The top-to-toes guide to packing for camp

Image: Raising Wildlings

Ah, camp. That magical time of year for kids…and parents! The time away is blissful, it’s the getting organised that can be stressful! While they’re busy packing their favourite photos, cute stationery and animal-print onesies it’s the parents who are left to pack everything else. Here’s our top-to-toes guide for making sure your kids are covered this camp season.


Camp is all about getting hot and sweaty – hair goes flying, glasses become streaked with fingerprints and noses become pink with sunburn. Make sure you’ve packed at least one wide-brimmed hat and plenty of good quality sunscreen with a high SPF rating. You’ll be surprised how quickly a child’s hair can become tangled, even if it’s very short. So every child needs a brush or comb along with plenty of hair elastics and clips to keep it out of their face during outdoor activities. Other handy headgear includes swimming goggles, sunglasses and a headlamp as opposed to a hand-held flashlight for hands-free fun. If your child is a light sleeper then earplugs will come in handy. We can’t guarantee they’ll get a lot of sleep but when they’re eventually ready some earplugs can help block out the giggles and gossiping!


If your child wears glasses don’t forget to pack some lens cleaning wipes, plus plenty of saline solution and spare contact lenses if needed. Baby wipes are a fast way to freshen up on the run without needing to wet a washcloth or be near the bathroom. Don’t just go for a fruity, glossy lip balm – choose one with a bit of SPF protection to help stop their lips getting sunburnt and chapped. Make sure you get a specific holder for toothbrush and toothpaste to stop them dripping all over your child’s washbag or (heaven forbid) leaking everywhere. Small travel packs of tissues are always a good idea, and you can even sneak a packet into the pockets of their sweater or shorts before packing them so that they’ll always have a tissue nearby.

Image: Parentmap
Image: Parentmap


Showering is often the last thing on their mind, but if your child is armed with lots of bright, delicious smelling products there’s a good chance they’ll actually want to use them. Load up their wash bags with shower gels, moisturisers, deodorant, shampoo and conditioner. Personalised travel bottles are the perfect way to store liquids and they’ll be easily and quickly identified. A personalised towel or poncho is a great way to get them excited about staying clean!

In terms of clothing, make sure you pack gear that can withstand a bit of dirt and grime. There’s a high chance that items like sweaters, socks and hats might not come home at all so don’t pack expensive clothing that might get misplaced (name labels can help keep loss to a minimum!). The main thing is that you want your child to be comfortable, warm and dry. Layers are good because they can strip down as the day gets warmer, so pack plenty of tank tops and sweatshirts.


Image: Expat Lingo
Image: Expat Lingo

All that walking, running, jumping, climbing and dancing can play havoc on your child’s feet if they don’t have the right gear. One pair of shoes for camp just won’t cut it. You need to make sure they have flip flops for the shower, hiking boots, tennis shoes and maybe some sandals or Crocs. Unfortunately these will take up a lot of space in your child’s bag but it’s worth it to ensure they can take part in any and all camp activities. Don’t forget plenty of socks and a few band-aids in case of blisters. Our sweat-resistant shoe labels will ensure they return home.

Feature image: Raising Wildlings

Posted by: Carrie Felton

Owner of Stuck on You, Penny Scallan Design, Golly Gosh and The SOY Group @ home