The Ultimate Summer Camp Packing List & Survival Guide

Packing for summer camp can be stressful. We’re here to tell you how to be 100% prepared for summer camp with all the essentials you’ll need – from pyjamas to period panties.

I’ve gone to summer camps every year for the past 11 years, so I know all the ups and downs of the packing process. You want to make sure you don’t forget a single thing on your camping checklist, so you can avoid the stress of getting there and realizing you forgot something. I’m here to give you advice on how to be 100% prepared for your sleep away summer camp with all the camping essentials you’ll need.

Summer camp packing list for girls

Summer camp clothes

  • Short sleeve t-shirts
  • Long sleeve t-shirts
  • Sweatshirts
  • Sweatpants
  • Shorts
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuits
  • Pyjamas
  • Bathrobe
  • Sneakers
  • Flip flops
  • Slippers
  • Rain boots
  • Rain jacket
  • Baseball hat

Bedding

  • Sheets
  • Blanket
  • Duvet
  • Pillow
  • Pillow cases
  • Towels
  • Laundry bag

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body wash
  • Hairbrush
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Tissue
  • Bug spray
  • Afterbite
  • Aloe vera

Other camping essentials

  • Sleeping bag
  • Flash light
  • Batteries
  • Stationery
  • Stamps
  • Pens
  • Water bottle
  • Backpack
  • Sunglasses
  • Cards
  • Books

Period essentials

  • Knixteen
  • Tampons
  • Extra underwear
  • Pads
  • Extra sheets
  • Panty liners
  • Tide-to-go stick
  • Extra set of sheets

Lock box essentials

  • Fan
  • Flashlight
  • Candy
  • Magazines
  • Sunglasses
  • Gum
  • Headphones
  • iPod

How to deal with your first period at summer camp

Being away all summer can be scary enough, and as a preteen or teenage girl, getting your first period while you’re away is a serious worry. You may not be surrounded by the people you’re most comfortable with, and that makes a visit from Aunt Flo seriously horrible. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you deal with that potential ‘Oh-No’ moment so you can enjoy your summer at camp free from period horror stories.

How to tell your counselors

I got my first period at summer camp, so I know how it feels. You’re scared to tell your camp counselors or fellow campers because you’re worried they’ll think it’s gross, or you’re weird. Or worse – what if they’re as lost as you are? Trust me, everything will be alright.

You’ll be surrounded by female counselors older than you, so I can guarantee they’ve gotten their periods and are pros on the topic. They’ll know exactly how to help! They’ll help you clean up any unwanted leakage and make sure you get pads, tampons, or anything else you may need if you didn’t pack a pair of Knixteens on your supplies list. Your summer camp counselors are there to help you; don’t be scared to pull them aside and ask for help.

How to clean up your stained sheets

To clean fresh period stains, spot-treat with soap and water and toss it in the washing machine, if you have one available. Otherwise, dish soap and water should do the trick! To get out old period stains, you can make your own DIY stain remover using baking soda and water. For more info on what to pack for cleaning period stains, check out our blog post here.

Swimming lessons on your period

As a teen camper, being on my period during swimming lessons was the scariest thing for me. I didn't want to be forced into the water and I didn't want people to question me or give me weird looks for sitting out. Even if I wanted to go in the water, I didn’t know what to wear with my bathing suit for protection to avoid leaking.

Here’s the most important thing: if you don’t want to go in the water because you’re on your period, don’t! No one can force you into the water. Talk to your swim instructor or one of the counselors you’re most comfortable with and they will 100% understand. In my case, my swim instructor was a boy, so I decided to ask a female camp counselor to speak with my swim instructor.

If you don’t feel comfortable telling anyone about your period, just say you’re not feeling well and don’t want to participate in swimming. Again, no one can force you into the water!

I hope this helped you become a pro packer and taught you about camping necessities you never thought you would need to pack for a sleep away summer camp, like Knixteens to save you from the those ‘Oh-No’ moments.

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