Hey, Camp Packers!
As May brings the full swing of spring, it also elevates our anticipation for the fast-approaching summer camp season! Last Monday began our four-part series to share packing techniques for a successful summer camp experience! Get words of the wise, borrowed from ‘The Summer Camp Handbook,’ the comprehensive guidebook written by camp experts, Dr. Chris Thurber and Dr. Jon Malinowski.
Last week, I went over trunks and trunk alternatives such as suitcases, duffels, and backpacks. Now that you have an idea of what type of container your camper will be bringing to camp, it’s time to go over selecting the right gear for your summer camp stay. Thurber and Malinowski break camping gear down into major, manageable groups. Let’s take a look:
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you to pack clothes (it’d be kind of weird if I did), so I’ll skip over all the shirts, the shorts, the pants, cozy hoodies, as well as extra socks and underwear that we have available on our site. As for our less obvious articles, you’ll certainly want a quality, 100% waterproof raincoat or a hooded poncho when things get wet at camp. If you’re spending time in the water, be sure to get quick-drying swim suits or trunks. And lastly, bathrobes, while optional, may provide more comfort than a wrapped towel after a shower.
Footwear is extremely important at camp. You’ll need boots for hikes, boots for horseback riding, and boots for rainy days when the campgrounds are rendered messy and muddy. The same as boots, make sure you have the right kind of sneakers for the activities that you plan to do at camp. It’s typically a good idea to bring two pairs—a newer pair for sports (specific to tennis or basketball requirements) and an older pair for everyday wear.
As for sandals, they’re both useful and popular, though some camps required that all footwear have closed toes, to prevent injuries. Remember, sandals are not meant for hiking or sports, despite the advertisements. Besides shoes, remember to pack a lot of socks and make sure that they are appropriate for the shoes you’ll be wearing. Pack thick wool socks for your hiking boots and crew-length, cotton-blend socks for sports.
As it is for everything, a sound night of sleep is very important at camp. Your camp’s information packet should give you a good idea of what kind of bedding you need to bring whether it’s nothing at all (if the camp is supplying all the sheets, blankets, and pillows) or everything (if the camp supplies only a cot, bed, platform, or bare earth). We have a great selection of sheets, blankets, mattress pads, mattress covers, as well as pillows and pillowcases from which to choose. We also have a slew of sleeping bags for all different outdoor conditions. Check them out right here!
As for toiletries, you can check out our towels for washing and drying off after showering, or laying down in the sand! You can find great items like sunblock, insect repellent, lip balm, hairbrushes, and toothbrushes with travel holders all right here! And you can keep all these smaller items in the same spot with one of our many toiletry bags!
Of course, headwear is great for a number of reasons. Bandanas and headbands are helpful to keep hair and sweat out of your face. The summer sun is blindingly beautiful—make sure to shield your eyes appropriately with hats or even better, sunglasses! Unlike sunglasses, however, hats offer the advantage of keeping ticks off your head. You’ll want to grab swim goggles too if you’re planning on spending time in the water! Other Gear
There’s a bunch of miscellaneous gear that’s mandatory at any camp: a laundry bag, flashlight, and water bottle. But we have a lot of other fun items that you might consider taking along as well—depending on your interests. We have books for quiet time, cameras (which may or may not be allowed at your camp), classic Jacks, playing cards, and so much more is here for your entertainment. Lastly, if you’re hoping to get letters back from your camper, it’s only smart to send them with stationery including pre-addressed and pre-stamped envelopes.
It’s a lot, but it helps to see all this gear broken up to provide organization and clarity. For a look that goes further in-depth of this phase and all other phases of packing and sending your kid to camp entirely, order ‘The Summer Camp Handbook’ for yourself. And be sure to come back next Monday for our tips and advice on labeling your gear and camp clothing! As always, thanks for reading.