Kids Summer Camp Packing List – 10 Must-Haves

Summer is in full swing and many of you have already sent your kids off to summer camp, while others are still in the midst of preparation, checking things off their kids summer camp packing list. Over the last few weeks I’ve been researching children’s camps non-stop and was surprised to learn that Ontario, Canada is one of the best places in North America for children’s camps. We put together a couple of posts on Child Mode, “Best Summer Camps for Boys” and “Best Summer Camps For Girls,”  based on my own personal research while scouting out camps for my own children. We have yet to dive into co-ed camps, but look for that one soon!

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After choosing a camp for my own girls, I picked out a few must-haves that I wanted to share with you all. Clothing and toiletries are a given of course, but what about labels? Does everything need to be labeled and if so, what kind should you buy?  Then there’s sleeping bags, proper shoes, water shoes, personal flotation devices and the important question, “What kind of duffel bag should I buy?”

Click through the slideshow below for full details on each of the products shown in the video above. Happy Camping!

  • 10 Things You Need 1 of 11
    Camp must haves

    You won't find toiletries or apparel listed here, these are 10 specific must-haves for kids' summer sleepaway camp and information on where to find them.

  • Mabel’s Labels 2 of 11

    You won't find a label like a Mabel's Label. They are perfect for school, camp and everyday use. The Back-to-School Combo Pack is the best choice for summer camp as it includes everything you could possibly need for labeling. Each pack can be customized with your child's name, preferred image and color combo. The pack includes:

    • 40 Skinny-Minis (dishwasher/microwave safe and UV resistant)
    • 50 Tag Mates (laundry safe and UV resistant)
    • 16 Shoe Labels (waterproof and UV resistant)
    • 2 Teeny Tags (waterproof and UV resistant)

    For more information, or to purchase for $39, please visit Mabel's Labels.

  • Pediped Flex Amazon Shoes 3 of 11

    These are the ultimate adventure shoe. Made from eco-friendly materials including natural rubber outsoles, these can be worn in the water and thrown in the washing machine when they get too dirty. Yes, these are machine washable shoes!


    The velcro strap helps for easy on and off and provide a secure fit, while the protective toe caps prevent stubbed toes. As with all Pediped shoes, these are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting healthy foot development. Most importantly - they are so comfortable!


    Various styles available to purchase through Pediped.

  • Lands’ End Trekker Shoes 4 of 11

    Flexible - check!

    Rugged - check!

    Comfortable, stink-resistant, grippy, lace-free - check, check, check, check!


    The Trekker shoes from Land's End are fantastic runners that have every feature you would want for summer camp. They have an Oxford version for girls (available in 3 colors) and a similar shoe for boys. We'll be using ours all summer long and through the school year. These are the perfect running shoe!


    For more information and to purchase various styles, please visit Land's End.

  • Stearns Boating Vests 5 of 11

    Yes, I know. All pools have their own sets of life jackets, but it's best if your child has their own. As long as it's labeled (see previous slides), you'll be fine. Besides, it comes in handy during trips to the beach. I prefer Stearns Boating Vests as they are $10-$15 cheaper than the leading competitor and yet the quality is still very good.


    You can find infant, child and youth sizes through

  • Safety Whistle 6 of 11

    It never occurred to me, that one would need a whistle during summer camp, but this was one of the items on my daughter's packing list. The Attwood Flat Safety Whistle is perfect for attaching to your child's life vest and has the perfect shrill whistle to alert anyone if needed.

    Bonus points for the price because it's only $1.96 through

  • Slumberjack Go-N-Grow Sleeping Bag 7 of 11

    Kids grow so quickly which is something SlumberJack took into consideration when they designed the Go-N-Grow Sleeping Bag. Insulated with Slumberloft Synthetic and weighing in at only 2 lbs, 13 oz, this double layer sleeping bag is a great choice for kids. As your child grows you can unzip the bottom to increase the length of the bag significantly.  It lengthens the bag by 10 inches to fit kids up to 5'4",and has a hood that can be snugged tight or laid flat.


    Since it is rated to 30F, this is a great choice for year-round use.


    You can purchase this directly through in both blue or purple for $54.95.

  • Large Solid Packable Duffel Bag For Kids 8 of 11
    Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 12.36.09 AM

    Lands' End does it again! This time, they've designed a light duffel bag that is both roomy and sturdy enough for a week at camp. Available in 6 different color combinations, this bag is made from 420D polyester and packs into its own front zipper pocket (see video above for more details). It's super roomy and can be monogrammed if you choose. You can opt to carry it or sling it over your shoulder with the included carry straps.


    Available to purchase through Lands' End for $29.

  • Camping Pillow 9 of 11

    No one wants to lug around massive pillows - especially to summer camp. Kelty, one of the leading names in camping gear has various versions of their camp pillow and in the video above we compare their standard pillow (polyester fill)  to their luxury pillow (down filled). Both fold up compact and have their own carry pouch.

    You can purchase both directly through Kelty for $13.95 - $28.95.

  • Pocket Flashlight 10 of 11
    Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.07.37 AM

    You can buy these just about anywhere and they are relatively inexpensive. This LED version lasts for 100,000 hours and uses 3 AAA batteries. It is also water-resistant and shock-proof, making it ideal for kids.


    Available through for $4.87.

  • Afterbite 11 of 11
    Screen Shot 2013-07-11 at 1.11.35 AM

    Bug bites are the worst and they can itch like crazy. Afterbite could be one of the best inventions to ever hit the stores - and it works! No more itching like mad after a day out. This would be a very welcome addition to your child's camping lot!


    Available to purchase through most drugstores and for $8.08.

Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest.

Article Posted 3 years Ago

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