Gearing Up for Summer – Packing

Gearing Up For Summer - PackingBy the time school wraps up for the year I’m ready to throw in the towel when it comes to packing lunches and backpacks (or at least the part where I have to nag my kids to do it). But it’s a big part of summer camp, so I’m preparing stuff-wise, even if I’m not mentally ready.

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1) Backpack

Chances are, you’ve already got this part covered, as long as the school year backpacks have managed to survive. My favorite source for durable backpacks is LLBean, but Amazon also carries lots of well-rated and wallet-friendly options.

2) Tissues 

With our family’s seasonal allergies in full-swing as of late, I pretty much have these little tissue packs everywhere I can fit them and a full box of tissues in my car.

3) Hand Wipes or Hand Sanitizer

Soap and water are the best choices when it comes to hand washing, but throw in field trips and those slightly dirtier camps (ahem… horse camp), and I really want to be sure my kids are cleaning up before lunch and snacks.

4) Extra Clothing

I can only think of one or two occasions when one of my kids actually had to use their extra clothing, but I always pack it just in case. It’s kept in a large freezer bag, which can be compressed down so that it takes up minimal room in the backpack. (You probably don’t need a picture, but I kind of have a thing going here.)

5) Large Lunchbox

At camp, my kids have a lot longer to eat lunch and I love having extra room to pack more, so we opt to use larger lunchboxes than what they carry during the school year. (My oldest also prefers her PB&J non-soggy, so being able to separate that from the cold stuff has its benefits.)

6) Water Bottle

We’ve been using these Thermos brand water bottles since my kids started school (I always look for the kind that doesn’t have a straw — less to clean!). With an ice cube or two, they seem to stay cool all day and they’re not super expensive. My only complaint is that if you have them in a color, the color gets scratched up over time (or are my kids the only ones who regularly drop theirs?). For my own use, I have the plain, stainless steel and black version and that one hasn’t scratched at all.

7) Ice Packs

Hot, summer days don’t mix too well with most lunches, so the more ice packs the better!

We also have this freezable lunch bag for extra cooling.

8) Reusable Containers and Bags

I’ll admit it, I love single-serve, prepackaged food items that my kids can grab on the way out the door. But we are taking baby steps towards creating less waste in our house so these reusable bags and food containers are on regular rotation.

9) Labels!

Most of the time I use a Sharpie, however on things like sunscreen and water bottles, even Sharpie wears off after a while. I had tons of labels when my kids were little, but I’ve thrown caution to the wind as they’ve gotten older and we’ve lost a few things in the process. Locally, we have Name Bubbles, so stock up!

Alright, happy packing and happy summer! Thanks for reading 🙂


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