Over the years, we’ve toiled away writing, editing and perfecting the perfect camp packing lists for our beloved campers, only to find that they always go rogue and pack whatever unsanctioned items they fancy. Well, we give up.
We asked our Instagram followers for suggestions of items to pack that are NOT currently on the official packing list. They delivered. Check out the list and decide for yourself whether these items deserve to make the cut.
Sent in by longtime Gallagher staffer and hot-sauce-aholic Barbie Solbakken, this is a fantastic suggestion. Although the camp food is beyond tasty (seriously, it’s the best), certain meals are truly set off by a drizzle of the red stuff. Tabasco, Sriracha, Tapatío, Frank’s—pick your poison and shake it over your scrambled eggs for a FINE DINING EXPERIENCE on the shores of Case Inlet. Top tip: go for the keychain-sized bottles because they’re super cute and clip onto your overnight bag!
This was by far the most suggested item sent in by our Instagram followers. While Camp Gallagher does have several bins of miscellaneous costumes, there’s no promising they aren’t covered in raccoon drool and the stench of last summer’s staff members. To play it safe, consider throwing in a costume of sorts—a funny hat, a Hawaiian shirt, giant oversized sunglasses (always a hit)—anything you’re happy to potentially never see again (because camp has a way of eating things).
The packing list suggests maybe bringing a second swimsuit if you happen to have one. Well, that’s not good enough, according to our staff and campers. They’ve told us that 500 is closer to the right amount. Total primadonnas. The truth is that one or two swimsuits is more than enough—and we do advocate for PACKING LIGHT—but if you bring a handful, you won’t have to suffer through those oh-so-uncomfortable two seconds of squeezing into a damp swimsuit before the morning lemming run.
We never bought into the “Crocs aren’t cool” propaganda and thank goodness for that, because if those adorable Swiss cheese foam clogs aren’t the most comfortable footwear for Gallagher lounging, than what is? If you have some burning a hole in your closet, now is their chance to shine!
Boring, but practical. Sun + saltwater = chapped lips to the extreme. Fight the chap with your chapstick of choice and you will not regret it. Go for a brand with SPF in it for extra protection!
Tea / Coffee Packets and Your Own Mug/Tumbler
Middle schoolers, we sincerely hope you’re not yet slaves to caffeine like the rest of us. High schoolers, hopefully you still think coffee tastes “yucky.” Staff, we have less hope for you. Whether or not your hot beverage of choice is caffeinated, having your own drink tumbler on overnights feels truly luxurious. Herbals teas and hot chocolate packets are great caffeine-free options!
This suggestion just feels right. What situation can’t be made even better by glow sticks? Don’t overthink it. Bring a few for your lodge and you’ll be the envy of Theme Night. Alternatively, bring a tub of Red Vines and you’ll become the stuff of legends.
We get it, you’re not the “showering type.” You would shower, but you’re too busy painting a sunset on a piece of driftwood. That can’t wait! Well, a saltwater soak, some Gallagher sunshine and a spritz of dry shampoo may the bathing routine for you.
Music plays a major role in the Camp Gallagher experience. Please don’t keep your talents to yourself! Depending on what it is (maybe leave the tuba at home), consider bringing your instrument with you to camp. You’ll be a delightful addition to our nightly Sundown ceremony. Plus, camp is a great time to learn new songs and perfect your skills. Just remember that camp is rustic and you shouldn’t bring anything very expensive that you aren’t happy getting a bit scuffed up.