It might still be cool outside, but summer is not far away. For many kids, this means summer camp time and for parents, time to shop for a duffel. There are many choices and below is a handy guide to simplify the process.
Sleeping under the stars
The first step will be to determine what your camp’s guidelines are. For the classic overnight camps, where the kids will be transported by bus, most camps will require a large non-wheeled duffel bag. In this case the recommendation will be a 40’’or larger duffel bag. Being non-wheeled, it will still be easy to store and your child will be able to use the same bag year after year.
For specialty camps (such as sports camps), or in the situation where you will be driving your child to camp directly you might want to consider purchasing a large (36’’ or larger) wheeled duffel. The advantage of using this type of duffel will be the maneuverability that having a bag with wheels will offer. Imagine having to carry a 50 LB bag hundreds of feet!!! While a wheeled duffel isn’t quite as easy to store they will usually still fit underneath a bed.
Learning is fun
Older kids nowadays often go to academic camps which are hosted on college campuses. These camps tend to be shorter in duration, but might require flying to your destination. A wheeled duffel is still a good idea for these students; however, you will have to keep in mind airline regulations which are typically 62’’ (this is determined by measuring a bag adding together length plus with plus height) and a max weight of 50 LBS. If you go over this size or weight you might be hit with significant fees by the airlines. If your child needs to take more, then it might be cheaper to ship some items ahead.
Those who fail to plan plan to fail
Camps almost always provide a packing guide that lists what your child will need for the summer. Once you purchase your bag do a practice pack to make sure everything fits and do it well in advance. If organization is an issue, packing cubes can help. Last minute packing is no fun and finding out the bag you purchased isn’t correct can lead to unnecessary panic. I would try to have your list complete and the practice pack done at least 3-4 weeks in advance.
One final tip is summer camp isn’t the time for your son or daughter to bring out their new fashions. Old clothes will be nice and comfy and if they get ruined or misplaced they won’t be missed. At the end of the summer your kid can just throw them away rather than having to repack their items. Remember, simple packing equals more time for fun.