There’s something simple and nostalgic about swimming at camp. Splashing in the water with your friends, perfecting your backstroke, lounging next to the pool and working on your tan…

But wait…is a bathing suit enough? Do you need tons of accessories to make it as idyllic as it sounds? What should you wear from your bunk to the pool? How do you keep safe in the sun? What should you carry it all in?

This guide examines these questions and proposes items you may want with you at the pool, in addition to your bathing suit of course. Let’s get started!

Bathing suits and rash guards

Bathing suits come in a variety of styles, colors and fits. Though you may have your specific taste, basics are often best – for boys and men, a simple pair of bathing trunks; and for girls a classic Speedo. Additionally, you probably want to have a rash guard to cover your shoulders and back to protect them from the sun.

There is also a whole world out there of modest swimwear for girls and women – these include shirts, skirts, leggings, shorts and dresses. You may want to purchase a modest bathing suit for religious reasons, but you also may just feel more comfortable covered up more than a standard bathing suit.

Coverups and bathrobes

Many campers are required to walk from their bunk to the pool wearing a coverup or bathrobe (even if they aren’t required, they still may prefer to). A coverup is a large t-shirt that does what its name implies, covers you up; while a bathrobe is often made of a cozy terry material that can be used instead of a towel.

Pool Towels

The bigger the better…you probably love to dry off and cozy up in a huge towel at the side of the pool and most towels come in a bath sheet size that is particularly suited for this. Pool towels are often thinner than bath towels for quick drying. Make sure they are absorbent enough to wipe off all that chlorinated water! The new towel on the block is a microfiber, quick-drying towel. No matter which towel you choose, you’ll need a bunch of them, as they don’t always dry fully by the next swimming session…

Swim Accessories

Other items you may want at the pool are a bathing cap, especially for long hair, water bottle, sunglasses, goggles, nose plugs, ear plugs, hairbrush, toys and flipflops or water shoes that are easy to slip-on and slip-off.

Sun protection

The best sun protection is to stay in the shade. That being said, this isn’t entirely possible especially when you are in and out of the water. In the wearables category, you probably want a rash guard (see above) and a sun hat. In addition, slather on the sunscreen, the higher the SPF, the better you will be protected. These days there are special types of sunscreen for your face and for your lips. 

Pool Bags

Now that you have a long list of items for the pool, you may be wondering where to put it all. A pool bag is always a good bet, and make sure it has extra pockets for your wet bathing suit and towel. Just remember to take the wet items out and hang them in the sun so they can dry by tomorrow! 

One Last Thing

And an extra tip – label everything for the pool! The end of the summer finds at the camp lost and found with multitudes of towels, bathrobes, goggles and more that was collected from around the pool and went unclaimed. 

Enjoy Your Swimming

Shopping for swimming time can seem daunting, but when you have purchased the items and the right bag to carry them, it becomes much easier.

See you at the pool! I’m the one in the green polka dot bathing suit 😊

About the Author

Melissa Goldwag spent many summers as a camper, counselor and lifeguard at sleepaway and day camps in the Catskills. She is the co-founder and CEO of Pack for Camp, an online store that offers everything you expect to find on a camp packing list: soft trunks, name labels, bedding, laundry accessories, toiletries, storage solutions, clothing and more.