Get Your Supplies Ready, Campers!

Packing for a child’s week-long camping adventure requires preparation, perspective, and skill! After labeling every item from towels to T-shirts and underwear, you’ll be glad you started the endeavor weeks in advance.  Take advantage of the available “packing checklist” and print a few copies.  It offers a proven itemized list for campers to have a successful experience. Additionally, use the following suggestions to gain perspective in the task of wise decisions and packing light. 

Hat, Clothes, and Shoes 

Camps located in the mountains or near a large body of water may result in your child sitting on damp logs, grass, or chairs; therefore, breathable or waterproof fabrics will eliminate a prolonged feeling of clingy and heavy clothing. 

Additional ideas to consider- 

  • Towels are bulky items; teach your child the space-saving technique of rolling perhaps two towels together—one for swimming and the other for showers.  
  • Swimming may be a daily activity; therefore, pack two swimsuits and perhaps two hangers to support items needing time to drip-dry.  
  • Baseball caps are durable, compactable items. Another option with a full brim, protecting the face and neck, is a Booney hat. 
  • Bathroom facilities are often a short walk from the cabins.  Campers will need a pair of breathable, sturdy shoes that slide on, buckle, or use Velcro; lightweight pajama bottoms to protect the legs against insect bites; and a bright flashlight! 
  • For the unexpected need for extra clothing, pack one or two additional T-shirts and underwear.

Packing Tips 

Try and limit your luggage to one backpack and one duffle bag.  The goal is to save space while quickly locating items.  Take a close look and start removing all the nonessential items.  

  • Pair outfits together for ease of decision-making and access.  Remember, you are going to live out of a suitcase!  
  • Underwear and socks go in one location! 
  • Create a place for bathing suits and towels (rolling is best). 
  • Backpacks are ideal for toiletries and bedding. (Remember, you’ll need to carry everything!) 
  • Avoid buying new clothing

Once all items have a spot for ease to grab and go, campers can focus on their adventure with new friends! 

Knowing Your Needs  

Not every item on a list can address your individualized preferences; therefore, think about what item(s) can help.  If you are prone to blisters, carry waterproof band-aids in your toiletries bag.  Thirst at night may require adding a collapsible water bottle.  Do mosquito bites bother you? Perhaps you’ll need a bug shield bracelet.  


Mesh bags are an ideal timesaver for campers who need to shower quickly. Smaller mesh bags can contain deodorant, toothbrush, paste, face soap, and Chapstick. Try to avoid liquid soaps and pumps, which often leak.  

  • Rather than wet washcloths, take a luffa. And toss it at the end of the week.
  • No need for a hairdryer, but add plenty of scrunchies. 
  • Bug spray and suntan lotion! 
  • A laundry bag for dirty clothes! 

Laundry Tip  Ziploc bags can be a solution for smelly clothing.  Campers can fill half with water and put in a few drops of body wash; then, shake.  Afterwards, rinse, twist, and hang to dry!  


Make it simple!  Campers need only a sleeping bag and a small pillow.  The trick is tying the two together for easy transportation! 

Snack tips  If permitted, place all small-portioned, individually packaged foods in a sealed bag. It’s an efficient means to keep trash together while preventing an infestation of insects! 

A Tip for Dads and Moms

Parents know all too well that hearing and listening can result in two separate outcomes. Rather than hope your daughter and son packed socks, bug repellant, a working flashlight, and shampoo, empty out the bags and assess the contents.  Reprinting the camp checklist will help in the endeavor.  

Don’t forget to add one final item- a handwritten letter!  Words from home can provide a great impact to a daughter or son, who may need extra love or encouragement!


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photography by JEJ PHOTOS Budget Blinds of North

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