The Ultimate Packing List For Summer Camp

summer vacation dog in bag full of holiday items

summer vacation dog in bag full of holiday items

Preparing a packing list for when you send your child off to summer camp is an extremely important part of going to camp. For parents who are sending their child to summer camp for the first time, it can even be a little overwhelming. This is because the last thing a parent wants is to send their child to camp and worry about if they forgot to pack something important. Fortunately, preparing a packing list is a great way to give you peace of mind. The best way to organize your packing list is to break it up into six different sections including: headgear, clothing, bedding, footwear, toiletries, and miscellaneous items.


Headbands, bandannas, and hair ties are all good items to pack because they will keep your child’s hair and sweat out of their face. Hats should be packed because they will keep sun out of your child’s face as well as protect their skin from UV rays. Naturally, packing their prescription glasses or contact lenses is a given. Other headgear items include sunglasses, swimming goggles and headlamps for night time activities.


The clothing you should pack should include a jacket, jeans, sweatshirt, sweatpants, raincoat, a swim suit, t-shirts, tank tops, and underwear. Pack for comfort and the climate of the camp. Remember, camp can be a grungy place, so things that don’t show dirt/stains are a good choice.


You are going to want to read the information packet about the specific park in order to learn what kind of bedding items you should pack for your child. This could include a bedroll, blanket, mattress pad, pillows, pillow cases, sheets, and/or a sleeping bag. The packet from your camp should tell you what your child needs and what they do not need.


The footwear you pack may include boots, water shoes, crocs, sandals (or flip-flops) sneakers, and socks. Make sure you pack a few extra socks. It is better for your child to have too many than to run out.


It is important to make sure you pack plenty of towels as well as plenty of insect repellent. Other toiletry items include: baby powder, a comb (or brush) deodorant, feminine hygiene items, lip balm, shampoo, body wash, and lots of sunscreen. Check your camp checklist for recommendations.

Miscellaneous Items

Items that do not really fit in a category, but should also be packed for your child include books, magazines, a camera (disposable ones are the best option), a fishing pole, a flashlight with extra batteries, a laundry bag, playing cards, a water canteen, and writing paper (with envelopes and stamps). If your camp allows electronic devices like phones or digital cameras, be sure to pack the charging cable and maybe extra SD cards to save more pictures.

Most parents are a little overwhelmed by the number of items that they should pack for their child when they go away to summer camp. This leads them to wonder if they are packing too much. Generally, the camping information packet from your camp will make suggestions regarding what your child needs. However, it is always better for your child to have too much then for them to discover they need something that you did not pack.