The Unofficial Camp Packing List for Newbies, by an Experienced Camp Mom
Tina Kauffman is what you'd call a veteran camp mom. Based in Montreal, Tina sent both her boys to different sleepaway camps over 6 summers. She knew what was on the official camp packing list but after years of experience she figured out what's on the unofficial list - the items her kids needed at camp that really made a difference to their camp experience.
After Tina shared this list with other parents on social media, we reached out and asked her if we could share it with all of you, and she happily agreed! So here it is... a veteran camp mom's unofficial list for newbies...
▢ 1. Camping Chair - These are very practical. They are light weight, and fit nicely in a duffel bag. My sons have told me that there was not a day that it was not used. The boys have told me they hang outside the bunk, and need a place to sit.
▢ 2. Hanging collapsible shelves - These were helpful in keeping my sons organized. They have a heavy duty velcro loop that hugs the wooden rafters in the bunk, and takes up little space. This way their undies, socks, and undershirts (bras and camis for girls) have a place.
▢ 3. Small bottle of laundry detergent - My son asked me for this his second summer. He needed to wash a special shirt between camp loads, and felt it would be helpful.
▢ 4. Stain away stick - I have taught my kids to rub this over the stain and toss in the load.
▢ 5. Small clip on fan - Bunks get stuffy. Some nights can be hot.
▢ 6. Clip on lamp - My son likes to read before bed, even at camp. The light we bought is low wattage, and has a switch that is easy to reach on the wire. Easier than squeezing a flashlight between your shoulder and ear.
▢ 7. White cotton T shirt, and pillow case - Both will come in handy when they tie dye or will collect autographs.
▢ 8. Joke book - Garrison Keillor put out a really cute compilation of jokes. Some a little tasteless, but for the most part outright funny. This book made it home in pieces. great for a rainy day, or bored moment.
▢ 9. An extension wire, with a breaker bar - Not all camps allow for electronics. Some bunks cannot accommodate the electrical surge. So ask before you send these.
▢ 10. Mini sewing kit - Buttons fall off, rips happen. teach your kid to sew. They will be grateful when a button falls off of a fave shirt.
▢ 11. Large DRY bag - The older kids go on canoe trips, and as we all know they love to tip the vessel. Sadly, all their gear gets wet. A dry bag keeps everything, well, dry.
For more advice on how and what to pack for camp, see Packing for Summer Camp – The Ultimate Guide.