Girl holding waterbottle.

Packing for Camp

Use our packing list to prepare for camp!

Packing can be something you may want to put off until the last minute or it’s something you’re eager to do. Whether you’re helping your child pack weeks in advance or you’re packing a few days before camp, it’s important to have a packing list so you don’t forget the essentials. Below, we have compiled a detailed list of the clothing and equipment for you to pack.

Please remember to not over-pack! Campers do not need more than what’s recommended, and storage space is limited. At Land O’Peaks, campers are only allotted two large drawers, a dresser top to be shared with their bunkmate, some hanging space, and a cubby in the bathhouse. Campers may not use the space under their bunks for storage. At Trail’s End Ranches, campers are only allotted a large under-bed drawer and under-bed storage area, half of a hanging rack, and a cubby in the bathhouse. Campers may not use the space under their bunks for storage.

Let’s Start With Some Packing Tips & Tricks

Print Out and Use Our Packing List!

This seems obvious, but it’s fundamental to your packing success. We have specific requirements and have spent time carefully creating a list of appropriate and necessary items for your camper’s comfort and our activities. Review our packing lists early to see if there is anything you need to order ahead of time. You will get your camper off to a great start by making sure they have everything they need. Our packing lists also include items NOT to bring to camp. While it is NOT our intent to require families to have to buy unnecessary or expensive equipment and clothing, campers need to be prepared for our climate and many activities. We provide most equipment required for our activities, including internal frame backpacks for backpacking, tents, cooking stoves, all the tack and helmets for horseback riding, and other equipment used in the other activities.

Pick Your Perfect Bag.

Before you start packing, you’ll need to identify which type of bag is best for your child. We recommend big duffel bags. They should be big enough to have some extra space after everything is inside because we all know dirty balled-up clothes take more room than clean folded ones. Within the duffel bag, you can invent your own ways to organize things. Large zip lock bags work well for things like underwear, socks, and toiletries. If you want to go the expensive route, you can buy nylon stuff sacks in lots of different colors and sizes from camping suppliers. We ask that campers do not bring trunks or big plastic tubs as they are hard to move and cannot be kept in cabins/wagons.

Have Your Camper Do Most of the Work.

When your camper is away, you won’t be there to help locate towels, socks, or flip-flops. It’s important for youth to feel empowered and responsible for their own belongings before they leave for camp. Learning to keep track of their stuff is one way they can grow from their camp experience. So, whether it’s laying out items on the packing list, labeling things, or packing, let your camper lead the way. Even still, you should know what goes in their bags and what stays out.

Don’t Bring the Best.

Camp is a great place to wear older, yet durable clothing! Please do not send campers off to camp with their best or most expensive clothes and brand new shoes. They may not come back in that same condition and often gear needs to be broken in before being used. Don’t own “old” clothes? Try going to a used clothing store, a garage sale, or a local thrift shop. If needed, good sources for camp clothing and gear include REI (Outlet)®, Dick’s Sporting Goods®, LL BeanTM, Patagonia (Worn Wear)®, Backcountry®, Moosejaw®, Eastern Mountain SportsTM, Sierra®, Slim Pickins Outfitters, and other outdoor stores.

Additional Information

Dress Code Philosophy

During your summer at Cheley Colorado Camps, we want you to have the best experience possible! By planning ahead and packing appropriately, you will be contributing to a positive Cheley Experience; therefore, our dress code reflects practicality and the values of camp. It is written in a manner that does not reinforce or increase marginalization or oppression of any group based on race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, cultural observance, household income, or body type/size and shall be enforced consistently.

  • All campers and staff should be able to dress comfortably for camp and engage in the camp environment without fear of or actual unnecessary discipline or body shaming
  • All campers and staff should understand that they are responsible for managing their own appearance without regulating another individual’s clothing/self-expression.
  • All campers and staff should be able to use body-positive language.

We expect all campers, staff, and visitors will dress in a way that is appropriate for camp. Dress choices should respect Cheley’s intent to sustain a community that is inclusive of a diverse range of identities. We are responsible for seeing that attire does not interfere with the health and wellbeing of any individual at Cheley nor contribute to a hostile or intimidating atmosphere for anyone.

Labeling Clothing

All clothing and possessions, including gear, footwear, and toiletries, must be labeled with your camper’s first and last name. Prior to your camper’s arrival at camp, you will also receive yellow baggage tags by mail, which you must use to label your baggage.

Labeling clothes and personal items with initials or just first names is not sufficient as many campers share initials and have the same first name. Please remember that campers will misplace clothing and equipment. Labeling is vital to the success of returning items during laundry and when they are lost. You’d also be surprised how many campers bring identical items.

Camp Store

Looking for some fun camp gear? Visit our Camp Store.

Electronics Policy

We believe that campers have a richer, more impactful experience when they can disconnect from technology and learn to connect on a deeper level. As such, campers are not permitted to bring electronics to camp nor use them during their time at camp. This includes:

  • iPods and other music/mp3 players
  • iPads, Surfaces, and other tablets
  • Kindles and other e-readers
  • Computers and laptops
  • Gaming devices (such as Nintendo Switches)
  • Smartwatches

While we encourage campers to bring disposable cameras, we do allow them to have digital ones. As such, campers are responsible for their safety and whereabouts. For permitted electronics, there are limited outlets for charging.

Prohibited Items to be Left at Home

Please partner with us to make sure that items deemed as inappropriate for their time at camp are left at home. These items include:

  • Vapes
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes
  • Tattoo kits
  • Knives longer than the width of their palm
  • Etc.

Knives are permitted at the Unit Director’s discretion in all units, except Lower Ski Hi, Lower Chipeta, and Quarter B-4.

Turning in Valuables

We would love your help in sending your child with as few valuables as possible. Upon arrival, every camper turns in their valuables for safekeeping during the term. This includes their cell phone, wallet, and any credit cards or cash they may have flown with. On the first day of camp, campers should also turn in other electronics and surrender any prohibited items.

  • If your camper is flying to camp, please limit the electronics they are bringing with them. Have them bring books, games, or something other than a tablet to use on the plane! Campers should not travel with more than $30 to $40.
  • If you are dropping your camper off at camp, they should not turn in any valuables.


Laundry is done once a week during Summer Camp and not at all during Quarter B-4. The quantities of clothing listed on our Packing List are sufficient to last a week. Please only send labeled washable clothing that can be done in large commercial washers and dryers. Remember, campers misplace clothing and equipment. Be sure that everything is labeled (either sewn, iron-on, Sharpie®, stamp, or sticker) with your camper’s full name. Since stickers often fall off in our laundry, we prefer Sharpie® or sewn labels.

More Questions?

Reach out for more information on life at Cheley.