what to pack for your child’s summer adventure.
Clothing is an obvious starting point. Make sure to consider athletic apparel for specific activities in which your camper will be participating. Also include casual clothes for daytime and comfortable clothing for the night that will be appropriate for the climate of your camp.
Most camps provide a packing list that include a count for shirts, shorts, pants, and hoodies, but it's important to pack enough for the duration of your stay. Consider packing 1.5 times the number of days between laundry services to ensure you have enough clean clothes.
Socks & Underwear
Remember to pack extra socks, underwear, and bras as well since campers can go through more than one pair in a day, especially if they go swimming. Bring socks for hiking too! Merino wool socks are naturally antibacterial, resist odor, and wick moisture away. Kids at camp just might grab the SAME pair of socks from yesterday, but socks from Smartwool don’t need to be washed after each use.
When it comes to less everyday clothing, you'll want to bring a waterproof raincoat or hooded poncho for those sudden summer showers. And if you plan on spending time in the water, quick-drying swimwear is a must. Bathrobes are also a more comfortable option than a wrapped towel when walking back from the bathhouse.
Be sure to think of any of the necessary items for any of the activities your camper is looking forward to. This may mean a fishing pole and tackle box or it could be a musical instrument. Here are the top three general must-haves
Laundry bags are not always required by summer camps, but they are certainly helpful. It's best to purchase one that is roomy enough to accommodate a week's worth of clothes and features a drawstring closure so odors don’t escape. Labeling the bag with your camper's name is essential, just like everything else. If feasible, try to wash the laundry bag along with the rest of your camper's clothes on laundry day for optimal cleanliness.
Pack a reliable source that can handle the rigors of camp life. A durable and bright LED flashlight with a minimum of 25 lumens is a must-have for any camper. Be sure to pack extra alkaline batteries just in case. For those who prefer hands-free lighting, a headlamp is a great option. Just make sure it's bright enough to light the way on a moonless night.
A sturdy and reliable water bottle is a must for your camper’s hydration at camp. Look for bottles made from durable, BPA-free plastic or stainless steel that can be completely sealed when the top is screwed on. Avoid big plastic cups with built-in straws, as they tend to leak and spill, making them unsuitable for outdoor activities like hiking. A high-quality water bottle should be able to withstand any successive drops and rolls.
Your child will likely be participating in activities at camp like hiking, horseback riding, swimming, and more. Having the appropriate footwear can help prevent injuries and ensure that your child is comfortable throughout their activities. Proper footwear can make all the difference in your child's summer camp experience, so take the time to make sure they have what they need.
Make sure to pack proper tennis shoes for your camper’s camp activities as well. We have excellent footwear that offer great functionality for sports performance while also bringing comfort and style.
Sandals are iconic for summertime! Hiking or playing sports in a pair of rubber or cork sandals can lead to crushed toes, broken toenails, and twisted ankles. But at Everything Summer Camp, we offer closed-toe, protective sandals with high traction to meet the needs for safety on summer camp terrain. A pair of quick-drying shower shoes for shower cleanliness and easy traction around the poolside is a smart purchase as well.
Summer fun is full of bugs, sun, sweat, and splashing it up in a pool or lake. Keep the elements out of your eyes and face with some helpful headgear. We have a plethora of accessories and options.
Bandanas, Headbands, and Hats
These pieces are helpful to keep hair and sweat out of your face. Not to mention, hats offer the advantage of keeping ticks off your head.
The summer sun is blindingly beautiful—make sure your camper is equipped to properly shield their eyes with a cool pair of sunglasses! A good pair blocks 100% of UV rays. The best are also polarized to reduce glare.
Goggles are useful during swim lessons—especially when you’re trying new skills that involve putting your face in the water or actually swimming underwater. If your camper is planning on spending a lot of time in the water, a good pair of swim goggles are absolutely essential to protect their eyes from pool chemicals, prevent irritation, and aid their vision.
Sound nights of sleep are especially important at camp. Your camp’s information packet should give you a good idea of what kind of bedding you need to bring whether it’s nothing at all (if the camp is supplying all the sheets, blankets, and pillows) or everything (if the camp supplies only a cot, bed, platform, or bare earth).
Bring a flat cotton sheet for those sweltering summer nights. Even if your camp says you only need a sleeping bag, a soft fitted sheet can make a plastic mattress cover much more comfortable. If the camp provides mattresses, a fitted sheet will make for a much more comfortable sleeping surface than a sleeping bag. Don't forget that many camp mattresses come in odd sizes, so be sure to check the measurements before you buy your bedding. With the right sheets, you can make your camper’s bed feel just like home!
You can add a layer of cushioning to your camper’s bunk with an inexpensive foam bedroll. We offer an egg-crate mattress pad made of memory foam. It’s also a good idea to bring some pillows. Even if the camp supplies pillows, you still may want to bring your own. Remember to pack at least two pillow cases so you can use one while the other is in the laundry!
When it comes to sleeping bags, comfort and warmth are the two key factors to consider. Firstly, make sure you choose a bag that fits you well, so you're not tossing and turning all night. Secondly, think about the conditions you'll be camping in and choose a bag with an appropriate warmth rating. For most summer camps, a bag rated for arctic temperatures is not necessary and can be uncomfortable in hot and humid weather. However, if you plan on backpacking or camping in colder weather, it's best to consult with the camp or a gear expert to ensure you have the right bag for your needs.
Find the toiletries you need for summer camp here. We have toothbrush covers, travel cups, camp mirrors, first-aid kits and plenty more travel toiletries you may need for your adventures—perfect for kids going to summer camp, or anyone with plans to travel. Make sure to pack any medication your child will need during their time away as well!
We have an assortment of bath towels, beach towels, and washcloths. Find several different styles and materials to meet your needs for camp this summer. With different patterns and colors to choose from, we’re sure you’ll find something to help your camper feel more at home while they’re away at camp.
Here we have a bunch of small items. Grab them all right here and get them crossed off the list! Essentials for summer camp range from sun and bug protection to soap, nail clippers to deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste to lip balm, hair care and body wash products to shaving razors.
We know how important it is to keep all these smaller items in the same spot with one of our many toiletry bags! Find organizer kits, caddies, totes, and more all right here!
Of course, there’s lots of random stuff to remember to bring along as well. If your child wears glasses, for instance, it’s a good idea to include an eyeglass repair kit. Here are a few other good ideas to pack along.
Writing things down is an extremely useful means of cementing events as they come to pass. All of the people you meet, skills you learn, and things you do—it’s great to review all of those new experiences you’ve had in the form of written word in order to help process and reflect on what you’ve learned.
We have a lot of other fun items that you might consider taking along as well—depending on your interests. We have books for quiet time, classic games, playing cards, and so much more for your entertainment.
To ensure some correspondence from camp, many parents buy pre-stamped postcards or envelopes at the post office and address them ahead of time to home, grandparents, and important friends. We offer awesome stationery products your camper will love to use!
The final item to pack is your packing list itself! It’s a good idea to attach your packing list to the inside lid (if you have a camp trunk) or some visible spot in your container. Keeping your packing list around will make it easier to ensure that everything that went to camp is coming back.
One last note—don’t forget to include your child in the packing process! It’s important for kids to feel as though they have a certain amount of control throughout the different processes of camp prep! Be sure to involve them with packing so they know how to operate all the camp gear they’re bringing and know where everything is.
Help your camper get the most out of their summer camp experience by making sure their packed with all the right stuff. As always, thanks for reading. And, Happy Camping!