What to pack for Summer Camp

A handy packing list for summer campers and their parents

Here's a quick list of items you will want to pack for summer camp. Of course, the needs of your own child will vary from the average but below, you will find our popular practical overview of things that every camper will not want to miss. There are so many little things you need to remember!

We invite you to use this as a basis from which to start, where you can create your own more personalized summer camp packing list.


Any camp you choose may have items available for campers but it never hurts to be over-prepared. That being said, we also highlight below a list of items that might only take away from your full enjoyment of the summer camp, with its opportunities to see wildlife, get as much fresh air as possible, listen to birds and other of nature's sound effects, and of course the conversation of new friends.

What to remember

Everyone's summer camp packing list should include:

  • Swimwear and sleepwear
  • Comfortable, loose clothing
  • Extra changes of very warm clothes and very cool clothes
  • Clothes for cold nights (sweater, sweat pants, etc.)
  • Clothing for warm days (shorts, t-shirts)
  • Clothing that is water-resistant (polyester, spandex, etc.
  • Beach towel
  • Bathing suit (perhaps 2)
  • Water shoes (crocs or sandals)
  • Rain gear
  • Sunscreen (or any other UV protection)
  • Insect repellant (aka "bug dope")
  • Summer hat with a wide brim
  • Toiletries and personal items: soap, shampoo, hairbrush/comb, washcloth, toothpaste, feminine hygiene
  • Sturdy footwear that can handle rugged terrain
  • Bedding
  • Several towels
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Optional items such as cameras, writing supplies, musical instruments, books, games
  • Regular or other medication (Tylenol, etc.)

What to forget!

  • Cellphones (if you can!) 
  • Anything expensive that will likely only get broken
  • Money that you will only be worried about losing

The whole idea of summer camp is (or ought to be) to escape some of the encumbrances of urban living. Of course, you wan to live in comfort still, but camp can open you up to new definitions of what it means to be comfortable and alter your perspective on modern 'conveniences.'

Packing for summer camp: notes

Clothes should be comfortable, yet able to withstand the rigours of camp life.

Swimming gear, shorts and T-shirts are staples, but be sure to pack a long pair of jeans or pants as well. Temperatures dip after sundown, and campers will need leg protection on hikes and on horseback rides.

Remember to send more than one pair of shoes. They tend to get wet at camp and need a rest to dry out. Specific water shoes are a great idea.

Your child will be grateful if you also pack lip balm, an excess of insect repellent and Polysporin antibiotic ointment.

If your child takes medication, send the medicine in its original bottle along with dosage instructions.

At Camps.ca, we hope you found this list helpful, as we try to provide you everything you need to have the best possible experience at summer camp.

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