We’ve made it – summer is here! Before those kids start driving you crazy, remember that they will be going to camp soon so tell them to start packing. Here is a list of essential summer camp items to pack so they can have the best summer camp experience and you can enjoy some much needed R and R.  

Microfiber Towel 

This Tuvizo towel is the only towel you will need for the beach. It is lightweight, quick dry, super absorbent, sand proof, and bacteria resistant. You won’t find a better towel. This is a summer essential for anyone, but especially for your kiddo’s trip to summer camp. 

Bug Spray and Sunscreen In One

The Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus does wonders to keep those pesky bugs at bay, and it comes with SPF included to take care of your skin from sun up to sun down. Instead of using DEET, this bug spray contains IR3535 which repels against biting insects including mosquitoes (even those that may carry west nile virus), deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease, black flies, gnats, no-seeums and biting midges. It is hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested.

SPF Clothing 

For kids that have especially sensitive skin, they can wear SPF clothing to protect them from potential sunburns. This Kanu rashguard is UPF 50+. 

Also read:  You're a Multi-Tasking Mama and Your Stroller Should Be Too

Life Jacket 

Long gone are the ugly bulky vests from my own childhood. Full Throttle makes colorful, highly rated youth vests with stretchable material and a flexback that makes it comfortable to wear. Be sure your kids are ready for water activities this summer. 

Swim Goggles

No more hair pulling from the goggle strap with this neoprene strap from Frogglez Goggles. Kids will be ready to dive into summer with these. These are truly a game changer for swim goggles (plus it’s kinda cool that my high school + college boyfriend invited these!!)

Water Shoes

Kids need to protect those little piggies while exploring in new bodies of water. These water shoes from QTMS are lightweight, quick dry, and very stretchy to make for the most comfortable water shoe. 


Keep the sun off their face while they are outside for hours at a time with this Kid’s Rambler Sombrero Hat

Pens to Write Home 

Encourage your kids to write home during the stay at camp with these fun emoji pens


Send your kids with postcards so they can detail all their summer camp fun. 


Send a journal with your kids so they can document their whole summer camp experience. 


This 3 in 1 rechargeable LED lantern is collapsible, and it goes from lantern to flashlight to a starry ceiling projector. It is the perfect camp necessity to use while writing letters home or telling scary stories by the fire. 

Also read:  Bullying Conversation Starters + a Fun DIY Super Hero Magnet Craft


 No summer is complete without a little rain. Make sure your kids are prepared with a lightweight rain poncho

Hiking Boots

Proper foot attire is critical when spending a lot of time outdoors. This Junior Hiking Boot from Native kids is lightweight and durable to make for the perfect hiking shoe for kids. 

Ultimate Survival Tool 

An ultimate survival tool might be just the thing to make your kiddo feel like a real camper even if they are staying at a summer camp with better facilities than you house. Give them this paracord bracelet which has a compass, fire starter, whistle and even an emergency knife. 

Water Bottle 

Have kids take a TurnRaise Silicone water bottle for their summer adventures. They are lightweight, FDA-approved and collapsible! They can be rolled up for easy packing, and still carry plenty of water no leaks, no fuss. 


Kids will do plenty of exploring while at summer camp, send them a pair of binoculars to check out their surroundings and maybe do some bird watching. 

Guide Book 

While outdoors, it is important to know what plants are ok to touch and which are not. Give kids a copy of Don’t Touch That!: The Book Of Gross, Poisonous, and Downright Icky Plants and Critters by Jeff Day. It covers all they need to know about the plants and animals they shouldn’t touch.  

Also read:  Beat Winter Boredom with These Cold Weather Hiking Tips


Everyone has a camera on their phone nowadays, but have your kiddos to a Polaroid Snap Touch to take photos of those great memories and print them out immediately. They can decorate their cabin with the photos and trade them with their new friends. The camera has a 3.5 inch LCD touchscreen and 1080p full HD video recording capability. All of the images are saved to a micro SD and can be printed thanks to ZINK® Zero Ink technology

This post contains affiliate links. When you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission for the sale. Thank you for letting me share some of my favorite products and finds with you – I appreciate your support by shopping through these links!

Follow Along

Subscribe to our newsletter (no junk, promise!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.