The essential overnight camp checklist your child needs

Published on: January 16, 2020

UPDATED: JUNE 2023

A few years ago, when I was attempting to pack my son up for overnight camp, I tried to think of all the scenarios he might encounter. What if it rained? What if there are lots of bugs? What if he gets too hot? What if he gets hungry? What if he gets scared?

By the time I was actually ready to pack, I was tasked with how I was going to fit 200 items in his duffle bag. It turns out, I didn’t need to pack absolutely everything I had dreamed up in my worst-case scenario mom brain.

To save you from the torment of taking too much, we have come up with an essential packing list of what your child will need while away at overnight camp at Muskoka Woods.

The first step is to label all of your child’s clothing, so it doesn’t get lost or mixed up with fellow guests’ belongings. Also, leave all jewelry, tablets and cellphones at home, because a) your child will not need these at camp and 2) Why take the risk of them being lost?

Next, look at what your child will be doing while away at camp. Are they doing outdoor activities and messy camp games? If so, they will need the appropriate clothing.

The list of essentials they’ll need to get through their stay includes:

  • Labeled water bottle
  • Small backpack
  • Hat
  • Watch
  • Toiletries
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Sunscreen
  • Jacket, raincoat and rubber boots
  • Closed-toed Running Shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Soap
  • Insect Repellent
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Underwear and socks
  • Bathing suits
  • 2-3 tops, long sleeves, and shorts you don’t mind getting messy
  • Several shirts/tops and shorts
  • Athletic attire
  • Several sweatshirts and/or sweaters
  • Jeans and/or sweatpants
  • Pyjamas
  • Pillow
  • Blanket/Sleeping bag/Single fitted sheet/Single Bed Sheets
  • Several Towels (both for the beach and shower)
  • Flashlight

In addition to these items, toss in some items that are familiar from home, like their favourite teddy bear or book — just something to give them comfort while away.

If packing is stressing you out, you can also purchase a Camp Essentials Kit from Muskoka Woods. The kit includes a sleeping bag, pillow, pillowcase, fitted bed sheet, beach towel, gym bag, water bottle, sunglasses, sunscreen, toothbrush and toothpaste.

Lastly, if you’re worried you forgot something or that your child will run out of a certain item, Muskoka Woods has a Camp Store wherein you can load money into an account for your child should they need or want something they don’t have on-hand. You will receive up-to-the-minute reports of their purchases, just to give you even more peace of mind that your child has everything he or she needs or wants while away at camp.

About the Author

Rachel Naud lives in Toronto with her husband, 16-year-old son and Old English Sheepdog, Stanley. When she's not busy with the three boys in her life, she is also the founder and editor of INBETWEEN magazine, a digital magazine geared to parents of teens. Rachel can often be seen on morning shows across the country, talking about trends and products relevant to that demographic. She has appeared on The Morning Show, Breakfast TV, CTV Winnipeg, CTV Ottawa and more. In addition, Rachel is also the coordinator of the Lifestyle Media program at Centennial College in Toronto, where she also teaches students a variety of subjects in Lifestyle Media. To unwind, Rachel loves to cook while mostly blasting The Chicks.

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