The Ultimate Sports Camp Packing List

Get ready for summer sports camp with these packing list must-haves

Tennis racquets might be on your sports camp packing list
Cultura/Nancy Honey / Riser / Getty Images

The sports camp packing list can be intimidating, especially when it's just part of a longer list of preparation tasks. So much to do, buy, and remember! Here's a list to get you started. Use it to begin getting ready before you even receive the camp's own packing list, or to cross-check against its suggestions. Because you know, sometimes the organizers overlook things too. (And don't forget to label everything!)

Sports Day Camp Packing List

For a sports-oriented daytime-only program, your child may need:

  • A windbreaker or sweatshirt in case of chilly weather or rain
  • Extra socks
  • A hat with a brim and/or sunglasses
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, lip balm, hand sanitizer
  • Any medications your child takes regularly or might need (find out the camp's policy on this in advance)
  • A reusable water bottle
  • A healthy bagged lunch
  • Appropriate sports equipment and safety gear; make sure everything fits and is in good shape
  • Swimsuit, goggles, and towel in a plastic or waterproof bag
  • A sturdy, but lightweight backpack to carry everything

Overnight Sports Camp Packing List

For overnight camp, your child's list will likely include:

  • Sports gear: Workout clothes, safety equipment, special footwear such as cleats or ice skates, and so on. Double-check in advance that everything fits well and is not worn out or broken.
  • Clothing: Shorts and t-shirts (and/or whatever your child wears to play his sport); plenty of socks and underwear; sweatshirts, sweatpants, and light rain jacket for chillier days; pajamas; flip-flops or sandals for down time. Some camps have a special event or two that requires dressier clothing, too. It depends on how tough your child is on clothes, and whether laundry is available, but one set of clothes for every day of camp, plus two spares, is a good rule of thumb. And find out if there are special spirit days where your child will need to wear a particular color or even a costume.
  • Swimming: Even at camps dedicated to other sports, your child will likely have an opportunity to swim. She should pack a swimsuit or two, goggles, flip-flops, and towels if the camp doesn't supply them.
  • Linens: Every camp is different, but you may need to supply sheets, pillowcases, a pillow, a blanket or sleeping bag, towels, and a laundry bag.
  • Sun protection: Hats, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen, along with strict instructions on when to use it (every day, with frequent reapplications).
  • Toiletries: Whatever your child uses regularly; he may need a small tote to carry items back and forth from the showers. Include some basic first-aid supplies, such as bandages or blister pads, and insect repellent. Find out the camp's policy about prescription and over-the-counter medications your child may need. These often need to be kept and dispensed by camp medical staff.
  • Entertainment: Books, magazines, letter-writing materials, and stamps; journal and/or craft supplies; Frisbee or Hacky Sack; MP3 player or tablet (and charger and/or docking station) if the camp permits it. Many don't allow electronics.
  • Miscellaneous: Flashlight, water bottle, alarm clock, favorite snacks (if allowed).