Packing is an exciting part of any summer camp adventure. Here's how to pack for kids summer camps to protect and prepare your child for fun and safety.

The weather is getting warmer and summer is creeping up. This means 3 things:

  1. School is out
  2. Kids summer camp and summer vacations
  3. Panicked parents

As much as we love our kids being at summer camp or summer vacation (hello, peace and quiet!), we start to panic because there will be things we can't control when they are away. What if they are homesick, have a bad dream, or don't wear sunscreen?

As parents, we send our kids to camp to gain some independence, but let's face it: kids can't be responsible for slathering themselves with SPF and then reapplying. Keep reading as we give you some hot tips for packing and preparing your child for an exciting but safe summer camp experience!

Packing for Kids Summer Camp

Packing for kids' summer camp can be a stressful experience all around. You must make sure you get your kids' favorite items and the items they need.

Try packing in packing cubes so that everything is organized. If you need to, label the cube with the day of the week. Inside each cube, put whatever they might need for that day.

Essentials Only

One hot tip is to not over-pack for your child. Think realistically about what they will be doing and what they need. They don't need to take 10 pairs of shorts or 20 t-shirts for a week-long camp.

By packing only their essentials and maybe 1-2 personal items, they will be less likely to lose things, and it will be much less for them to carry around.

If you don't need packing cubes because it is just a day camp situation, then packing the essentials will be different. For day campers you might need a lunch or snack, swimming gear, and a change of clothes.

The "Every-Day Backpack"

Packing an "every-day bag is a great tip. Get a small, durable, and lightweight backpack that can contain bug spray, sunscreen, a water bottle, a sun-protective blanket, and a small first aid pouch. Not only will your child be prepared, but it can give you a bit of "peace of mind" knowing they have what they need for an emergency on hand.


Summer camp shoes can be limited to 3 pairs if it is overnight or extended stay camp: one for showering, tennis shoes for everyday wear, and water shoes for rain or swimming in lakes or rivers.

If your child is attending day camp, then just grab a good pair of shoes that are multi-purpose. They will be doing a variety of outdoor activities including water sports, so having a shoe that is multi-functional will be beneficial.

Label Everything

Children find it entertaining, though maybe a little embarrassing, that their name is on everything. It is for their own good, and they will thank you when they misplace something or get it mixed up with someone else's belongings.

Always Ask First

Every camp will ask for different things. If it is an extended stay camp, you might need pillows, a sleeping bag, or bed sheets. For a day camp, you might need to provide snacks or lunches.

Always ask the summer camp ahead of time what is needed or recommended to bring. By following their specific guidelines or checklist, you are sure not to overpack or forget important items.

Anti-Aging and Sun-Protective Clothing

The best way to protect kids from the summer sun is not with sunscreen alone, but to purchase protective clothing. Lightweight sun-protective shirts can ease your mind about kids' exposure to the sun. It is also anti-aging, so your child can keep their skin youthful for as long as possible.

Sun-protective clothing is usually up to UPF 50+ and doesn't wash off like sunscreen. It can be used in a variety of activities, which makes it great for preventing sunburn at summer camps. It is great for wearing as is, as a layer, a swim shirt, or a rash guard.

You might think that a long sleeve in summer is crazy. There is no way my kid would wear that, but sun-protective clothing is tightly knit, made with a fabric that dries quickly, and provides cooling effects.

Sun-protective longer sleeves, long pants, and long skirts will provide the most sun protection to prevent sunburn. This also means less sunscreen needs to be used because more of the body is covered with protective fabric.


When looking at what color to choose from, keep in mind that darker and vivid colors will offer more protection than lighter colors. Darker colors and vivid colors can absorb more UV rays. With BloqUV you are guaranteed UPF50 in any color.

Sun-protective clothing comes in great colors and patterns so your child doesn't need to feel out of place when they are preventing sunburn.

Not Just Shirts

Sun protective clothing is not just limited to clothing items. There are also blankets, sun sleeves, hats, and bandanas. Any of these accessories are great additions to your child's summer camp belongings.

A sun-protective blanket can double as a towel and sun wrap. It is quick to dry and lightweight, making it something they can carry about with them daily. This sun protective blanket is also antimicrobial and odor-resistant, so you don't need to worry about it smelling while they are away.

If you have a child with long hair, then getting a bandanna might be a great option. This can be used as a hair accessory but also to protect their scalp from the sun.

Summer Camp Here We Come

Packing for kids summer camp couldn't be easier or less stressful when incorporating sun-protective clothing! It will not only be easy for your kids to stay safe in the sun, but you will feel better about them being away from home.

If you would like to know more about the benefits and options of sun-protective clothing, then make sure to contact us here. Also, check us out for more protective summer tips!

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell