What To Pack For Summer Camp – Sun Protection Essentials

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As we ease our way into the springtime months, before we know it – summer and summer break will be here. If you have kids, summer often goes hand in hand with summer camp!

As parents, preparing for summer camp ends up happening last-minute, and it can be challenging to ensure we set our kids up with all the things they need, especially when we can’t be there by their side to remind them to wear their hat or reapply sunscreen. Camp counselors will be there to help out, but we can’t always rely on them to pay attention to all the sun protection needs when they’re overseeing multiple children.

And if you’re searching for healthier, more eco-friendly options, it can be even more challenging. One of our top priorities for summer camp is ensuring our kids are sun protection ready.

Here’s our summer camp packing list – focused on sun protection essentials:

  • Sunscreen.
    When choosing sunscreen, everyone has different preferences – we always like to start by checking out the EWG’s best baby and kids sunscreens. They rate sunscreens based on the ingredients used, with reference to scientific literature, and recommend the least toxic options for your kids.
  • Recycled Swim.
    If you can afford it, opt for recycled swim styles like our Boys or Girls Rashguard, made from OEKO-TEX certified recycled nylon. If you need a more affordable option, choose the regular Boys or Girls Rashguard, and it will still provide UPF 50+ sun protection. Also, our Swim Liner is a must to pair with any swim trunks or boardshorts.
  • Swim Leggings.
    While sunscreen is important, when kids are running around outside and playing in the water all day, it’s not always feasible to expect that sunscreen will get re-applied often enough. Our Swim Leggings offer sun protection for kids’ legs and reduce the need for extra sunscreen.
  • Boys Cotton Jersey Shorts Or Pants.
    Often, we pack clothing made of
    synthetic fabrics for camp (polyester, nylon, spandex, etc), thinking they will dry quicker for our kids. But we recommend cotton basics as much as possible – they’re breathable, help keep you cooler, absorb moisture, and don’t stink when they get wet. Try our Boys Cotton Jersey Shorts or Pants – and if you want a more economical option, reach for the Cotton Athletic Shorts & Pants that are the same (just without pockets). Not only are they cotton, they also have UPF 50+ sun protection.
  • Layering Pieces.
    Having extra layering options is always helpful at camp – whether for sun protection or when the temperatures dip later in the day, our Thermals are great layering pieces.

  • Girls Cotton Bike Shorts.
    Our Girls Cotton Bike Shorts are the best camp accessory – they can be worn under a dress or with a tee, and they are above all, super comfortable. Again, ours are 100% cotton, instead of the typical synthetic options out there.
  • 100% Cotton Short Or Long Sleeve Tees.
    Whenever your kids are out of the water, it’s key to have soft cotton options to change into. We recommend packing a Cotton Short Sleeve and/or Long Sleeve Tee to change into when they’re back to playing on land.
  • Underwear.
    It’s always a good idea to pack extra underwear – reach first for our Organic Underwearoptions. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, take a look at our 100% Cotton Underwearline (keep in mind that our striped underwear is made of a cotton blend).
  • Sleepwear.
    For kids attending sleep-away camps, it’s key to remember cozy pajamas for bedtime. We recommend our fan favorite 100% Organic Cotton PJ Sets.
  • Hats.
    At camp and whenever kids are outdoors, Hats are a necessity. Again, even our Hats are 100% cotton, to ensure they are breathable and extra comfortable for your kids.

If you’re curious to check out all these options in one place, take a look at our Summer Camp Essentials Collection here!

Written by: City Threads Cofounders Shayna Samuels & Joe Willis, and Kestrel Jenkins, responsibility consultant & host of the Conscious Chatter podcast.