The (un)forgettable items to pack
Updated: Jan 17, 2021
I posted this question on my Instagram and asked: ‘If I was coming to camp for the first time what would you suggest to bring?’ Lots of answers came through, and then two days later CCUSA also asked the same question! So, I picked out some answers given to me by you plus things I did forget to pack my first summer too.
Also, if you want my full packing list click here for that blog post.
All these things you can purchase once you have arrived at your destination country. Head to a Walmart or a Dollarama (dollar store) and purchase these inexpensive items. I would suggest not spending too much money on these items as they are going to camp after all. Buying these items once you have arrived is a win-win as you have them at camp, and they are not going to weigh you down when checking in at the airport.
Note: All these items are not needed at camp but having them will make your time at camp more comfortable.
Headlamp/Torch/Flashlight: The nights at camp are super dark. There is no street lighting, just the epic stars. Whatever you call this item, it will help you walk around at night and look out for those pesky tree roots, rocks and ditches along your path.
Reusable Water Bottle: This one seems pretty simple, but so many people forget to bring a water bottle. A reusable water bottle is a traveling god send, right from the get go. Every airport has a free water fountain, and you will use it every day at camp to stay hydrated all day long.
Baseball cap/Sunhat: Even if you are not a hat person, believe me when I say bring a hat. Use a hat for a hairstyle saviour or for sun safety. At the end of the day, you are a role model for campers all summer long, so lead by example.
Mosquito Repellent/Bug Cream: Being out in the woods or nature at the beginning of summer is where gnats and mosquitoes come out to play. Bring repellent or bug cream with you, because you are new to the environment, the bugs may like you a little bit more than regular campers and staff that have been coming to camp for years.
Packing Cubes/Reusable Carrier Bags: Camps are created in rural settings and only having the necessities, this includes your cabin too. There is basic storage for your belongings, but basic does not necessarily mean private - in my case, it was open shelving. I used reusable carrier bags to separate my underwear, socks, swimwear etc. That way my clothing and personal items were not all out for show.
Fluffy Socks: Now this one is for comfort. Wooden cabin floors are freezing at night and early in the morning. Stay cozy with fluffy socks instead of wearing your dirty shoes inside.
Flip Flops/Slides: Socks and slides will become your new fashion trend. Warm feet with your socks alongside easy footwear to put on. Slides become your outdoor camp slippers, plus versatile when you have that waterfront afternoon or walking to the shower house.
Notebook and Pen: Some camps will give you a cool camp clipboard, but a notebook and pen can be something just for you. Maybe you can use it to journal, write letters home or use it to plan something fun either for your campers or travel plans after camp.
Photographs from home/fairy lights: I love photos anyway so putting them up around my bed made me feel comfortable and made my bed feel homey. Also, fairy lights are always a plus because they help you see your area at night when your campers are (meant to be) asleep.
Padlock: This is one is a no brainer for any traveler! I always suggest bringing a padlock so when you are traveling around before or after camp you can lock up your luggage and have peace of mind whilst enjoying the sights.
Finally, soooo many people suggested Warm Sweaters! Even though you are going to summer camp, and you automatically think of the sun and warmth, in Canada the nights get pretty chilly. Bring warm sweaters, hoodies, or things you can layer, so you can enjoy the nighttime activities as much as the daytime ones.