I wanted to put off this topic until it was actually time for me to pack but that would be me putting the pro in procrastinate. Packing. I am so excited to start gearing up for camp, it’s one of the days I am actually looking forward to. Packing is also the day I dread. I am pretty sure I did NOT inherit my mother’s Tetris-like skills that go with putting things into a bag. One week of camp is hard to pack for, but now I have weight restrictions and a bigger bag and I’m packing for 11 weeks rather than just one. I am terrified. So let’s go over my list of advice to me and everyone in my boat.
First things first, make a list of the items you’ll be taking with you. So I’m able to laundry while I’m there so I’m probably gonna take like 8 or 9 days worth of clothing. I can mix and match so I’ll probably get about 15 outfits out of that because everything in my wardrobe basically goes together (jean and black go with most things)! Most people bring 2 pairs of athletic shoes and a pair of sandals. Please for the love of all that is healthy and holy, BRING SHOWER SHOES!!! I cannot stress that enough, do not risk getting a foot infection or fungus. Now, you have your toiletries; if you’re like me and you’re a girl who likes her smelly good stuff and has a hair and face routine then you’ll probably have more than the guys. Just don’t bring your whole bathroom, you’re not going on the next season of The Bachelor, you’re going to summer camp. I’ve been asked this before: Do sunscreen or bug spray go in this category? In my opinion, yes. You will need them everyday and they will be what’s standing between you and the possibility of skin cancer or some mosquito transferred disease. It sounds dramatic, but the people who got skin cancer from overexposure to sun or got sick from a mosquito bite probably thought so too. Okay, here’s the tricky one: bedding. I’ve been to like 4 camps and all of them involved sleeping indoors for 4/5 or 5/6 nights that we were there. I like to bring one set of twin sheets, a blanket, pillow, and sleeping bag. Now having said that, I will be flying across the country so I’ll probably stick with a sleeping bag, a sleeping bag liner, and my pillow with an extra pillow case and I can alternate and wash pillowcases and wash the liner every week. Maybe 5 days. We’ll see. Now the fun stuff! You might want to bring a clipboard with some paper and pens or pencils. Anything battery or solar powered is far preferable over anything that needs to plug in. Obviously you’ll want a water bottle and flashlight, that’s like summer camp 101, oh and maybe a hat and sunglasses if you’re somewhere sunny. #Everywhere Last but not least, the thing I forget every year before my mother reminds: TOWELS! I bring a ton of towel stuff. 1 or 2 body towels, 1 hair towel, 1 beach towel, 2 washcloths, it’s crazy. But yes, I do use all of them.
So this is only step two: go over your list. I am not joking. The second and third time I go over my list I usually find 1-4 items I can omit. It comes down to will you die without this item. Step three, you’re gonna go on YouTube and learn how to “ranger roll”. Now you’re probably thinking “oh this chick is crazy if she thinks I’m gonna fold everything military style”, well guess what buttercup! I am crazy; but there is a fine line between crazy and genius and I walk that line almost everyday! I have found that when I roll my clothes instead of folding them, everything magically fits better in my bag. So like any smart person, you should listen to me because I’m camp crazy. Sound logic. Mic Drop.
After you’ve made your list and gone over it, do a mock pack. See how much your bag weighs with everything in it. If it’s a little too heavy you might be able to transfer little extra things and some toiletries into a carry on bag or backpack. Another option that your camp might have is to mail a few things ahead. Don’t go crazy and mail ahead half of your stuff. For example, me. I’m flying there and I really don’t want to deal with TSA at 5 o’clock in the morning so two or three before I leave I’m going to order shampoo, conditioner, sunscreen, and a little plastic dresser from Walmart and have them sent directly to camp. So that cuts down on some weight, I’ll have somewhere to put my clothes when I get to camp, TSA doesn’t need to worry because I won’t have huge bottles of soap, and I don’t have to worry about anything leaking in my bag. Now if your bag is way too heavy or you can’t lift it there might need to be some reevaluating. Yeah, you will carry your bag at some point so make sure you can actually carry it without hurting yourself.
Once you’ve gone through all of this, you’re golden. Be ready for camp and get excited! *cue Justin Timberlake, Can’t Stop The Feeling*
19 Days 15 Hours 16 Minutes 35 Seconds