Summer Camp Gear Guide

We have created a handy summer camp checklist that you can print out to help make packing for summer camp easier, but if this is your first time, or if you’re unsure, this gear guide is intended to help you in choosing the right gear to purchase gear and pack for camp. Except for the uniforms, the linked products are for illustration purposes only. Do not feel the need to purchase these specific items, they are there to help you get a sense of what you’re looking for. You can often find the same or similar gear at sporting goods stores like Academy Sports and Dick’s, outfitters like REI, High Country, or Bass Pro Shops, and even big box stores and online retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon. If you have questions that aren’t answered here, please feel free to reach out to any of the leaders in the troop (youth or adult).

Official BSA Uniform

If you’ve been with the troop awhile, you already know that Scout uniforms are required while traveling with the troop. Additionally, at most summer camps, the full field uniform is required for closing flags and dinner every day. It’s important to have as complete a uniform as possible. New pieces can be purchased from the Council Scout Shop across the street from Truist Park in Marietta or the Scout Shop online. There is also a Northeast Georgia Council Shop in Lawrenceville, that may be more convenient. Deals can be often be found on uniform pieces on eBay, in thrift shops, or even the troop uniform closet.

  • Scout shirt — Shirt should be complete with correct council patch, troop number, World Scouting emblem, and green shoulder loops. Scouts should also have their current rank patch and position of responsibility page if an office is currently held. Current BSA policy requires that uniform shirts be tucked in.
  • Uniform bottoms (pants/shorts/skort) — Many scouts prefer the boys Sahara style pants with the zip off legs.
  • Scout socks — These come in a variety of styles. Any official sock is acceptable.
  • Scout belt
  • Scout hat — The troop has adopted a baseball cap with a custom Troop 177 logo for wear with uniforms.
  • OA sash — There are special events during camp for all members of the OA. OA sashes should be worn for these events.
  • Clothes hanger — to hang up your uniform in your tent at camp.
  • Do not bring the following items to camp:
    • Merit Badge Sash
    • Neckerchief
    • Neckerchief slide

While the troop prefers Scouts were official uniform pieces, the reality of keeping a growing Scout in 100% genuine BSA items can be a challenging and cost prohibitive. Except for the uniform shirt, substitute items may be worn. The troop preference is that alternative uniform bottoms (pants/shorts/skort/skirt) and socks should be an appropriate fabric, length, and fit for Scouting activites. The preferred color is olive or dark green, though any dark color is also acceptable. Light colored and patterned pants and socks should be avoided, as well as articles with holes or tears that have not been mended.

Everyday Clothing

For most of the time at camp you are free to wear regular street clothes. During those times when uniforms aren’t required, Class B shirts are preferred with shorts or pants. If you don’t have enough troop T-shirts or other Scout themed shirts, you may wear any plain / non-advertising t-shirt you wish.

Many Scouts like to pack one day’s clothing in a one gallon ziplock bag, so that each day’s outfit is ready for you every morning. Not only is it convenient for getting dressed each morning, it also minimizes the risks of all of your clothes getting wet in the event something leaks into your footlocker or duffle bag.

  • Socks (6+ pairs) — For summer, wicking socks such as CoolMax are ideal as they will keep moisture away from your feet. Higher socks are better at wicking moisture and provide a level of protection against biting insects.
  • T-shirts (6+) — Class B scout shirts with Troop logo or other Scout themed shirts are preferred. If you don’t have enough to make it through the week any plain t-shirt is acceptable.
  • Undergarmets (6+)
  • Sweatshirt / jacket (1) — As this is being written, it’s the end of June with overnight lows expected to reach 58° in parts of North Georgia. If you are predisposed to feel cold, it’s a good idea to have something to keep warm.
  • Long pants (1) — These will mostly be for brisk mornings and evenings when the temperatures are considerably lower than they are at mid-day. A good pair of convertible/Sahara pants with zip off legs are a great way to be sure you’re covered.
  • Sleepwear (1 or 2) — You’ll be sharing a tent and won’t want to have to change for late night runs to restroom.
  • Hiking shoes / boots (1) — You’ll be doing a lot of walking at camp, so these should be broken in well before camp.
  • Lightweight camp shoes (no open toed or open back sandals/shoes) — These are for general wear within the campsite, or as a backup should your primary shoes get wet or cause blisters.
  • Bathing suit (1 or 2)– This should be a modest one piece bathing suit or a two piece tankini/swim shirt. If you are taking an aquatics Merit Badge, training for the mile swim, or plan to make use of the daily free swim, plan to bring at least two bathing suits.
  • Water shoes — Close-toed sandals or other footwear you can wear into the water while at the waterfront or on aquatics outings.
  • Handkerchiefs / bandanas — These are useful for so many different things, you should have a few in your bag. Amazon sells multipacks of 10 or more for around $1/bandana.
  • Laundry bag — for storing dirty clothes.

