Summer Camp Packing List and Tips

Before sending your kids off to camp use this basic Summer Camp Packing List to avoid forgetting any of the essentials.

Summer Camp Packing List for a week

I have been sending kids off to camp for 24 years and there have been many times something has been forgotten at home or lost at camp. Here are my best ideas for starting the camping trip out right:

  • Go over the list about a week in advance so you have plenty of time to gather all the supplies. Contact the camp or leaders for any special item requirements. Make sure you have all paperwork completed and signed.
  • Roll clothing and towels to save on space in the duffel bag. Pack extra socks, underwear and sun screen (they will probably all be used). Use a ziploc bag to hold any personal items that could spill on the clothing.
  • Send clothing and items that you don’t mind getting lost. It will probably happen! In the last couple of years we have lost 2 sleeping bags, 1 sleeping pad, 1 whole backpack full of supplies, a hat, and numerous clothing items. Plus we’ve had a broken tent.
  • Leave the electronics and other technology at home. They don’t need a phone and probably can’t get signal anyway. It’s just a distraction from all the fun activities.
  • Label everything. Label your kids clothing and other personal items with a sharpie marker or label maker. Things are going to get lost but this might help a few more items return home.
  • Make sure to have medications, glasses, retainer, contact lenses in the right containers and kept in a safe, convenient place at camp. Notify the directors of when prescription medication needs to be taken.

Basic Summer Camp Packing List


Duffle bag
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad
Extra blanket
Camp chair
Camp shirts
Thin long sleeve shirt
Swimsuits/Rash guard
Sleeping clothes
Water shoes
Poncho/Rain gear
Personal Items
Water bottle/Canteen
Pocket knife
Toiletries (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, comb)
Suncreen (over 15 spf)
Lip balm
Insect repellent
Personal first aid kit
Personal medication
Sunglasses/Eyeglass case
Contact lenses/Cleaning solution
Ponytail holders
Feminine products (female)
Ziploc bags
Money for commissary

By preparing ahead of time your child and yourself will have a relaxed and enjoyable time preparing and leaving for camp.

Pin for later:

Summer Packing List pinterest

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