Camp Packing List Best Pro Tips

Teen girl smiling at camp

Take the Pain Out of Packing

Probably the only part of the OTC experience that doesn’t promise hours of fun is packing. We have prepared a detailed Packing List with recommended items and quantities. We recommend that you use it as a shopping list when buying toiletries and as a final checklist on packing day.

To get you started, Here are a few tried-and-true packing tips from our staff and past campers/parents:

  • 1 Keep it Simple. Let practicality rule the day. Your teen doesn’t need multiple “outfits” beyond what’s on the packing list. T-shirts, shorts, and sweats will make up their wardrobe for camp
  • 2 Don’t pack anything you don’t mind getting stained, torn, or lost.
  • 3 Keep it Small. Don’t pack large bottles of shampoo, shower gel, etc.  Your teen will use a lot less than you think. Pack just enough to last the duration of camp.
  • 4 Keep It Dry. Make sure all toiletries and liquids are packed together inside a strong Ziplock-style bag. Having your clothes saturated in shampoo or toothpaste is no way to start summer camp! This is especially important if your teen is traveling by plane, as luggage gets tossed around a lot.
  • 5 Pack Together. Use your Packing List like an inventory checklist and make it a team effort. You might even find a way to make a game of it!
  • 6 Don’t Fold, Roll. If your teen doesn’t already know this essential packing tip, then this is a great teachable moment. Rolling clothing is space efficient, makes packing go faster, and keeps wrinkles to a minimum.
  • 7 Surprise them. Leave a short note, a photo, or some other small (non-valuable) memento that will remind your camper of home. If you have a family pet, a photo will be a welcome surprise and a great conversation starter at camp.
  • 8 Remember the trip home. When camp is over, your teen will have to repack everything. When you pack, include an extra copy of your packing/inventory list so your camper can use it as a check-off when repacking, making sure all clothes are accounted for -- including the mysterious vanishing sock.

Get the full printable packing list below

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Download The Full Packing List Listing All Items Needed at Camp