What to Pack for Camp America?

If you’ve never been to an American summer camp deciding what to take can be a bit of a guessing game. The kids themselves usually take everything they own and I mean everything, they have their huge luggage shipped to camp.

Unfortunately when your trying to cram three months worth of stuff into a 22k luggage allowance and 70oz backpack, you just don’t have this luxury.

Most camps will provide you with a packing list of camp essentials. However if your like me and get your camp placement 5 days before your flight, knowing what you need can be a challenge.

I ended up trolling through countless blogs trying to work out what on I could possibly needed to take. A lot can also depend on what your plans are for after camp, if you intend to travel (which I mean is one of the most exciting parts!) I would recommend keeping these plans as open as possible so you don’t end up missing out. Which I know doesn’t really help on what to pack for after.

In the end the blogs offered some good and bad advise. Wall Mart really did become my live saver, there are a lot of things that you can pick up when you arrive. However there are some things I really wish I hadn’t taken.

My main advice for camp would be think comfy clothes you can do lots of activities in. Like comfy material shorts and t-shirts. Then you want nice clothes to wear on evenings, nights out and for whatever your travel plans are for after camp. The tricky thing comes with the camp diet, this can really go one of two ways I’ve never know anyone go to camp and maintain the same weight. People either put on a few pounds or loose a few. So make sure your clothes are a range of seizes as when it came to travelling I struggled with some of the clothes I couldn’t fit into anymore.

I also really regretted taking hiking boots even though we did some hikes at camp and after in Yosemite. They were more of a pain than for the few times they were useful. You could easily get away with some comfy trainers.

Anyway I’ve rambled on long enough here is my ultimate camp America packing list.

The Essentials

Backpack – probably the most cruial, some people do take suitcases but I’m so thankful for my backpack. I really would have struggled both at camp and travelling afterwards trying to drag a suitcase up some of the dirt trails.

Handluggage bag – I went for a standard handbag but some people we’re happy doing the front and back backpacks.


Visa – pretty important if you want to get into the country


– Money – I got a travel money card from the post office and took 200 in cash

Insurance documents – another cruial one

First aid Kit – I never travel without one

Watch – that’s what phones are for right ? Well many camps don’t actually allow you to have phones on you and you are constantly going to need to know what time you need to be where.

Sun glasses

Towel – I took two and I’m so glad one to shower one for beaches.

– Phone

Torch – this one really was a life saver if your camp is very rural. Mine didn’t have lights in many places so I don’t know what I would have done without it.



Portable charger – if you find yourself camping at any point this is ideal.

Day time backpack – to carry everything around with you during the day

Night out bag



– Hoodie

– Sandals with backs

-Comfy trainers/ converse

– Flip flops

– Underwear

– Socks

– Swimming costume / binki x2

– Sports clothes

– Multi coloured tops

– 3 comfy shorts

Nice shorts

– PJ’s

– Night out clothes


Tampons – crazy expensive in America

Travel sized shampoo, conditioner & body wash


– Toothbrush

– After sun

– Suncream

– Dry shampoo

– Makeup

The Extras

Notebook & Pen

– Camera

– iPod/ iPad

– Books

– Hairbobbles

– Straightners

– Bug spray

– Something from your country

Things to buy when you arrive


– Conditioner


– Sleeping bag

– American phone

– Water bottle


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