The first day of camp can be daunting for even the most outgoing of children. But a great way to make sure your child hits the ground running is by packing the smart way. So let your child glide effortlessly into their new environment with these summer camp packing hacks. Or if you’re after a much more comprehensive guide, then read our Essential Summer Camp Packing List.
- Double down on the essentials - Pack double what your child needs for the items they can’t live without. This includes toothpaste, toothbrush, bug repellent, and hats. This way you know if they lose any of these then they have a backup ready to go.
- Put their name on everything - Pants, towels, flip flops, goggles, water bottles, you name it! Plenty of companies provide adhesive and customizable labels that make labeling any item quick and easy. Investing a small amount in these can save you far more money in the long run through not losing items.
- Roll clothes to save space -Everybody should always roll their clothes when packing, no matter what age or where you’re going! It’s the ultimate space saver, allows for easier identification when grabbing an item out of your bag and stops clothes from getting creased. Take it one step further by rolling socks inside shoes and belts around pants.
- Put toiletries in a shower caddy - A regular wash bag is fine, but a shower caddy that’s hangable is going to be much easier for your child to use. It’s easier to pack for summer camp and helps your child stay organized. Your child can also hang the bag from the shower door when they’re washing, and buying travel-sized toiletries that will last the length of their trip, rather than packing huge family-sized bottles from home, is a better bet.
- Pack plenty of zip lock bags - Buy a pack of 20 and that should provide enough for all the instances when your child needs to protect their items from water, mud and other camp hazards, or if they want to split some healthy snacks to take on a hike or other activities.
- Bring a foldable day bag - A big rucksack isn’t going to be suitable for day hikes and other activities around camp, so pack a lightweight foldable day bag that they can take on short summer camp excursions. It needs to be big enough to pack a sweater, waterproofs, food, a water bottle, and other bits such as sunscreen.
- For hot nights pack a clip-on fan - If your child’s summer camp is most likely going to be hot and humid at night, buy a small clip-on fan that they can fasten to their bunk. You want to buy a fan with a flexible stem and a long cord so it reaches an outlet wherever it is in the dorm.
- Take their own pillow - Nothing feels more like home than the touch and scent of your own pillow, so this is a great way for your child to take a bit of home with them while at camp. Check out our backpack the Pillowpak which is the world’s first backpack designed around your pillow, for an easy way to travel with a pillow. And best yet, when your child returns from summer camp you can simply unpack Pillowpak and put it in your washing machine!
- Include a packing list - Increase your chances of your child packing all of their items at the end of camp by including a list of everything you’ve packed. And if you’re child is at the age where they have a cell phone, text them the list as well.