SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story
/

The only summer camp packing checklist your kids will ever need

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

The summer camp packing list that will end the "But Mooooom" fights

If you've ever sent your kid off to Grandma's with a self-packed suitcase full of toys, then you might appreciate the art of a detailed packing list. Summer camp can typically range from a week to several months long — which means that your child is going to need a little more than a toothbrush and a swimsuit to get by. For even the youngest campers, our extensive summer camp packing list can be a game-changer.

Things to remember while packing for camp

Before packing for camp, check with your child's camp packing list provided by the organization. There may be things like bedding that you'll need to include in your child's gear.

More: We're pretty sure these moms win for 'world's most embarrassing mothers'

Next, wash all new clothing before packing and remember to mark everything your kiddo will be taking, from socks to soap cases, with his name or initials.

Now, armed with an empty truck and your camping checklist, calculate how much clothing your child will need. The Summer Camp Handbook recommends you pack your youngster enough clothes to last one-and-a-half times the number of days he'll be at camp for camps that run a week or less (they probably don't provide laundry service), or the number of days between laundry service for camps longer than one week.

More: Sorry mom, but the spray sunscreen really is as bad as they say

Camp packing list

Here are the things you and your child will need to pack for a typical summer camp:

The summer camp packing list that will end the "But Mooooom" fights
Image: Karen Cox/SheKnows;Image via Getty Images

More50 trips every kid should take before they hit double digits

  • Bandanna/scarf
  • Hat
  • Glasses/contacts and cleaning solution
  • Prescription medication
  • Sunglasses
  • Goggles for swimming
  • Dress clothes and coordinating belts and shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Jeans
  • Raingear or umbrella
  • Shorts
  • Sweatshirt
  • Swimsuit
  • Swim shirt with UV protection
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Underwear
  • Sweat pants or warm up pants
  • Pajamas
  • Cotton bathrobe
  • Bras
  • Athletic support (jock strap)
  • Boots
  • Cleats
  • Flip flops
  • Shoes plus a spare pair
  • Socks
  • Bedding -- check with your camp checklist for what, if any, to bring for bedding
  • Hand towels
  • Beach towels -- can be used for bath or swimming
  • Shower caddy
  • Comb or brush
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bug repellant
  • Lip balm
  • Nail clippers
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shaving cream and razors
  • Soap in carrier
  • Sunblock
  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush, toothbrush container, and toothpaste
  • Camera
  • Flashlight and spare batteries
  • Laundry bag
  • Reusable water bottle or canteen
  • Writing paper, pre-addressed envelopes, and stamps or calling card
  • Spending money (but check with camp for policies)
  • Comforts of home, like a family photo or a stuffed animal; just be sure it is replaceable
  • Entertainment, like books, hackey sacks, and deck of cards
  • Small backpack or tote for day-trips

According to The Summer Camp Handbook author and psychologist Dr. Christopher Thurber, the first thing on your camping checklist when packing for camp should be to give yourself plenty of time to help your youngster pack for camp.

More: The one word my kids will never hear me say

Also, remember to make it a team effort. "When you pack together and take your time, your excitement about summer camp can rub off on your child while also ensuring that nothing is forgotten when it comes to checking off your summer camp packing list." That way, you can relax knowing junior has everything he needs while away and can focus on having fun!

Before you go, check out our slideshow below:

The summer camp packing list that will end the "But Mooooom" fights
Image: Hero Images/Getty Images




Originally published May 2011. Updated June 2016.

Comments
Hot
New in Parenting
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!