Camping Gear

  • Footlocker / duffel bag — The Sterilite Footlocker is a popular choice for summer camp as it has wheels, both a pull handle and a carry handle, and hole that will accommodate a lock. These can be seasonal items, and are often in stock for college kids going off to school, so they can be hard to find right before camp. The Plano Storage Trunk with Wheels (108 quart) is another popular choice.
  • Combination lock — There are frequently times throughout the day when nobody is in the camp site, so it’s a good idea to bring a lock to ensure your possessions are secure in your footlocker or duffle bag. Note, that keys are easily lost, so combination locks are preferred. We also strongly recommend providing a copy of the combination to one of the adult volunteers, in the event the Scout forgets their combination.
  • Small Battery Powered Lantern — When you want more light in your tent than the single focus beam of your flashlight or headlamp.
  • Camp chair (small) — A lightweight, folding camp chair is perfect for camp. These can be found at Amazon for around $30, though be sure to search for one with the anti-sink feet.
  • Tarp — Some of the canvas tents at summer camp are better than others. A tarp can help reinforce the canvas and keep you dry when it rains at camp. Any weather resistant lightweight tarp will work as long as it is at least 8′ x 12′. Harbor Freight carries a wide variety in various price ranges.

Scout 10+ Essentials

Scouts should be quite familiar with this list, as it is expected that they have these things for all troop activities, but here’s a brief rundown of what’s needed for Summer camp.

  • Day pack — you’ll often be away from the troop campsite for hours at a time. A small day back or string bag will make keeping up with all of your stuff much easier. Choose an option with a hyrdation reservoir if you want to drink on the go.
  • Water bottle / hydration reservoir — nearly every area of camp will require you to show that you have something to hold water in before they will allow you to enter. If you don’t have a water bottle, you’ll have to go find one. Not fun, so make sure you have one. Hydration reservoirs are also acceptable.
  • Pocket Knife — this should be a small folding knife or multi-tool. Fixed blade knives, sheath knives, and any knife over 3″ in length is not allowed at camp.
  • Trail food — small snacks for keeping your energy up between meals.
  • Headlamp / Flashlight — Headlamps are great for getting around camp and getting camp tasks done when it’s dark. It’s also a good idea to have an inexpensive LED flashlight as a backup, in the event something happens to your headlamp.
  • Extra batteries — make sure they’re the right size for your headlamp or flashlight.
  • Personal first-aid kit — If you haven’t assembled a personal first-aid kit for Tenderfoot rank requirements, this a great opportunity to put one together and share it with the Scoutmaster to get this requirement completed.
  • Rain gear / poncho — It will almost certainly rain at camp, and being prepared for the rain is important if you want to be comfortable. A well made nylon poncho is the best option for breathability in summer storms, but a rain jacket and pants are going to be more waterproof and easier to maneuver in. Avoid cheap plastic or vinyl ponchos and rain suits as they won’t hold up to a week of camp.
  • Sunscreen (non-aerosol) — Everyone will be spending a lot of time out in the sun, so make sure you have sunscreen lotion that is waterproof with SPF 30 or higher. If you’re going to be taking an aquatics merit badge, consider something with SPF 50 or more.
  • Lip balm — anything with SPF to prevent sunburn.
  • Insect Repellent (non-aerosol) — Summer in the south means mosquitos, ticks, and other annoying insects. Insect repellent wipes will help you avoid bites, while keeping with the no aerosol policy. Additionally, Permetherin Spray can be used at home to treat your clothes and other gear so that it repels insects.
  • Sun hat — A sun hat should have a brim all the way around that is wide enough to keep the sun out of your face and off your nose and ears.
  • Map and Compass — Maps of camp will be provided to Scouts as will any maps needed for orienteering exercises. You will however want to have your own compass. You don’t need anything too fancy. The starter compass from Silva is perfect and may be all you ever need.


