The Ultimate Summer Camp Packing List

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Choosing a summer camp for kids is exciting, especially when it is an overnight summer camp.

The kids get so excited about going and moms tend to stress about what to pack. 

If it were up to the kids I hate to imagine what they would want to pack, but since parents usually handle things like the summer camp packing list I thought it was time to make your life less stressful with these summer camp packing list to help make packing a breeze. 

Ultimate Summer Camp Packing List

Having your camper help you with the packing may not be what they want to do but trust me when I say they will thank you later because they will actually know what they have and where it all is once they arrive at camp!

If you still have not decided on a summer camp for kids, I suggest reading What to look for in a camp to help you make an informed decision. 

Summer Camp Packing List

Reusable Water Bottle

Making sure your camper stays hydrated while at camp is important. Having a reusable water bottle will allow your camper to refill their water bottle when needed and help increase their water intake throughout the day. 

Summer Camp Packing List
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When choosing a water bottle to pack no need to pack an oversize water bottle that will be heavy, try choosing a bottle that is between 10-20 ounces for an elementary age child. A high schooler may want something a bit larger. 

Toiletry Bag/Toiletries

I suggest packing travel-size containers of toothpaste, hand sanitizer, body soap, shampoo, and a toothbrush with a cap. 

Summer Camp Packing List
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Keeping these items in a toiletry bag will make your campers life easier carrying their items back and forth to the bathroom at camp. 

Also depending on the length of the camp you may want to pack double of these! The best part when packing mini toiletries is it makes it less heavy and easier for them to carry and allows more space for packing other items. 

Comfortable Clothes

Summer Camp Packing List

Comfortable clothes are a must when camping. They will want clothes that they can easily move in and be active with. 

While packing comfortable clothes you will want to make sure your camper has the proper amount of clothing for each day so add underwear, socks, and pajamas to your summer camp packing list. 

Alarm Clock

Summer camp brings on a lot of responsibility for kids. 

Summer Camp Packing List
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This can mean having to wake up on time to make it to breakfast or their first camp activity. An alarm clock will be helpful in getting your camper awake on time.


Summer Camp Packing List
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Some campers may be camping in the middle of a hot summer. Night time can be miserable when it is too hot to sleep, this is why I suggest a fan for your camper. Try finding a portable non electric fan that they can put right on their bed to help them stay cool during those hot nights. 

Bathing Suit

Summer Camp Packing List

A bathing suit may or may not be needed at summer camp, but I like to included it on the summer camp packing list just in case camp has a pool or a pond. 

Be sure to check and see if there is a body of water at the camp or not so you know to include it. 

Rain Jacket/Sweatshirt

Including a sweatshirt is always a smart idea. The weather is unpredictable. Some nights the temperature may drop and be cooler. 

Summer Camp Packing List

When that happens you want to make sure your camper is equipped with something warm to throw on so they do not miss the fun. 

Same the same goes for a random summer rainstorm. Having a rain jacket they can wear can help them stay dry for those summer showers. 

Flip flops

Having shoes that are easy to put on and take off while in the cabins will be beneficial for your camper.

Summer Camp Packing List
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That is why flip flops are on my summer camp packing list. 

Your camper will thank you that you packed flip flops because it will help them easily get to the bathroom quickly if needed in the middle of the night. 

Sleeping Bag/Sheets

Another item on the summer camp packing list is a sleeping bag or sheets depending upon the sleeping accommodations.

Summer Camp Packing List

Even if beds and cots are provided some kids still love the convenience of a sleeping bag where others prefer sheets. 

Talk with your camper and see what they would like to bring. Don’t forget an extra blanket just in case the nights are cooler. 

Laundry Bag

A mesh laundry bag is a perfect way for your camper to store their dirty clothes while away at summer camp. 

Summer Camp Packing List
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Sending a laundry bag can help them also stay organized and even have a better chance of having a tidy area at camp! 

Hey it may even up the chances of getting all their clothing back home!


Summer Camp Packing List
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Summer camp is a great place or your child to make memories. Be sure to send a camera with them to capture those memories. A disposable camera or even a non expensive digital camera will allow them to take photos of their favorite activities, friends they meet, and awesome adventures. 

Summer Camp Packing List
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I am almost positive those photos when developed or uploaded will be the best conversations you will have with your child!


Most camps are not allowed to put sunscreen on your camper. 

Summer Camp Packing List

This is why I have added sunscreen to the summer camp packing list so your child can put it on to start the say. 

Be sure you choose the right sunscreen for kids that is easy for them to put on and keeps them protected. 


A backpack will come in handy throughout the day at summer camp. 

Summer Camp Packing List

A small lightweight one will be perfect you just want it big enough for  a reusable water bottle, snacks, sunscreen, and even their jacket or sweatshirt. 


Electronics are not typically allowed at camp nor do you want your camper to lose something valuable. 

Adding some sort of entertainment to the summer camp packing list is important. 

Summer Camp Packing List

I suggest packing them a deck or cards, crossword puzzle books, or some books to read. 


Packing a few of their favorite non-perishable snacks are great for them to throw in their backpacks for hikes, or late in the evening after they have eaten dinner and are done with their daily activities. 

Summer Camp Packing List

Packed snacks like goldfish crackers, pretzels, and Oreos can make any hungry camper happy!

Now you are set to get your camper all ready for summer camp with this summer camp packing list!

What would you add to the list? Share in the comments!

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