packing for summer camp
packing for summer camp

Ways to Save Money with Packing for Summer Camp

Camp can be an extremely expensive thing for many parents, so it is important to figure out how to buy things that have multiple uses so that you can not only save money, but also save room in your kids luggage.  Camps will send out lists of things you should pack, and that is a great place to start, but you can also think about how you can combine certain things to make it easier on your budget.  You don’t have to pick and choose if you pack smart and here are a few ways that you can help to ensure that your kids will have everything they need and you won’t have to spend a ton of money.

Terry Cloth Robes Instead of a Bunch of Towels

One thing that is tricky for kids at camp is having to carry towels, bath supplies, etc… to the showers.  By finding kids robes that are not only absorbent to work like a towel, but also have pockets to store tooth brushes, soaps and shampoo/conditioner, you not only don’t have to buy a carrying case for all of their toiletries, but you can pack less towels since their robe will work like one.  The bathrobe also helps your kids have something to wear over their pajamas on cold nights saving you from having to pack extra pairs of warm clothes and gives them something to wear to the bathrooms at night instead of having to change and find clothes in the dark to wear.  Bathrobes also work as pillows for campouts and extra warmth for night time campfires and sleepwear.

Flashlights, Lanterns and Bug Repellents

Some camps will recommend you buy a flashlight for walking to the cabins and a lantern for campouts.  Instead, you can buy a combination one for cheap on sites like Amazon or search ebay for a combination flashlight and lantern.  This not only helps you save money because you can compare prices against different stores, but those same stores have other camping supplies like bug repellent.  By ordering each product from the same or a couple of vendors, you can reduce the costs of shipping by having it all come from one store and you can also create a product checklist by looking at your shopping cart to make sure you have everything.

Mix and Match your Kids Clothing

Camp means mud, stains and ripped clothes.  That also means that you need to make sure they have enough to be able to wear.  Instead of sending them with different outfits, buy clothes that mix and match to create a ton.  You can pack 10 outfits that look amazing together, but this takes up space and also means that if something gets ripped or ruined, the other pieces of the outfit are also gone.  What you can do is buy shirts and shorts or pants that look good together and match each other so that if one gets ruined, the other pieces of clothing are still good and will match everything.  Think about 3 or 4 solid color tshirts to match a pair of shorts and blue jeans.  Now instead of 3 or 4 separate outfits, you have less clothes taking up room, multiple color and clothing options and no clothes getting thrown out because they don’t match.  The same goes with your kids pajamas.

Buy characters or patterns and colors that are interchangeable.  Also buy one pair of short bottoms and one pair of long with multiple matching tops.  With 4 tops and 2 bottoms you have 8 options that work for cold nights, hot nights and anything else.  You also have more space since you didn’t have to pack 8 matching pairs.

Talk to Other Parents

Find out some of the other parents sending their kids to camp and ask them where they found deals on products or if they found anything that can combine different things.  You’ll find out that some found ponchos at a dollar store so your kids don’t have to take up space with an umbrella.  The poncho can also keep their bags and shoes outside of their tent dry by wrapping them in the poncho.  Ponchos also fold up so that they don’t take up much room.

Look Through Coupon Sites

If you’re shopping online, check out sites like or since they have a ton of coupons for almost every major retailer.  You’ll also find shopping advice and tips to save money at each.  Some of them also offer you cash back with your purchases on top of the coupons to save you even more money.

Summer camp is great for your kids because they get to learn a lot about nature, get exercise and they get to meet new people.  You get a chance to catch up on work and have quiet time with yourself or your husband or wife which helps you to relax and everyone is excited to see each other when your kids get back.  By thinking about how to save space packing by combining products, you can not only save money, but you’ll make packing for camp a lot easier for yourself and your kids.

Guest Author

Adam is a blogger who writes about everything from showtunes and saving money on Broadway tickets and travel to saving money and even wedding planning.