With school concluding, the weather warming up, and the days getting longer, it might be time for your child to start preparing for summer camp.

Prepping your kids for any period of time away can be stressful. You might worry that you’ll forget something important or hesitate at the cost of some of the necessary supplies.

However, packing your child’s bag doesn’t have to be a source of anxiety. Be prepared and on budget by following these tips and send your kids off right.


What to Bring

When it comes to packing, your best choice is a large duffel bag. Find one that’s big enough to have a little extra room and that you can wipe off should it get dirty. Organize with Ziplock bags and travel containers.

In regards to clothing, camp is no time to focus on fashion. Pack athletic and casual clothing like t-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, socks, and sandals. Don’t forget a bathing suit and towel for days by the lake or pool.

You also need to pack your child’s toiletries (travel size preferred unless they’ll be gone all summer) and send any required medication along as well. Although they’ll no doubt have access to drinks and water, ensure you pack your camper a water bottle to stay hydrated on the hot summer days to come.

Your last packing priority is a sturdy sleeping bag. Even if there are bunks available a sleeping bag can still be a great idea to provide extra comfort on a less than ideal mattress and prepare them in the event of a campout. Most importantly before you begin packing, take time to make a thorough list of nothing you want to forget; you’ll be glad you did.

What to Leave

You’ll be tempted to pack just about everything you can think of in fear of leaving your child unprepared. Even so, there are some things that just shouldn’t come to camp.

To save money and space, forgo first aid kits. Camps are usually prepped and well stocked with first aid supplies should your child need them. Furthermore, most camps prefer you skip this to ensure they’re aware and in charge should a child get injured.

More importantly, leave all technology at home. Should your camper truly need to call you, camp will no doubt have a reliable way for them to do so. And when it comes to the camp, expensive tablets and video game devices and the great outdoors simply don’t mix. The risk of a device getting damaged or ruined is far too high and only stands to cost you. At the end of the day, leave all tech at home to keep distractions at bay and let your child truly enjoy their time at summer camp.

How to Save on Supplies

While you don’t have to go crazy on supplies, sleep away camp definitely requires certain specific items and purchases that aren’t exactly cheap. Nonetheless, you can send your child off right without blowing your budget.

To begin with, pack older clothing and don’t waste money on expensive new athletic or hiking clothes. Camp is dirty; don’t waste money on new clothes that only stand to get ruined.

Moreover, you don’t have to go out and purchase brand new equipment like sleeping bags and tents. Instead, seek out second-hand shops or ask to borrow from friends and neighbors. Your child will still have all they need and you’ll save yourself from expensive camping gear.

Lastly, keep supplies at bay and don’t go overboard. Your child doesn’t really need ten shirts, three pairs of pants, and fifteen pairs of socks. Keep on budget and save space by packing a few basic necessities that your kids can reuse and re-wear.


Summer camp is all about the fun of summer, which is why you shouldn’t have to stress when it comes to preparing your child. Stick to a list, don’t go overboard, and don’t feel as though you have to spend money on expensive, high-end gear. You can ensure your kids will have the time of their lives, be ready for anything, and stay on budget all at the same time.

What’s an item you make sure your child’s never without? Where are some other places you could save on supplies?


About Kayla Sloan

Kayla Sloan is a freelance writer who covers business and personal finance. She has been featured in The Huffington Post, Time, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Kayla is passionate about helping people improve their finances so they can pursue their dreams.

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