Skip to Content

Summer Camp Packing List

I just printed out my summer camp packing list so I can get a head start preparing both kids for sleepaway camp in a few weeks. This year they are switching to a new summer camp where they will spend 2 weeks, so I am double checking to make sure they are well-prepared and have everything they need for an unforgettable summer experience.

From essentials like clothing and toiletries to comforting items that remind them of home, packing for camp can feel overwhelming. I cannot even begin to describe the amount of hours I’ve spent researching and shopping for the perfect duffel bag, reviewing all the camp packing restrictions and instructions, shopping for little items to mail to camp or to sneak into their bags, asking seasoned camp moms for the most effective and safe insect repellent spray, and more. And each year I update my packing list to include any new items we may have discovered and remove things the kids have outgrown. (PSST — I keep my Amazon summer camp list of favorites updated HERE with new finds).

Whether you’re sending your kid(s) to sleepaway camp for the first time and are starting from scratch, or you’re looking for new items to make your campers experience even better, here are a few items on our summer camp packing list…

— Summer Camp Packing List —


Your camp will likely provide you with a packing list of essential items to bring, so definitely start there. The quantity of items your camper may need will vary depending on length of stay, any special activities/events, and whether or not your camp utilizes a laundry service. Also, don’t forget to label all of these items! Here are a few label options: Iron On + Self Stick




  • Duffle Bag: If you aren’t required to use a trunk, I will pass along a tip I received from a very season camp mom — THIS IS THE DUFFLE BAG YOU NEED. It’s the XL Adventure Bag from LL Bean and holds everything we need for our kids in ONE bag (including sheets/pillows/etc.). Order soon because it sometimes take extra time to ship — especially if you are personalizing/monogramming.
  • Sling Cross-Body Bag: Perfect size for carrying water bottles, goggles, towel, etc. around camp or while hiking. Lots of color options.
  • Flashlight + Head Lamp: They’ll likely use the head lamp way more than the flashlight.
  • Goggles
  • Water Bottle (I buy a camp Nalgene + pack splash guards + fun stickers for decorating their bottles)
  • Mosquito Repellent Bracelets
  • Crazy Creek Chair
  • Disposable Camera
  • TIP: Spray all of your camper’s gear and outerwear ahead of time with this Insect Repellent Spray. It works SO well to protect from ticks, mosquitos, chiggers, spiders, etc. for up to 6 weeks.


If your camp is “package-free,” here are 30+ non-food surprises you can sneak into your camper’s luggage to let them know you are thinking about them. Lots of these items come in large quantities making them perfect for sharing with bunk mates and new friends — especially during rest hour! A few of my favorite items:

Summer Camp Packing List

Posts You May Also Love

You'll also love