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. While the needs of your own child may vary, below you will find a popular and practical overview of essentials that every camper shouldn’t miss. There are so many little things to remember!

We invite you to use this as a starting point to create your personalized summer camp packing list.

Essentials to Pack

Any camp you choose may have some items available for campers, but it never hurts to be over-prepared. Below, we highlight items that might enhance your summer camp experience, helping you enjoy wildlife, fresh air, nature’s sound effects, and new friendships.

summer camp packing list


  • Swimwear and Sleepwear
  • Comfortable, Loose Clothing
  • Extra Changes of Clothes
    • Very warm clothes
    • Very cool clothes
  • Clothes for Cold Nights
    • Sweater, sweatpants, etc.
  • Clothes for Warm Days
    • Shorts, T-shirts
  • Water-Resistant Clothing
    • Polyester, spandex, etc.
  • Beach Towel
  • Bathing Suit
    • Perhaps two
  • Water Shoes
    • Crocs or sandals
  • Rain Gear
  • Summer Hat with a Wide Brim

Personal Care Items

  • Sunscreen or UV Protection
  • Insect Repellent (aka “Bug Dope”)
  • Toiletries
    • Soap, shampoo, hairbrush/comb, washcloth, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products
  • Sturdy Footwear
    • For rugged terrain
  • Bedding
  • Several Towels
  • Lip Balm
  • Polysporin Antibiotic Ointment

Miscellaneous Items

  • Flashlight and Extra Batteries
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Optional Items
    • Cameras, writing supplies, musical instruments, books, games
  • Regular or Other Medication
    • Tylenol, etc., with dosage instructions in original bottle

What to Leave Behind

  • Cellphones (if possible)
  • Expensive Items that may get broken
  • Money that you might worry about losing

The whole idea of summer camp is to escape some of the encumbrances of urban living. While comfort is important, camp can offer new perspectives on what it means to be comfortable and may alter your views on modern conveniences.

Additional Notes on Packing for Summer Camp

  • Clothing should be comfortable yet durable to withstand camp life.
  • Pack swimming gear, shorts, and T-shirts, but also include a long pair of jeans or pants. Temperatures dip after sundown, and leg protection is necessary for hikes and horseback rides.
  • Send more than one pair of shoes. They tend to get wet at camp and need time to dry out. Specific water shoes are highly recommended.
  • If your child takes medication, send it in its original bottle with dosage instructions.

At Trunkoutdoors.com, we hope you found this list helpful. We aim to provide everything you need to have the best possible experience at summer camp.

summer camp packing list

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