Best Gear and all the Essentials for Camp Staff

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What should you bring to camp as a staff member? And what are the best recommendations?  We’ve asked hundreds of camp workers around the country what is the best gear for camp staff members and here’s what they said… 

gear for camp staff
Photo by Thirdman from Pexels

Outdoor Sandals

You are going to camp so don’t expect your shoes to be clean. Between all the activities from swimming to hiking, or just walking outdoors, your shoes WILL get dirty. Having a pair of outdoor sandals will allow camp staffers to clean their sandals and feet easily. A good pair should be durable for long treks and flexible so that it can mold into your foot shape for comfortability.  

  • Chaco and Tevas are quality brands for outdoor sandal-ware.  


So Remember to bring a durable bag. As a staff member, having the option to work both inside and out, you will need something to store your essentials. The weather can be unpredictable, and you will more than likely come across water. It may rain or moisture from sweat may encounter your bag so here are a few recommendations for durable bags that can withstand the outdoors. 

  • Kavu bags are a great option and are super stylish. 
  • CamelBak bags are reliable and well-priced! 


Camp is an energy drainer so this is an essential item for chilling or just hanging around. Literally! You may find yourself having some downtime. In a bustling camp, there may not be a space for you to just relax. But with a hammock, you can create that space anywhere! Making each hammock owner feel more relaxed as they sway with a book in hand under a blue sky. And stress reliever will have you napping in the trees! 

Here are the few top recommendations:

  • MalloMe offers quality hammocks at an affordable price. Additionally, their hammocks are durable and spacious. 
  • Eno hammocks made the list and for good reason. Not only that, Eno hammocks are very reliable and have top-notch fabric. And lastly, we love Serac because their hammocks are known to have super comfortable nylon at a reasonable price 

Water bottle

Every camp staff interviewee meaning mentioned this, it’s a must-have. For those working outside in most cases, you probably won’t run into many drinking fountains. We recommend one with a vacuum insulated panel to keep the temperatures of your drinks hot or cold regardless of external temperatures.  

  • Hydro flasks are known for this technology and their pristine quality. 
  • VOLCAROCK is a price-friendly vacuum-insulated alternative that we like. 

Phone Case

Your phone needs just as much protection from the elements as you do

  • Lifeproof: A classic choice for apple and android users.  


If you’re a counselor or working with kids, most camps will more than likely prohibit phone usage during work hours. Smartwatches are great for checking and responding to messages while not looking at your phone. 

  • For Apple users
  • For Android, this watch is also compatible with iPhone. 
  • But there is an option for Both: A budget-friendly option that still has excellent quality and allows you to sync your smartphone with Bluetooth to check your notifications. So there’s a reason why it’s one of Amazon’s bestsellers. 


This is all around just useful to have, especially if you’re doing survival camp. 

  • Swiss Army Knives are known for their quality. And this knife is extremely resistant with its stainless-steel make. And also it has multiple functions useful for campers or any outdoor recreational camp activity. 


When you’re camping, you never know what kind of weather to expect. But you can bet that it will get chilly in the evenings. With a flexible lightweight fleece, that can stash easily in your backpack, you won’t need to worry about carrying a ton of extra weight and not having to worry about being cold when the temperature drops. 

  • Patagonia These top-notch fleeces live up to their price point. Coming from a brand that values building the best possible product, you can expect your fleece to be built that way. 

Rain jacket

Speaking of weather, you can also expect it to rain a couple of times during your camp season. So, prepare now and check out this quality made rain jackets made from the most recommended brands. 

  • Marmot offers a wide selection of rain jackets. You can get all your functions in a durable jacket for a good price. 
  • Patagonia rain jackets. Back at it again with this brand? But can you blame us? They have quality products! Their rain jackets will keep you completely dry and are light. They can handle bad weather and are worth every cent of your buck. 
  • Colombia jackets use thermal insulation technology and will keep you warm. Not to mention that they are breathable. These water-resistant jackets will not disappoint. 


We’re talking about the administrative staff that needs to look professional but still adheres to the environmental elements. Golf ware is perfect for this type of role. The fabrics used are made to be breathable and look sharp. 

  • Nike has a nice and fashionable choice of lightweight professional golf shirts in many different designs and prints. 
  • Adidas also offers a clean and professional look in the selection. They’re great for brightly colored shirts if that is the aesthetic of your camp colors. 


It’s summer camp, so that means you’re bound to go swimming. REI has a great selection of comfortable and elite swim gear that is perfect for athletic performance or lifeguarding. 

All-Purpose First Aid Kit

As a camp staff member, you need to be prepared for any emergency. Carrying a first aid kit is a good start. This will be the handiest tool during an emergency. 

  • Equate’s first aid kit includes all the essential items including bandages, instruments, wound dressings, and topicals & medicines and it is all encompassed in one tight case that will fit right into your backpack. 


This is just as important as the other items listed and with good reason. As you exhaust your energy running around doing various activities, hiking, watching over the campers, your energy slowly starts to diminish. What better way to replenish that energy than to chow down on a delicious snack? They’re light, and a quick bite if you’re on the clock. Try snacking on energy-inducing snacks like nuts, granola, and trail mix, and dried fruit. 

Snack list

Nut-Free Snacks

Gluten-free snacks

Sunscreen spray

Our skin needs protection from the sun. The best sunscreens should protect and moisturize the body. So we recommend spray-on sunscreens are also recommended just in case you need to share or quickly apply without making a huge mess. 

Sum Bum‘s line of sunscreen not only supplies protection against the powerful sun rays but hydrates and enriches the skin with Vitamin E.  

Bug spray

The bugs will be at their prime in the summer so you’re going to need an extra layer of protection if you’re wearing shorts and T-shirts all day. 


  • Cutter Backwoods is Effective and protective, but the carrier is a bit bulky. 


  • Proven Odorless’s bottle is light and portable and is proven to be one of the most effective DEET-free bug sprays.  

You’ve reached the end of the top recommendations. Being a camp staff member comes with a lot of responsibilities and these are some items that help make your experience the best one you could have! After going through this list, which ones do you love? What did we miss? We want to hear from you! 

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