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Summer Camp Packing Checklist

We are approaching panic mode when it comes to creating a camp packing list for the summer. This is something to take your time with and make a list to work off of to ensure nothing is forgotten. These tips are really for sleepaway camp, but a lot of these items can be used for day camps, as well. I’ll fill you in on a list of items I’m packing for my kids, as well as some tips and necessities you might need to know!


Firstly, the most important thing to do is to email the camp director and find out necessities for a specific activity. For example: are sheets and towels provided? Are there any special items of clothing or costumes needed for camp activities? Do we need to pack a tent or outdoor sleeping items? What is the laundry service like? Essentially, these kind of things. Furthermore, it’s best to begin packing essential items and work your way down the list from there to prepare for your children’s summer camp adventures.


Below, I have listed 15 items that I think are necessities for overnight camp. When I say necessities, I mean the items they truly need, such as sunscreen sheets, towels, bug repellent, etc. Everyday items they cannot live without. And near the top of the list is a great reusable water bottle. I don’t want you to forget about that, especially because they are outside all day long! For example, maybe water shoes, a sweatshirt for cool evenings or an extra pair of shoes. It’s the little things we don’t want to forget. Subsequently, a lot of camps have a list of packing necessities on their websites, so look out for that!


Moreover, there are a lot of kids at camp and it wouldn’t be ideal if items got mixed up or lost. A way to prevent that is by labeling literally everything. That’s what I do! I will label clothes, undergarments, a small fan, anything with a surface has a label. Personally, I recommend Mabel’s Labels– they have such cute labels you can create and the prices are great! Camp Early Access prices have actually already begun, so a good amount of the items are 20% off! The labels will last in the washing machine and can get you some more free time because all that is needed is attaching, rather than writing on everything or making your own labels. This is at the top of the list for summer camp essentials!

Fun Stuff

Finally, we’re at the unnecessary items or as I like to call it: fun things! This is not something like an extra pair of socks, but rather, if your kid wants to pack items to decorate their bunk, that could be a blast! A pack of cards, mad libs or a disposable camera could be a great way to spend time with new friends during rest hour. Another great idea is stationary with pre-written addresses and stamps for your kids to spend time letter writing. Talk to your children and ask them what they would like to pack for a good time at their overnight summer camps.

I hope this helps you pack! And feel free to comment questions you have so we can all help each other out!

For more summer content, visit here!

Bedding is something that isn’t one of the more fun things we think about but it is essential! This set comes in a ton of colors and is breathable and lightweight for the hot summer.
These are great to keep personal belongings in! You can find these almost anywhere, but I thought this one was fun!
Towels for your kids to have throughout the day are important. These come in packs of two, are super cute and soft!
My girls love this Native x Baked By Melissa deodorant! Not only is the packaging super cute, but it smells amazing and there are a few other scents and hygiene products to choose from!
This is essential! They are outside all day every day and hydration is a must! I like this one because the size is great and it’s insulated so it will stay cold all day.
This is another product you have to have! They can put all of their bathroom supplies in it and it’s waterproof.
You never know when you’ll need a flashlight, so it’s always safe to be prepared! This one is waterproof!
A top 5 necessity, sunscreen is vital! Here’s a huge one that will last all summer and is sweat and water resistant!
I like that these are closed toes shoes my kids can run around in, but they can also double as water shoes! They’re so easy to clean, too!
Mosquitos are rampant in the summers. It’s hard enough to lather sunscreen on everyday, putting stinky bug spray on top of that can be annoying, which is why I love these bracelets. And they look cute with everything!
As cute as the personalized one’s are, they just get destroyed every summer. This is a great one and it’s a nice price.
Writing letters to family and friends is encouraged at camp! This is a super cute set and it’s best if you pre-write the addresses on them for your kids!
Always be prepared! When it rains, it pours and why not handle that in style?
Not only are these personal fans, but they are also misters! So you fill them with water and can spray for extra hydration and to cool down better in the heat. They come in packs of 2.
We have to get everything to camp, right?! These are fantastic bags that double as suitcases because there are wheels on the bottom. You can personalize it or keep it plain and there are so many colors and patterns to choose from!

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29 thoughts on “Summer Camp Packing Checklist”

  1. Summer trips can be so stressful! I only have 1 son and feel so overwhelmed with just getting his stuff in order.

  2. I used to go to Girl Scout camp every summer for 6 years and packing for 2 weeks is a fine art for sure. There is so much better stuff now to pack.

  3. This is a helpful list. My daughter has done summer camp in the past and I was always worried she’d forget something.

  4. These are all really great and very important items to pack before going on a Summer Camp! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  5. I always go with duffle bags. they are fantastic for summer camps and I love that you can personalize them

  6. Melanie Edjourian

    I completely agree with labeling everything. Kids have a tendency to lose things or get them mixed up easily.

  7. Rose Ann Sales

    This is such a really amazing post! These are all really amazing and great items to pack for a summer camp!

  8. Thank you for the list. It’s great to have a help like this when packing especially for those that go on a summer camp for the first time!

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