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Let's Pack for Camp: Summer Camp Essentials for Your Camper


Summer Camp season is upon us! We're counting down to when our oldest heads to camp, and we're all getting a bit anxious/excited. I remember my first summer camp experience, and I have a feeling that my son is feeling all the same emotions that I did. Lucky for him, my son has been to the camp he's heading to several times, and he fully knows what to expect from lodging and activity time to food.

While we've been to this particular camp for retreats many times as a family, this will be his first time going with a group of youth from church, without his parents. We want to make sure he is safe and comfortable, and above all, has a wonderful and faith-building experience with his peers.

Camp packing lists can be long- even obnoxious in some cases, so I have narrowed the list we received down to the top essentials for summer camp. 

Here's what we're packing for camp:

Toiletries: Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, DEODORANT, toothbrush, hairbrush, sunscreen, bug spray.

Shower Essentials: Towels (2- one for pool, one for shower), washcloth, shower shoes.

Footwear: A sneaker/water shoe (like these Chacos) that have good tread, and can get wet and dry quickly.

Quick-dry Clothing + Swimwear: Active clothing that dries quickly and wicks moisture. Comfortable, appropriate swimwear. It's also a good idea to bring a pair of sunglasses for sun protection.

Wet Bag: Camp suggests bringing trash bags for wet items. Ick, Do yourself a favor and send your kid to camp with a wet bag for their wet, smelly clothes and towels.

Our pick- Gearlight Headlamps (Set of 2)

Headlamp: A flashlight is always on a camp packing list, so make sure you pack one for your camper. My husband suggests a headlamp for hands-free lighting at the touch of a button.

Socks and Undies: Pack durable, comfortable undergarments for your camper. In fact, pack a couple of extra pairs of each item. Swampy underwear is not comfortable, and socks will get wet somehow during the day... they just will.

Pillow and Sleeping Bag: Bring sleeping gear that is easy to pack and carry. Academy Sports and Outdoor is a great place to shop for sleeping bags.

Pen, Notebook, Bible: If you're headed to a faith-based camp, you're gonna need your Bible. It's a good idea to bring a notebook and a pen, too.

Money: Not too much, though. Most camps have camp stores for campers to shop around in for trinkets and t-shirts.

Water Bottle: It's always good to have your own water bottle- wherever you go! We love Owala FreeSip water bottles for their style and functionality.

Don't bother bringing items such as:

Cell phones/Electronics

Weapons of any kind



Fancy clothing

Chances are, you have packing for camp down to a science. If not, hopefully, this packing list is helpful. We're so excited for B to head to camp and have an amazing time with his friends and youth pastor.

What would you add to this camp essentials list?

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