Going away for at least two months can seem daunting. And what is even more daunting, is knowing what to pack for the trip. Now many travel providers have a basic packing list.
But that is all it is. Basic. A rookie mistake is following this list and thinking you will be okay. I fell for this exact same rookie mistake. There are so many different things that you will definitely forget and when you are in the moment you will think ‘this is so obvious, why did not anyone tell me about this?!’ So follow my personal packing guide for the ultimate summer camp adventure.
T-shirts: With t-shirts I would include at least one in blue, red, yellow, green, purple, white and black. You may think this is a lot of shirt to begin with, but I shall explain. At every summer camp they will do some sort of camp wide program where you are split by colour, could be a colour war or a camp Olympics (basically a glorified sports day with major bragging rights!)
With shirts have a variety of tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves. Yes, you are going to have fun in the sun however those clear nights can be slightly chilly.
Layers: Flannel shirt/checked shirts (dependent on where you are from) are fantastic for this, also having 2/3 jumpers or sweatshirts. Layering is great for those cold nights or foggy mornings. You can peel off the layers as your day goes on.
Bottoms: I would pack many options: jean shorts, leggings, sweats, jeans, nice shorts. I personally pack 2 pairs of jean shorts, a pair of workout shorts, multiple pairs of leggings - mixture of workout and cotton - and then 2 pairs of sweatpants and then a pair of nice jeans. Yes, this may seem a lot of pants however it covers all options, for camp and traveling after camp too.
Swimwear: You will be in the water every. Single. Day. And some days your bathing suit may not even dry. I would bring at least three so you can rotate.
Pjs: I take 2 of whatever qualifies as pajamas. Note: At some camps it is normal to go to breakfast in your pjs!
Underwear and socks: Camp laundry is known as the place where things do not return. But do not let that scare you. Take so many pairs of underwear and socks. I personally take a few pairs of fluffy socks as well because those wooden cabin floors are rather cold in the morning! And on the plus, socks and slides are considered as camp fashion, so win win.
Footwear: This department is tricky but, in my experience, camp is a place where shoes die. They get put through the ringer – the dust, dirt, paint, water, mud the list is endless. So, for camp I would pack: 2 pairs of closed toed shoes: basically, trainers or converse that type of shoe. Then 2 pairs of flip flops or slides, I use 1 for the waterfront and 1 for the shower – as your shower house might not be in your cabin. 1 pair of nice sandals/shoes for after camp. These shoes you would wear on a day off or traveling after camp.
Other clothing items I would definitely pack are:
A raincoat. The odds are it will rain when you are at camp. Camp will still go on in the rain, you have to suck it up and enjoy it. Raincoat definitely.
Slippers: I like packing a cheap pair of Primark slippers, because like I mentioned earlier those wooden cabin floors are cold, and I like keeping my feet clean, because let’s face it camp is a dirty place.
Cap/Hat: Sun safety, first. Hiding the fact you have not washed your hair in awhile, second.
Unlocked mobile phone: Check before you leave the country what overseas plan you have, if any. If you do not want to use your mobile provider make sure your phone is unlocked so you can buy a sim card and it works in your phone. Having an overseas isn’t needed but for some they do enjoy having that security to contact family, friends if Wi-Fi is not available.
Music device: Many camps are screen free, and I understand if all your music is on a streaming service however at camp this may not fly. Be prepared to do things old school and upload music on a music device, if you want to get away from the camp music choices.
Chargers are all your devices: This one speaks for itself, do not be the idiot that forgets their chargers.
Travel adapter: I would personally only purchase one travel adapter and then bring…
Extension cord: This is genius on two levels. In a cabin there are usual few outlets, so wanting to charge up your device can be difficult at times. Extension cord solves that problem. Also, it saves you money by buying many different travel adapters.
Camera: Like I said earlier most camps are screen free. So, this means phone cameras are a big no no. You can bring a digital or be old school and bring a film camera. But you will definitely want to capture your summer. Do not worry if you are not great at capturing the moment many camps have a camp photographer so get in those of their photos.
Watch: Camp is in their own bubble where there are not many clocks around, however, everything runs on time. Weird I know. So, you will need a watch and I would get one with an alarm clock built in, personally it helped me get up.
Headlight/Torch/Flashlight: Whatever you call it, get one. When the sun goes down, the stars come out. There are no streetlights, you are in nature and the only light is around is the flicker of the campfire.
Extra Tip: Go on your own camp's personal website and find their packing list. See if there is anything extra they suggest - they know their program the best after all.
Backpack: At camp, activities wait for no one. With the exact timings of a camp schedule, you may not have time to go back to your cabin to change and pick up what you need. You may need to pack for the day. Backpacks are always handy.
Overnight bag: After all your fun at camp, you probably will want to leave for your days off. You will need a bag to pack your things in for the night. This might be the same bag as a backpack, but it is just good to put on your radar.
Lint roller: This one seems strange but hear me out. Camp is a dirty place, and you will get dirty pretty quickly. And keeping the dirt off your clothes, your bed etc is hard but a lint roller can help.
Storage for your personals: At camp there is not much closed storage, just open shelves and cubbies. I used reusable shopping bags for underwear/socks/swimwear, so you still have privacy.
Personal laundry bag: Camp do normally have a laundry once a week. In my experience they do this in large industrial sized laundry bags as a cabin. So remember to name everything - just like when you were at school.
Plus your toiletries. This will take up a lot of your luggage. I would only pack travel sized items and then buy them once you have landed at your destination.
Photos: Bring a few of your favourite pictures to make your area a little more of home.
Your Passport: Do I even need to explain this?!
Visa paperwork: Bring everything. Proof of employment. Visa paperwork. Proof of funds or flight home.
Travel insurance: you neeeeeeed travel insurance. You will need this be allowed to enter the country at immigration. And *knock on wood* you will not need it during your adventure.
Little extra advice: Scan all of these documents and email them to yourself. Then if anything happens and you lose something, you have them anywhere you log in.
This may be a long list, but I can assure you these are the things I wish people told me before my first summer. I hope these tips help you whilst you are packing and lifts the unnecessary stress before your exciting adventure.
If you have any other packing tips, please share and post below!