Last summer my oldest kids wanted to try their hand at sleep away camp for the first time. Cabin life in Kansas in July sounds awful to me. But I wasn’t going to discourage them from giving it a go. Since week long summer camps aren’t known for amazing hotel amenities like closets and expansive bathroom sink space, I took the packing and prepping as a personal challenge. Here’s what I came up with to keep my kiddos organized with some creative summer camp packing.
I grabbed a handled caddy that we had around the house and filled it up with their bathroom supplies. I figured they would have to carry their things to and from for each use and I ended up being right. It made things easy to access, wet compatible, and held full-size bottles of soap and shampoo since my kids were sharing. If you don’t have one laying around (because why would you unless you’re me?), here are a few good options:
I decided to pack their clothes and snacks in plastic tubs. They are easily labeled to avoid confusion, act like a drawer with easier access to everything, and the lids keep things dry and bug free. With the sizing (ours were approx. 30 qt. size) they would also be easy to slide under a bed if needed.
To keep dirty clothes separate from the clean and in one spot, I threw in a reusable shopping bag to act as a hamper. You could also use a pop up hamper which is more breathable and larger.
With a lake or pool (or a ton of other water-based activities) there is always something that needs drying. Send along a simple hanger that can be hung on the side of a bed, back of a door, or shower rod. If you want lots of options you could give one of these a try:
Instead of a suitcase, trunk, duffel bag, or even garbage bags (I saw some of those), I opted to pack everything in a large plastic tote. Again, it keeps things dry, bug free, easy to access, and is 100% stackable.
There were multiple kids to a cabin and having 3 kids myself, I knew a mess was about to be made. To keep things from getting lost I labeled everything. No exaggeration. For clothing I used these non-iron fabric labels and most are still on a year later so they are super durable. For everything else I just used masking tape and a marker. Nothing fancy but it got the job done.
Did everything come home exactly how I had packed it? No. And I didn’t expect it to. But I did ask my girls at the end of it how the camp packing worked out and they gave it two thumbs up. To see it all put together check out this video over on Instagram.
Looking for more family friendly packing tips? Check out this blog post on how to pack light with kids.