Mom Approved Summer Camp Packing Essentials

With the school year finally winding down, we’re all getting a little antsy for summer. While dreaming of days at the pool and maybe even a fun family getaway, it’s also time to start summer camp packing and prepping! Do you have everything you need?

Pull out those trunks and checklists, mommas! We’re bringing you our best summer camp packing tips along with a list of all our favorite packing essentials for overnight summer camps.

Packing Prep

Houston Moms Pro Packing tip – Make sure to have an organization system in place for your camper. It eliminates stress. We recommend using packing cubes or even just gallon Ziploc bags to separate clothing for each day. You could even put all shirts in one, shorts in another, underwear and socks in another, etc. That way, your camper can just grab a bag and go. Clean clothes will stay nice and clean away from the “dirties” that come into the trunk. Encourage your camper to put ALL of their dirty items into the laundry bag and not just toss them into the trunk. Trust me, your nose will thank you later on the ride home!

Oh and be sure to label, label, label. Everything you send with your camper should be clearly labeled with their name. We love these cute sticker labels– they work on fabric, too!

Don’t Forget the Basics

Maybe your camp provides a packing list, but if not, we’ve got you covered. We’ve collaborated with our team to come up with a list of everything you’ll need for a successful and fun summer camp adventure. You’ll want to check with your specific camp on the numbers of these items they recommend for each category. And definitely pay attention to what might be needed for special theme nights!

Print out our checklist here and mark everything off as you go to make sure your child is prepared!

Printable Summer Camp Packing List

Houston Moms Recommended Favorites

You’ve packed the essentials- got your bathing suits and sunscreen. But how about a few little *extras*? Here’s a list of our favorite summer camp items recommended by our very own team at Houston Moms. These aren’t absolute necessities but they’re sure to make everything a little more special, comfortable, organized, and fun.

Kids want to take pictures at camp- that’s a given. But who wants the distractions of a smart phone when you’re having a blast at camp? Do away with the smart phone all together and check out these Screen-free Digital Cameras from Camp Snap. Give your child the freedom to embrace their inner photographer without having to worry about the distractions and temptations of screen time.

Screen free digital camera

This lightweight foldable chair is so easy to take with you anywhere. Practical, comfortable, and water resistant- the perfect companion for summer camp!

Crazy creek chair

This watch is perfect for kids to take with them to camp- comfortable, waterproof, has an alarm, a calendar, and comes in so many fun colors and styles.

kids sports watch

Help your kids stay organized- this Glide & Go Tray fits nicely into the top of your trunk and slides from side to side so you don’t have to remove it. They can store toiletries, craft supplies, suncreen, anything!

Glide n Go trunk organizer


It can be hard to fall asleep when you’re away from home. With this NodPod gentle pressure sleep mask, help your child feel cozy and settled and get that much needed sleep while they’re at camp.

Battery Powered Fan

This is another great item that will help your child get a good night’s sleep while they’re away from their own bed. Drown out the noise of bunk life and stay cool at this same time with this battery powered clip-on fan.

battery powered clip on fan

Water Bottle Sling

Make staying hydrated easy-peasy. These mesh sling water bottle bags are adjustable and ideal for hands-free water bottle carrying. Perfect for kids at camp.

Water bottle sling bag

Mosquito Stickers

Keep the bugs away without the mess of bug spray. These easy to peel, all natural, adorable stickers are great for kids.

Mosquito repellent stickers

Wherever your campers are headed this summer, we wish them a fun and safe time growing, learning, exploring, and enjoying all that summer camp has to offer!

Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates and other Affiliate Programs designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to, Nordstrom, ABC Mouse, and other affiliate sites.

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Bethany Dufilho
Bethany, the daughter of an army chaplain and a special education teacher, grew up moving every 2-3 years. She considers herself an introvert who had to learn how to make friends quickly! She met her Houstonian husband, Paul, in college and they married in 2004. They first settled just north of Houston, where she earned her master's degree at Sam Houston State in School Psychology. After working in public education for a couple of years, she decided to stay home full time with their children, Charlie {2008}, Norah {2010}, and Will {2013}. The family moved to Katy in 2012, where they’ve been ever since. She loves decorating and even had her own small business for a while. She also loves to read, binge-watch old TV shows, talk politics and enneagram, and will not turn down a cup of strong coffee or a good conversation with a friend.


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