Skip to content

Have the Best Summer at Sleepaway Camp With These Must-Have Items

Headed off to sleepaway camp this summer? Here's what to pack in your duffel, from the helpful to the hilarious.

Margo Gothelf · 5 months ago

Thanks for checking out our product recommendations! Just a heads-up, Camp may make some money if you shop from any of the external links on this page. Pricing and availability may have changed since this page was published.


Whether it’s your first summer at sleepaway camp or your fifth, you’re going to want to check out this list of sleepaway camp essentials. Some are practical, some are fun, but all are highly recommended for an amazing summer. From stationery sets to bunkhouse must-haves, here's what to stash in your trunk!

Ooly Yummy Yummy Scented Glitter Gel Pens

Turn your snail mail into letters that shine with these Ooly Yummy Yummy Scented Glitter Gel Pens. Not only do the pens come in six different glittery colors, but they also smell just like your favorite fruits. Your parents will be in for a treat when they open your letters! 

Ann Williams Loopdedoo Friendship Bracelet Maker

Upgrade your basic friendship bracelets — and expedite the process of making one for everybody in the bunk — with this Loopdedoo Friendship Bracelet Maker. The portable loom makes super detailed embroidery bracelets in half the time. All you have to do is pick out matching colors — might I suggest some camp colors? — and get spinning. With this technique, you’ll quickly fill up your wrists and make matching bracelets for your entire cabin in no time. 

Sunnylife Cactus Beach Fan

Since AC might be hard to come by living in a cabin, you’ll probably want to pack this portable fan to cool down. This little Sunnylife Cactus Beach Fan will provide a cool and relaxing breeze, no matter how hot it is outside. 

Little Mashers Lightning Bolt Glow in the Dark Sweatshirt

Looking for a sweatshirt that also doubles as an art project? Look no further than the Little Mashers Lightning Bolt Glow-in-the-Dark Sweatshirt. The lightning bolt doubles as a canvas and can be drawn on with a small lightpen to make glowing designs. This sweatshirt will be great to wear around the campfire, but you might want to think twice about wearing it to bed, since you'll turn into a human night light.

Sunnylife Underwater Camera

Capture every memory this summer, even those at the waterfront with this Sunnylife Underwater Camera. Don’t worry about getting this camera wet — that’s the whole purpose! Snap some fun pics of your best cannonball and see if you can capture the perfect bunk selfie underwater. 

Lexon Flip + LCD Alarm Clock

You’ll want to keep this alarm clock in an accessible spot in the bunk so you can see it clearly — after all, you won’t want to be late for your exciting activities! 

iScream Tie Dye Pastel Earbud Compact

Downtime at camp doesn't come often, so be ready to embrace it when it happens. Take a moment to relax and listen to some calming music with these wireless headphones. The Bluetooth-friendly earbuds will quickly sync to your camp-approved devices. Plus, they come in a pretty durable carrying case, so you won’t have to worry about them getting squished in your cubby. 

iScream Happy Pom Pom Clear Travel Bag

This clear travel bag is ready to become your best accessory during the summer. Keep it around to store your pens and stamps for letter writing day, or put your nail polishes all in one spot. Regardless of what you keep in there, it will be extra handy to have around.  

Kid Made Modern My First Jewelry Kit

Take a break from string bracelets and give your wrist some versatility with beads from this jewelry-making kit. Spend a rest hour sharing the kit with bunkmates and see how many designs you can make. By the end of the hour, you’ll easily have enough matching friendship bracelets for the whole crew.

Sunnylife Retro Sun Visor

Embrace your vintage style and keep the sun away from your face all at the same time with this retro sun visor. The visor will keep the sun out of your eyes so you can concentrate on hitting that tennis ball or scoring that next soccer goal.  

Summer Camp Stationery Set

Since summer camp is all about embracing snail mail tech when it comes to communication, you might as well go all out when it comes to your stationery set. Impress everyone who opens your letters and send them exciting news with bright stickers, paper, and envelopes. They will instantly know who the letters are from when they see them in the mailbox.

3-in-1 Flashlight

All of your flashlight needs are handled (get it?) with this 3-In-1 handled flashlight. The flashlight can turn into a lantern with one easy push of a button, and also features a side lamp, just in case you need light to read (or tell ghost stories) by in your bunk.  

iScream DIY Neon Effect Message Frame

Want to share your bunk name in style? With this neon message frame, you can do just that. If you’re not into displaying the sign for the rest of the camp to see, keep it inside the bunk to write positive messages or reminders for the rest of the cabin. 

Nailmatic Hollywood 5-Piece Nail Polish Set

Turn rest hour into manicure hour and make your nails shine with a polish from this Nailmatic Hollywood 5-piece polish set. The five different colors each sparkle and shine and make your nails stand out whether you are shooting hoops or waterskiing. Stick with one shade or go wild and paint each finger with a different color!

iScream Reversible Sequin Unicorn Pillow

This fuzzy unicorn pillow will easily make your bed the most colorful in the bunk. The oversized pillow is fuzzy on one side and super shiny on the other, thanks to its reversible coat of sequins. Switch up the colors of the unicorn depending on your mood or leave a little bit of both sequins visible for a one-of-a-kind look.  

The Oregon Trail Card Game

With screentime on a summer break, you might as well embrace some classic card games. Pack your wagon and see if you can navigate your way through the Oregon Trail in this computer game turned multiplayer card game. Don’t worry if you don’t make it out the first time around. You’ll have all summer to learn how to dodge those pesky rattlesnakes. 

Checkered Smiley Face Holographic Clipboard Set

Why keep your letter writing supplies in a boring box when you can keep it inside this smiley face holographic clipboard? The clipboard doubles as a portfolio, so you’ll be able to keep all of your supplies in a neat and tidy spot.

Wash Me Travel Laundry Bag 2-Pack

Between the heat, the chilly evenings, and the rainy nights, kids go through a lot of dirty clothes over the summer. Luckily, this laundry bag will simply store them all until they can be washed. The bag easily holds up to four loads of laundry, so don’t worry about that extra outfit change. 

Bunk Junk Autograph Pillows

Keep all of your camp memories in one place with this autograph pillow. Right before the summer is over, pass the pillow around the bunk for everyone to sign and share their favorite memory. It will be a pillow to cherish for years to come. 

Franklin Pro Hoops Basketball

Turn your bunk into a basketball court with this back-of-the-door basketball hoop. Play a quick game of horse during rest hour or even use it to see who has to sweep the porch in the morning if they miss a shot. 

Go Fish

Embrace your screen-free summer and learn to play some classic card games. Dive deep into Uno and Go Fish, and by the end of the summer, you’ll be a pro.