Ready Campers, Let’s Start Packing!

“You cannot take the kitchen sink or your bathroom!”  Excitement often leads campers to want to pack more than a few comforts from home! Before one single item enters the duffle bag and backpack, try a different approach.  The following tips will ensure campers attain some good sound camp wisdom, travel light, and pack only the most essential gear.

Hat, Clothes, and Shoes

In thinking about sitting sometimes on damp logs or chairs, consider including breathable clothes that, if wet, will try quickly.  Label all of your possessions!

  • Think about the potential for rain; therefore, pack a rain jacket.
  • Pack extra T-shirts, underwear, and ankle socks.
  • For horseback riding and cold nights, it’s smart to bring one pair of jeans.
  • If the camp has a pool or lake, take two bathing suits and a beach towel.
  • Your favorite baseball hat will prevent sunburn. If you burn easily, take a lightweight long-sleeved shirt.
  • The bathroom may require a long walk from the cabin. Take pajamas with a bottom and a top.
  • Shoes must be well-worn and comfortable. Breathable is ideal with straps that buckle or have Velcro.

Tip to Knowing Your Needs:  Not every item on a list can address your individualized needs; therefore, think about what item(s) can help.  If you are prone to blisters, carry a few waterproof band-aids in your back pocket.  Enjoy having water with you? Then, pack a collapsible water bottle.  Often lose sunglasses?  Attach a cord to keep them around your neck.  Do mosquitoes love you?  Consider wearing bug shield bracelets or a bandana.


Mesh bags or small shower baskets are an ideal timesaver for campers who need to shower quickly. Smaller mesh bags can hold the items for quick trips to the bathroom to apply deodorant, face wash, Chap Stick, and teeth care.

  • A small soap pump bottle will eliminate the mess of a cake of soap.
  • Rather than dealing with wet washcloths, take a luffa.
  • One shower towel should suffice.
  • No need for a hairdryer, but take plenty of scrunchies.
  • Take a flashlight.
  • Bug spray and suntan lotion are very important.
  • Take a laundry bag for dirty clothes.

Laundry Tip:  For clothes that smell bad, consider taking a gallon-sized Ziploc bag.  Campers can fill half with water and put in a few drops of body wash; then, shake.  After showering, rinse and twist, and hang to dry.


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


Campers most likely will not read the three novels they packed, but camp counselors will insist on one handwritten letter home! Place lined paper, one or two stamps, and a pen in an enclosed bag to protect against water.

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

Packing Tips

Think in advance what a reasonable amount of luggage is; perhaps, the answer is one backpack and one duffle bag.  The goal is to save space while being able quickly to locate 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.  Try rolling items to save space.
  • Place all of your underwear and socks together 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!)

Once all items have a spot for ease in grabbing and going, campers can focus on having an adventure with new friends!

A Tip for Dads and Moms:  Your child will be anxious and perhaps emotional at the moment of your departure! You may be just as stressed!  Keep your send-off simple and loving!  Try not to worry!  He or she will soon be back in the car, sharing all the humorous moments and great memories of the past week, while begging to return next year!


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!

Latest Stories

Other Featured Articles


All Article in Current Issue

Fancy Fork

Welcome back to the Fancy Fork – your

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Stay up to date with our events and get exclusive article content right to your inbox!