Going On a Teen Camping Trip: 10 Things You Should Pack

Remi Zimmerman22 Oct, 2022

Teens jumping for joy together

Sending your suddenly grown-up son or daughter on a teen camping trip is simultaneously exhilarating and overwhelming. It doesn’t matter how much you plan. Every minute detail can prove all-consuming for parents.

Camping and other outdoor trips for teens are some of the most adventurous activities for individuals at this age. Everyone remembers their first teen camping trip throughout the rest of their lives. These fond memories remain mainly because camping as a teen is about fun, laughter, adventure, thrills, and enjoyment.

If your teen is getting ready for a camping trip with friends, family, or a professional organization for summer adventure trips like Bold Earth Adventures, you’ll need to prepare them with some items to make their trip the best experience possible.

Every camper has essentials they need to pack to make a trip’s duration easier. While teens want to look trendy or unique and show off their personalities (and great style), as parents we want to ensure they don’t miss anything crucial.

Here are some of our packing recommendations at Bold Earth Adventures to help your teen prepare for their next camping adventure. All of Bold Earth’s teen adventure trips have detailed, specialized packing lists available on our trip pages. This is a general guide for helping teens pack for camping adventures of all varieties:


Depending on the number of days a camping trip will last, teens need to pack a sufficient change of clothes. However, we must also ensure that our teenagers don’t pack more than they require.

Teens should include some comfortable, casual clothes and enough underwear and socks to keep them warm and dry throughout their summer adventure trip. 

Any clothing you pack for your teen should keep them cool and comfortable in warm conditions. Bold Earth Adventures typically recommends clothing that contains a minimal amount of cotton. You also don’t want your teenager to pack too much in a way that makes their bags heavy or difficult to sort through. However, a few extras are a good idea just in case.

Teens camping around a fire

Appropriate Footwear

Aside from traditional clothing, teens must bring supportive (but comfortable) shoes. You can also pack a pair of casual shoes like flip flops or sandals for your teen’s camping trip that they can wear while relaxing at camp. Crocs have become more popular and are an excellent camp shoe!

Nevertheless, appropriate footwear may also depend on the conditions they face. A quality pair of sneakers is essential. However, if a teenager plans on doing any hiking, they should pack appropriate hiking shoes for their summer adventure trip. You won’t want to overpack their bag, but bringing waterproof boots for wet and dry conditions may help them better prepare for their excursion.

Sleeping Bag

A sleeping bag is one of the most thought of and essential items for a teen camping trip. Sleeping bags will keep campers warm at night by trapping warm air created by their bodies trapped in the filling.

Keeping warm at night is essential for enjoying any outdoor trip for teens. Nothing destroys the pleasure of a journey like an inability to sleep because of an inadequate sleeping bag. As a mainstay of any camping supply list, sleeping bags reduce convective heat loss, trapping air and not allowing it to dissipate freely into the atmosphere.

For any outdoor excursion, a sleeping bag is essential; no matter if a teen is heading out with some friends or spending a longer duration of time for an entire camping adventure, sleeping bags remain imperative.

Sleeping Pads

While almost everyone remembers a sleeping bag when packing for a teen camping trip, something they commonly overlook is a quality sleeping pad or camping mat. A sleeping pad plays two notable roles in helping teens get a solid sleep when laying their head to rest outdoors: cushioning and insulation.

These lightweight ground pads are common among hikers, backpackers, and those traveling on a budget. Teens can use them in conjunction with a sleeping bag to enjoy a comfortable surface for sleeping and another layer to help them stay warm throughout the night.


When teens are away from home for a camping getaway, the last thing they need is a sunburn ruining their trip. Over time, overexposure to sunlight leads to sunburn and can even cause cancer.

You and your teen have a lot to think about before starting their camping trip. No matter the predicted weather, pack some sunscreen for them. Sunscreen will protect them from harmful solar rays and uncomfortable sunburn that might ruin their entire experience. We typically recommend zinc or titanium-based sunscreen, as they need to be reapplied less frequently and are much more effective. 

Insect Repellent

Not every camping trip is the same. Different locations might have various native insects in certain areas, posing other issues for teenage campers. 

For example, with our team at Bold Earth, we travel all over the United States and the world with children and teen groups. Teenagers traveling to new and unknown locations may encounter mosquitos or other insects that could carry diseases like malaria or yellow fever.

Teens can use insect repellent on their skin and close to keep insects away when camping. “Bug spray” prevents pesky critters from leaving itchy, annoying bites or swamping around food. When packing for your teen’s camping trip, insect repellent remains a must to protect them.


Teens will need to pack a pouch of toiletries for their camping trip. Everyday toiletries that many teens bring include:

  • Soap
  • Travel shampoo and conditioner
  • Moisturizer
  • Sunscreen
  • Lotion
  • Toothpaste
  • A toothbrush

Teens should take care to additionally pack any prescription medications they may require along with their luggage. They should also take the smallest packages of toiletry products to avoid bringing too many things. Bringing too many toiletries is a common mistake for first-time campers. 


Teenagers that enjoy outdoor adventures with Bold Earth Adventures cannot think about camping without this device. A camera will help a teen record and capture every trip moment, remembering their excursion forever.

For any teen packing for their camping trip, everything that will keep them alive and happy should go into a pack first; then the camera goes in second. Whether a teenager wants to embark on a single adventure or a multi-day hiking trip, bringing a camera provides a great way to capture and share their experiences long after the end of the journey.

Water Bottle

Water bottles are crucial for surviving any trip into the great outdoors. The further your teen travels off the beaten path, the more quickly water seems to run out. The last thing campers or their parents want a teen to be out on a hike without a fresh supply of aqua. Moreover, drinking from a pond or lake can cause serious illness due to bacteria and other microorganisms. While bladders like Camelbak’s are very useful, we always recommend at least one bottle (think Nalgene brand style).


Camping remains a favorite pastime for people from all over the world. However, teenagers and parents who have never experienced camping can easily miss what being in the wilderness means. A teen cannot simply flip a switch to see in the dark.

Flashlights remain an excellent way to ensure that teens always have light. Unfortunately, they can also pose convenience issues when a camper needs their hands free. Packing a headlamp for a camping trip remedies both of these potential issues.

A good camping headlamp will provide campers with enough light to see where they are going without worrying about falling or bumping into something. Always bring a headlamp!

Keeping this packing list in mind will help your teen have their best time away from home. If you have any questions about packing for your trip, please don’t hesitate to contact the Bold Earth team!


View All Posts