Summer Camp Packing List

What to bring to day camp and overnight camp

When it comes to going to camp, your kids need to bring it. That means you have to pack smart. Whether they’re off to day or overnight camp, stick to our packing list to make sure they’ve got everything they’ll need for summer fun. Click on a product for info about it.

Day Camp Packing List

✓ Backpack: A durable backpack with plenty of storage space, zippered compartments and an outside mesh water bottle pocket

✓ Swim gear: Waterproof sunscreen with a minimum 30 SPF, swimsuit, towel, goggles

✓ Clothes: Extra pair of shorts, T-shirt, socks and underwear, sneakers, flip flops, light jacket or sweatshirt, hat, raincoat or poncho

✓ Extras: Bug repellent, lip balm with SPF, hand sanitizer, reusable water bottle, tissues, sunglasses, plastic bags to store dirty or wet clothes, lunch and snack in a thermal tote bag if not provided by camp

Overnight Camp Packing List

✓ Trunk: Soft or hard trunk or large duffel bag

✓ For the cabin: Pillow, bedding (check with a camp director for cot size and dimensions), blanket, laundry bag, medications with dosage instructions, shower caddy, toothbrush with a container, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, soap, comb or brush, shower shoes, washcloths and towels, bathrobe, nail clippers, shaving cream, razors, tissues, plastic bags to store dirty or wet clothes

✓ Clothes: Jeans, shorts, sweatpants, pajamas, T-shirts, tank tops, a light jacket or sweatshirt, socks, bras, underwear, sneakers, flip-flops, cleats, boots, swimsuits, hat, raincoat or poncho

✓ For the outdoors: Sunscreen, sunburn lotion, lip balm with SPF, sunglasses, goggles, beach towels, bug repellent, anti-itch cream, reusable water bottle, backpack or tote bag, hand sanitizer

✓ Extras: Flashlight and batteries, books or magazines, spending money, journal, postcards and stamps, camera, a favorite toy or keepsake from home, small games, a family photo

Next page: Expert packing tips and cool camp products


Packing Tips

  • Get a head start. To prevent last-minute trips to the store, make a list of the supplies your camper will need and what he already has days before departure. Consider the camp's climate and which activities he'll be doing. Shop for the items and pack together. The more familiar he is with what's in his trunk or backpack, the simpler it will be to keep track of what's his.
  • Label everything. Personal belongings are especially easy for kids to lose when they’re in a group with others who've brought similar items. Consider buying stuff with distinctive patterns that stand out (like the horse poncho at right), to reduce the chance of duplicates. And make sure to mark each of your child’s possessions with a Sharpie or personalized sewn-in or iron-on labels. 
  • Pack extras. The accepted rule of thumb is to pack one item of clothing (from outer to inner layers) for each day it will be needed, plus two extras. Double sneakers, flip-flops and swimsuits are also recommended. 
  • Take inventory. All camps send home packing checklists. Read yours carefully to make sure it matches what's in your kid's bag. 
  • Leave valuables at home. Camps aren't responsible for lost or stolen items, and many dissuade campers from bringing electronics. So leave expensive clothing, jewelry and devices at home.

Cool Products to Pack for Camp

Funky Monkey Bug Repellent Slap Bracelet

Plane-patterned laundry sack with carabiner clip

REI Kindercone adustable-length sleeping bag

Pop-up shower caddy

Chat Bubbles stationery station with lapboard, journal, stickers and more

Pop-up soft trunk

Categories: Camps & Classes