Camp Packing 101

My almost 8 year old is off to camp. This is his first time, but I’m not new to this whole camp-packing-thing. I started going to camp at 8 and went until I was 15 or 16. Some years I went for a week, some years I went for two.

My memories of camp are all very special. But the part I always loved most? PACKING!

The two week camp allowed us to bring trunks and oh, how I wish that Henry’s camp had allowed that. But once I saw the size of the cabins, I realized this was NOT a possibility.

Needless to say, when I got the packing list for camp I was in a bit of packing heaven! So I thought, of course I should share my packing tips with all of you.

This is packing for a 7 year old boy for 1 week of sleep-away camp.

Step 1: Find a bag that’s right for camp.
This means one that you will not cry when it gets ruined, isn’t extremely heavy when you try to carry it (possibly up a hill in 105° weather) and is durable.

Jason and Henry went to the Army surplus store to get bags. They came back with a “small duffel” according to the Army and a dopp kit type bag.

Rolling duffels are great and so are regular suitcases. They will most likely have to go under the bunk bed so think about the size.

Step 2: Organize your clothing.
This is easy. Especially for little boys who would likely wear the same thing all 6 days.

Put an outfit together for each day. T-shirt, shorts, underwear and socks. (Shoutout to @aboutone and their squirrely t-shirt that my kid loves!)

Label everything! Or at the very least, only send stuff that you’re perfectly fine with not coming home.

Gallon zipper bags are your new BFF. Label a bag with the day and slip the clothing right in. The kid knows it’s Tuesday and wears whatever’s in Tuesday’s bag!

Extra clothes I simply put in bags together. Shorts, shirts, underwear, socks. They each get a bag labelled EXTRA!

Each night, this camp has a special theme. Each night had a separate bag as well.

Step 3: Group all the other junk together.
Things that go in the dopp kit? Throw them in a bag and in the kit.

Things that will be used in and around the bunks? Throw them in a bag.

Step 3: A bunk bag.
I gave Henry a messenger bag that I got at Type A. He calls it his bachelor bag for some strange reason. (Don’t ask!)

It’s the perfect size for him to keep in his bunk with his journal, markers, notecards (that I’m sure he didn’t write) and his stuffed animal.

Step 4: Pack it up!
Throw all that goodness in the bag.

Make sure you remember a fan, towels, sheets, washcloths and extra shoes. They’ll need a rain jacket, water bottle, swimsuits (give them a plastic bag) and a mesh laundry bag. Expect that every article of clothing may or may not have to be trashed when it gets home.

Put the sheets and fan at the top so you can have those immediately when you get there.

Step 5: Take a deep breath, relax and send them on their way for an adventure of a lifetime!