In all honesty, I don’t know why I’m writing this post. I am a terrible packer.
That’s not because I forget things, but because I overpack. Majorly. I always do.
But, with Camp America, you’re given a 23kg weight allowance on a suitcase which is pretty generous. And, upon arrival at the airport, what was mine? 22.9kg. Quite impressive if I do say so myself… I was just making the most of it, I promise!
If you’re going off to camp in the summer and you’ve come to this post for help then I hope it does work for you but, bare in mind, all camps are different. What you’ll need for your ten weeks away will undoubtedly differ slightly from what I needed, but I’ll keep this straightforward with the basic essentials.
Luckily for me, my bedding was provided by the camp itself and a Walmart was nearby, too. This saved a lot of weight in my case for I was able to pick up necessities (such as toiletries, an alarm clock (phones were not allowed anywhere onsite except for the staff room, thus an alarm clock was a priority), extra cushions/blankets, bug spray, a water bottle, sunscreen and so on) once I was already in America.
Some of us after one trip to Walmart…new washing baskets in tow!
However, some of what I did take was…
I wrote in my diary every single day whilst I was away and plastered the entire thing in stickers I found whilst travelling. I’d say it’s one of my most loved, important possessions now and I am so glad I did it!
Believe it or not, but it’s actually quite difficult to find spray-on deodorant across there. You’ll find plenty of roll-on but the sprays can be rare and expensive, so pack some if they are your preference!
I lived in shorts… I think I took something like 15 pairs across with me. Jersey ones, denim ones, sports ones. It can get really hot across there so they’ll become your summer wardrobe staple!
I took one across with me and it sat upon my bed every day. Homesickness is inevitable if you’re a first-timer so it’s nice to have something from home with you!
Can you spot him?
I took a really light one with me but wow, I’m glad I did. When it rained, it rained hard. Actually, camp flooded a couple of times while I was out there…
Then there’s all of the obvious stuff too (like underwear, toothpaste, a hairbrush, any medication, swimwear), but I reckon they’re all a given.
Things I did not take but wish I did:
I can’t quite believe I’m saying this… I never thought I would. But, crocs were actually something that became a necessity at camp. We had a ‘no-toe’ policy for safety reasons – all shoes had to be closed toe but, when you’re busy all day and in and out of the water, trainers just don’t suffice. I’m sorry, but you’ll need to go against every fashion-rule ever made and surrender to the croc. Take a pair of trainers too, though!
A Polaroid instant camera / a GoPro
This isn’t necessary at all, but you might find that a lot of people have them at camp… With not being able to use your phone, this is the next best thing for memory-making. However, they can be pricey so a disposable camera would also work.
For the same reason – you’re not allowed a phone. I ended up having to buy one at Walmart which I’m sure you could do too, but if you already have one at home then take it and save yourself some money! Preferably, take a digital one so you can set alarms etc.
On another note, I took a hairdryer and straighteners and didn’t use them once at camp! I did when I was travelling afterwards, but if you’re not planning on going elsewhere then I really wouldn’t bother.
Also, don’t spend a fortune on new clothes… They will begin to smell, some will go missing, and you might need to throw out a load of things to fit in new purchases when you’re heading home again! Primark is always a good shout.
I ended up buying so, so, so much whilst in America. By the end, my suitcase was so full that I had to sit on it to close it…which then broke it…so I had to pay $75 for a new one plus a big handbag to fit in the rest…then I sat on the floor of a random Starbucks in Boston for over an hour emptying the broken case and repacking everything into the new case (picture below)…*cries*, so try to save as much room as possible – trust me, I wish I did!
Honestly, you can buy most of what you need when you’re out there. I didn’t know this before, hence the weight of my case (and my massive splurge in Superdrug a week before leaving), but there’s everything you’ll ever need in Walmart!!!
If you have any questions just leave them below for me!
I hope you liked this post. There’s plenty more to come in the series, with the next one being the first actually ON camp!
Packing was a very stressful time for me so any help I can give would make that whole process worth it, lol.