Free Printable Sleepaway Camp Packing List | i should be mopping the floor
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Free Printable Sleepaway Camp Packing List

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With summer camps starting in less than a month, I thought it was the perfect time to publish a free printable sleepaway camp packing list (in both boy and girl versions). Our sons are both looking forward to multiple overnight camps this upcoming season. It's definitely a big part of summer memory making. Download your sleepaway camp packing list below.

Sleepaway Camp Packing List
These sleepaway camp packing list freebies are seriously an essential if you're new to the world of summer camp (or are seasoned and just need a little guide to refresh your memory). Our youngest decided to go to camp last summer on his own for the first time, ever. He didn't know a soul and I was a nervous wreck. After seven days and six nights, I missed him something terrible, but he was begging to stay another week. He loved it. This year, he is attending multiple camps (including his acting camps, thanks to all of you!). But, the tried and true, wilderness-style summer camp is the one I'm chatting about today. If you're venturing into this world, these printables can be a great guide as you start to pack up your kiddo. I've also included lots of tips and tricks I learned last year (plus some from lots of my friends, too).

Summer Camp Packing Tips

Summer camps are such a great memory-making part of our family after last year. My older son is actually venturing out and going to two, as well, after seeing how much fun his brother had. The biggest part of summer camp prep is definitely the packing. It's like a process itself. You want to make sure your kiddo is prepared, but still give them some freedoms and parts in the process of it all.

Summer Camp Tips
I'm sharing the free printable sleepaway camp packing list below for you to download in either (or both) versions (boy or girl). But, first, I want to share some of our favorite tips. I also want to type out the actual list for you to check over before committing to a download. 
Summer Camp Essentials
Before I talk about the little things, let's chat about the thing you need the most for sleepaway camp: a reinforced plastic foot locker with wheels. Our camp required everything (bedding, pillow, etc.) to all fit inside a tub or footlocker. So, this one was perfect. And...WHEELS. At our camp, the parking lot is a long way from the cabins. We wheeled that thing all the way across camp without issue. I truly felt for folks having to carry the tubs or wheel-less foot lockers the distance that we had to go. And, make sure it's plastic. While using grandpa's wooden army locker seemed so vintage and nostalgic, I'm glad I came to my senses and ordered this thing. Because, let's face it, it needed a bleach bath when it came back home. Whew. This particular one's lid is removable, too. At first, I was disappointed about that (I had wished for hinged). However, it ended up being a blessing. Our foot lockers had to be stored under the bunk beds (two per bed), and ours wouldn't have fit with the lid on it. So, we set the locker on the lid and slid it under the bed. My son was able to easily pull it out every day for his things. I purchased his exact plastic foot locker with wheels here on Amazon.

Printable Sleepaway Camp Packing List
It's a good idea to send your printable Sleepaway Camp Packing List along to camp (tuck it inside the footlocker), just as a nudge to make sure everything gets packed back up to bring back home. No guarantees this trick works, but, a mom has to try, right?

Camp Checklist

Sleepaway Camp Packing List

(the printable lists are available as free downloads below, but be sure see all of my explanations first, as they may save you a lot of time and money in purchasing unnecessary items):


  • plastic footlocker or tub 
  • shower caddy with handle
    • Pack all of your toiletries in the caddy inside your footlocker to make it easier. 
  • bedding 
    • We did twin sheets and a quilt, but others did sleeping bags; my son recommends sheets and a quilt since the cabins can get hot.
  • pillow
  • bath towel(s)
    • My son only used one and hung it up every night to dry (or, so I'm told).
  • beach towel
  • wash cloth
  • light backback or cinch sack
    • At our camp, this was required. They packed their water and essentials for the day in these before heading out of the cabin.
  • flashlight
  • fan (battery operated, preferably)
    • This was a BIGGIE. Our cabin's AC left a lot to be desired. And our camp was in humid east Texas. Every camper had a fan that attached to their bed. While a plug in one works best, outlets aren't readily available in summer camp cabins. 
    • We used this fan from Amazon (you can see it in the above photo). It worked well, he just had to remember to charge it during the day.
    • dirty clothes bag (well, this was wishful thinking for us!)
    • reusable water bottle
    • insect repellant
    • sunscreen 
      • I prefer the spray-on kind since he had to apply it himself. 
    • notebook
    • pens/pencils
    • stationery (pre-addressed envelopes)
      • Just FYI, this was kind of wishful thinking, too! We did get one letter...but it arrived after our camper was already back home. ;)
    • stamps
    • disposable camera
      • I bought way too many of these. He used one.
    • waterproof watch
      • This was a necessity for us since campers had to be at certain places at certain times (and no phones were allowed).
      • We grabbed this one at Amazon and it was perfect. It still keeps time and will be sent back to camp again this summertime.
    • plastic grocery sacks
      • These are great for bringing home wet stuff.
    • Ziploc baggies
      • I actually packed each outfit in a quart-sized Ziploc for him. This worked fairly well.
    • Bible/devotional
    • quiet-time activities (games, book, etc.)
      • Our camp had an hour of quiet cabin time every afternoon.
    • money
      • Our camp actually did not allow this, but I know many do. We had an online account that our son was able to use at the trading post every day. We could add to it throughout the week, as needed
    • snacks
      • Our camp did not allow this, either. Our campers purchased snacks at the trading posts. No food was allowed in cabins, even in care packages.


    The number of items you need depends on the number of nights your sleepaway camp is. I would add in a couple of extras of t-shirts, shorts, and underthings, because campers have clothing changes after swimming, etc.
    • poncho/raincoat
    • ball cap/hat for sun
    • sunglasses
    • t-shirts
    • shorts
    • jeans (will need for horseback riding)
    • underwear/bras/sports bras
    • socks
    • pajamas
    • swim trunks or suits (2)
    • swim shirt
    • theme night clothing
    • sandals or water shoes
    • tennis shoes
    • boots (will need for horseback riding)
    • shower shoes (cheap flip flops)


    • bar soap/body wash
      • FYI, our cabins only allowed for super short showers. I highly recommend a 3-in-1 shampoo, conditioner, body wash as a time saver.
    • shampoo/conditioner
    • toothbrush
    • toothpaste
    • hairbrush
    • comb
    • medications (in original containers)
    • deodorant
    • aloe vera
    • feminine hygiene products

    Download Your Sleepaway Camp Packing List:

    Free Printable Sleepaway Camp Packing List

    Summer Camp Checklists
    Our camp has a cool parent-portal where we can see photos of our campers every day. On day two, I realized the fancy UV-resistant swim shirt he had to have wasn't exactly being worn (when the above photo popped up). So, that may be optional this year. He did assure me that he applied sunscreen.

    Summer Camp List

    More Summer Camp Essentials and Tips

    More Printable Packing Lists You'll LOVE:

    • If you're traveling for business or pleasure, be sure to download my (reader-favorite) Free Printable Packing List (in three fun design options). It will save you from forgetting something at home.
    • And I have a fabulous Free Printable Children's Visual Packing List, as well. This is such a great tool to teach kids how to pack for family travel. Our sons have used theirs for years. 

    Need Assistance with Downloading or Printing?

    Be sure to watch my video tutorial below. It has downloading and printing tips for either a Mac or a PC. It also includes explanations on printing on your home printer or uploading to your local print shop. If you have any additional questions, please check out my thorough post here on printing your printables. It includes budget-friendly, at-home printer ideas for you, too.

    Did I leave anything off of the Sleepaway Camp Packing List? Be sure to let me know in the comments.

    Free Packing Lists

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