  • Beach Towel — Scouts should have a towel for swimming that isn’t the same one they use for showering. Microfiber towels are great for this as they absorb a lot of water, and dry quickly.
  • Bath towels — Scouts are expected to shower at least once a day (and no, swimming in the lake doesn’t count). Having two bath towels is better than one as it can take a while for these to dry in between uses at camp.
  • Washcloths — Again, at least one, but two is better.
  • Shower Shoes — The only time you’ll be allowed to wear open toed shoes is in the shower. A cheap pair of dollar store flip flops should be all you need to avoid picking up funk like athletes foot in the shared showers.
  • Soap / shower gel — whatever you use at home, just be sure it’s in a leak proof container.
  • Shampoo — again, whatever you use at home, just make sure to pack it in a leak proof container.
  • Razor / shave gel — if you shave, bring what you use at home. If you don’t, camp isn’t the place to start.
  • Toothbrush — a travel toothbrush works great for camp.
  • Toothpaste — whatever you use at home. Travel size should get you through the week.
  • Dental floss — whatever you use at home.
  • Mouth wash — if you use it at home.
  • Hair brush / comb — use what you would use at home.
  • Deodorant (non-aerosol) — Should be used in conjunction with a daily shower, not in lieu of.
  • Body powder (non-medicated) — Use anywhere you need to prevent chaffing and to keep feet dry.
  • Toilet paper — You may find that the nearest restroom is a latrine that may or may not be stocked.
  • Feminine hygiene products — Even if you don’t think you’ll need them, it’s better to be prepared.


  • Sleeping bag or blankets — For summer camp a good summer weight sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner may be all that you need. If you’re a very cold sleeper or the nights are expected to be as cold as they have been this week, you may want to bring a regular three season sleeping bag.
  • Foam pad or cot cushion– the camp provides cots, but you may want a little extra padding or insulation under you. A closed cell foam pad won’t pop or deflate, but they don’t offer the same level of comfort as an inflatable mattress.
  • Pillow / pillow case — You can use a camp pillow, or the one off your bed from home.
  • Flat sheet for warm nights — Warm sleepers may not need anything but a flat sheet to sleep under at camp. If you don’t have mosquito netting, these will help keep the bugs off.

Advancement and Class Supplies

  • Scout handbook — when you complete requirements in summer camp classes, we can often sign them off right away while the skills are still fresh. There’s also plenty of troop time in the evenings to work on advancement as well.
  • Merit badge pamphlets — It’s a good idea to have read these before camp to prepare for the classes, but having them in each class will be helpful for many merit badges.
  • Merit badge supplies — Some merit badges require additional supplies (e.g. weaving kits for Basketry, leather kits for Leather Working, rocket kits for Space Exploration, bow string kits for Archery, etc.) you should get a notification about what items to bring to complete merit badges.
  • Notebook — For taking notes in classes, journaling, or doodling.
  • Pens / Pencils — Same as above
  • Totin’ Chip
  • Firem’n Chit


  • Medication — If you take prescription medicines, make sure you have those for camp. You’ll need to fill out the medication form and turn it in on camp check-in the Saturday before we leave for camp.
  • Ear Plugs — so you don’t have to listen to the Scoutmaster snore.
  • Mosquito Netting — the big canvas tents at camp have tie closures and wooden plank floors that aren’t ideal for keeping out no-see-ums. You can get a simple bed net or a full screen house to fit over your cot.
  • Sunglasses — if wearing sunglasses, make sure they block 100% of UVA and UVB
  • Watch — Most Scouts rely on their phones to tell time these days, but as these are not allowed at camp, a watch is useful for waking up and getting to activities and meals on time. Make sure it’s waterproof, and if you plan on using it for an alarm, make sure you know how to set it and turn it off before camp.
  • Paracord / rope — Practice knots, run a clothes line, hang a lantern in your tent. There are a great many things you can do with paracord, it’s a good idea to have some anytime you camp.
  • Clothes pins — For use with the above mentioned clothes line.
  • Sewing kit — Replace a button, patch a hole, or add a newly acquired patch to your uniform.
  • Cards / Board games — Travel sized games and waterproof playing cards can keep things entertaining after the official activities have ended for the day.
  • Fishing gear — there will be time at camp every day for working on the fishing or fly fishing merit badges or simply enjoying the sport.
  • Spending money — The trading post at camp will has snacks, souvenirs, a selection of uniform items, merit badge supplies, toiletries, and camping gear. Scouts should plan to spend $25-50 in the Trading Post, and bring enough money for meals to and from camp.
  • Paper, envelopes, postcards, and stamps — for writing home.
  • Camera — a dedicated camera, not integrated into a mobile phone, tablet, or other electronic device.
  • Books or magazines
  • Battery powered fan

What Not to Bring

The following items are not permitted in camp by Scouts. Scouts found in possession of any of these items will have the items confiscated and could be sent home from camp.

  • Electronic devices
  • Any knife over 3 inches long
  • Fixed-blade or sheath knives regardless of length
  • Fireworks
  • Model rocket motors
  • Firearms of any type (BB guns, Air Soft, bow and arrow, slingshots, etc.)
  • Aerosols (including insect repellent, sunscreen, deodorant, etc.)