It’s never too early to start packing for camp! Whether it’s your first summer or you’re a returning camper, this list of 10 camp essentials (and insider tips) will help you prepare for the best summer yet!
- Insect repellent for clothing & gear – We recommend the use of one of these products to treat your camper’s clothing and gear she brings to camp. This is a great tool, in addition to daily use bug spray, to help repel a variety of insects common in the summer months.
Tip: Allow yourself a few extra days for treatment of your camper’s items. The spraying and drying time of all items can take between 2-4 hours and must air dry before using or washing the items.
- Flashlight – Whether it is used for navigating a dark cabin or a late-night trading post raid, you’ll find having a reliable flashlight very useful! The style of flashlight preferred may vary from person to person, but we recommend a flashlight with LED bulbs. These are brighter and extend the life of the flashlight batteries! Here are few good options:
- Fan – A personal fan is a great way to stay comfortable during camp. Whether it be small enough to carry around in a backpack or just for the cabin, we suggest a battery powered fan. While cabins do have electricity, it is not available for personal fans.
Tip: Pack extra batteries or remind your camper to stop by the camp store. The camp store will be stocked with AA batteries available for purchase by campers and staff!
- Quick dry towel(s) – We love quick dry towels at camp! They easily ring out water and can dry out quickly even on rainy days! These also help prevent mildew and mold in the cabin and laundry bags.
- Laundry bag – We recommend two laundry bags for camp. Once a week your camper’s laundry will be washed by our laundry staff. A second bag is helpful for her laundry day and for the end of camp when extra laundry may accumulate. The bags must be canvas (not mesh) with a cinched drawstring and your camper’s full name across the middle in 3-5 inch letters. Below are two options that fit the bill for our system!
Tip: Label, label, label! The best way to prevent the loss of clothing and personal items is to thoroughly label each item sent with your camper! As lost and found items begin to accumulate, camp staff will return all items that are labeled to their owners. We ask that campers come with all of their items labeled completely with their first and last name (avoiding initials when possible). We recommend using a permanent marker and writing their name directly on the item. While the pre-made labels can be great, we often see them come off in the laundry process.
- Proper footwear – Between water activities and rain, shoes can get wet very quickly and don’t always dry right away. Because of this, we suggest bringing water-shoes with a sturdy sole for rainy days or waterfront activities. For campers that prefer to wear sneakers daily, we suggest bringing an extra pair. Additionally, socks with a moisture-wicking component are great for keeping feet clean and dry.
Below are a few options for water shoes that have worked well in the past for camp! Both of these styles of shoes have a sturdy sole and the required backstrap for camp footwear.
- Sun protection – In addition to sunscreen, we can never suggest enough sun protection. While counselors will remind their campers to apply sunscreen, it is helpful to have additional protection for long sunny days! A few items we have found to be especially effective are clothes with SPF ratings, hats, and sunglasses.
Sunglasses – We recommend packing something cheaper that you would not be worried about getting lost or broken.. An extra pair or two is always useful too!
SPF shirts – These are great for both water activities and around camp. They dry quickly after getting wet and keep campers cool throughout the day!
Hats – A hat is great for additional sun protection to the face. While we recommend picking a hat based on personal preference, here are a few options:
- Waldo – Waldo is our new photo sharing platform for this summer! Photo viewing will be available to all camp families using this link www.waldo.photos/galleries and merrimac2019 as the join code. You can also activate facial recognition by texting merrimac2019 to 735-343.
- Water bottle – A good water bottle is a camp necessity! We encourage campers to keep their water bottle with them all day to stay hydrated! Here are a few options that work well at camp:
- Merri-Mac Nalgene Water Bottle – These bottles are very durable and hold 32 oz. of water for long days at camp!
- Hydroflask Water Bottle – This style of water bottle comes in a variety of sizes and works well to keep water cold even on the hottest days!
- Tribe jersey – If this is your first summer at Merri-Mac, you’ll soon learn the importance of the tribe jersey! On the first night of camp, campers will be initiated into their tribe (Choctaw, Iroquois, or Seminole) and once they are initiated they are in their tribe for life! Just like the returning campers at initiation, campers will soon get to represent their tribe for tribal activities and competitions! Since the majority of our evening activities are tribal, we recommend at least 2 tribe jerseys, but a few extras can’t hurt either!
We offer a variety of other tribal gear as well! While this is not required for tribal competitions, it always fun to dress up and represent your tribe! Check out the entire collection here:
We hope this helped get your packing lists started and sparks your excitement about coming to camp! Any merchandise purchased through camp can be shipped to your home (shipments go out within 3-5 business days) or ordered for camp delivery! We ask that camp deliveries be ordered 72 hours ahead of your arrival at camp, anything ordered after that may be delivered late! All orders are placed on campers bunks on the first night of camp!
Shop the camp store here:
First summer at camp? Don’t worry, you can shop too! Although your camper may not be initiated into their tribe yet, when choosing tribal clothing at accessories and select ‘New Camper’ when asked to choose a tribe. Once they are initiated into their tribe we will deliver all items ordered directly to their bunk!
Questions about packing or ordering for camp? E-mail Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can’t wait to see you at camp!