The development of independence begins on day 1!

Packing Instructions

There’s a lot to consider when packing for an extended stay at camp. Years of experience have allowed us to put together the following essential set of packing instructions. Including campers in the packing process is a great way help them feel ready for camp and prepared for any challenge.

  • Sol Birenbaum

    Sol’s Tip

    “Pack a dry bag even if your camper doesn’t have a scheduled canoe trip. Campers may still want to participate in the canoe trip, and Colours do go on a one-night overnight where the dry bag is helpful.”

    More helpful tips from Sol

The Packing List

Our Packing List covers everything the campers should bring. Help us to make camp a safe and happy environment by not packing any of the items in the “Do not pack” list. Many seemingly harmless things–particularly electrical appliances–can pose a risk to the safety of campers.

Please note that we recommend this packing list to all campers in all sessions.

Check items off the lists as you pack them to keep yourself organized!


  • 15 T-shirts
  • 8 Shorts
  • 5 Sweatshirts or Hoodies
  • 1 Jacket or Coat
  • 1 Raincoat (swamp coat) with rain hat or hood
  • 1 Bathrobe
  • 6 Pairs of pajamas (some for cooler nights)
  • 15-18 Pairs of underwear
  • 6 Bathing suits
  • 1 Pair of running shoes
  • 1 Pair of flip flops or crocs
  • 1 Pair of rubber boots
  • 2 Sun-protective hats
  • 15-18 Pairs of socks
  • 5 Sweatpants or pants
  • 1 Pair of sunglasses
  • Various coloured clothes for Colour Wars, Walden Games, and Halloween
  • 1 pair of inexpensive jeans (for the dance)
  • 1 Set of Friday night clothing: Blue bottoms and a White top


  • 1 Blanket (i.e. a comforter) or Duvet (single duvet with washable cover)
  • 4 Fitted Sheets (Bed size 30” X 72”)
  • 1 Pillow
  • 2 Pillow cases


  • 5 Shower towels
  • 5 Swim towels
  • 2 Toothbrushes with cases
  • 2 Tubes of toothpaste
  • 1 Comb and/or hairbrush
  • 1 Body wash
  • 1 Shampoo
  • 1 Face wash
  • 1 Hand soap
  • 1 Nail file and/or nail clippers
  • 1 Box of tissues
  • Ample hygiene products (e.g. deodorant, feminine hygiene products, razors, etc.)
  • 1 Shower bucket (to hold and tote soap, shampoo, and other shower products)

Sundry items

  • 2 Laundry bags
  • 2 Insect repellent sprays
  • 1 Plastic drinking cup
  • 2 Containers of sunscreen
  • 1 Reusable water bottle
  • Stationary: paper, envelopes, stamps, pens and/or pencils
  • 1 Flashlight with extra batteries
  • 1 Extra pair of prescription glasses (for campers who wear them)
  • 3 comfortable, labelled, appropriately fitted, and reusable masks. We hope never to need ‘em; but you still gotta bring ‘em.
  • 1 mini-mesh bag (big enough for all the masks) so that masks can be sent to laundry.

The Non-Essentials

These are things that aren’t necessary, but could come in handy.

  • 12 coat hangers
  • 1 Tennis racquet (we have lots, but some like their own!)
  • 1 Baseball glove (we have lots, but some like their own!)
  • Hair elastics
  • Inline skates
  • 1 Inexpensive camera
  • 1 Knapsack
  • 1 Musical instrument (we have lots, but some like their own!)
  • Ample books and traditional games
  • Extra shoe laces
  • Extra name tape

Tripping / Overnight

You will also need the following item if you have a canoe trip or overnight scheduled.

  • 1 Sleeping bag (can be used as the regular comforter)
  • 1 Large Dry bag (i.e. minimum 30L)
  • Wet shoes – an old pair of running shoes/hiking boots because they will get wet and muddy.

Learn more about our canoe tripping programs

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Hazardous materials

  • Butane or propane filled appliances
  • Lamps
  • Candles
  • Lighters
  • Fire crackers
  • Skateboards
  • Glass containers

Electronics and Appliances

Be sure to consult the related policy.

  • Fans
  • Kettles
  • Hair dryers
  • Power bars
  • Curling irons
  • Hair straighteners
  • Walkie talkie
  • DVD players
  • Heaters
  • Stoves
  • Electric blankets
  • Hotpots
  • Televisions
  • Electronic games
  • Cell Phones
  • Anything that needs to be plugged in or charged

Items conducive to aggressive play or that create a mess

  • Tradable or gambling items
  • Water balloons
  • Silly string
  • Weapons or anything that looks like a weapon including water guns, hatchets, or knives

Items that can promote jealousy

  • Food or packages in contravention of our Food & Package Policy
  • Portable furniture, in particular, shelves of any kind are not permitted (some exceptions are given below)
  • Air or foam mattresses

Fragile, expensive or inappropriate items

  • Air horns
  • Any item with a video display
  • Any items requiring dry cleaning or hand laundering or that cannot withstand commercial laundry machines and dryers
  • Bicycles
  • Elevated/platform shoes
  • Expensive clothing including dresses or dress shirts
  • Expensive jewellery
  • Head shaving or body piercing equipment

Lawn chairs and lock boxes

Compact foldable lawn chairs will not be confiscated if used exclusively on the porches of cabins or as permitted by the Unit Head. Personal storage boxes are allowed if left unlocked or if the lock used is a combination one and the combination confidentially shared with camp staff. Although the Walden community is one where ample seating is provided and locks are unnecessary, we know these items can provide comfort to our campers.

Some frequently asked questions

For some of our larger transportation days, there is a MASH table set up where medications are collected. For other day please USE BUS MAIL! All medications sent to camp should be sent in their original containers with original labels. Pack all medications in a sealed container with this form completed and hand it to the counsellor on your child’s bus at departure on the first day of camp. Make sure to include an ample supply. Your child’s health is of the utmost importance to us – please keep us well informed by using this procedure for even the most simple of medications. Campers who wear eye-glasses or contact lenses are encouraged to send an extra pair of eye-glasses via Bus Mail to ensure that they will have a spare pair available.

Camp Walden includes the cost of all aspects of the program in its initial fees. Help us preserve a money-free environment by sending your children with no more than $40 for the one or two trips that they may take out of camp.

Although encouraged to bring no food to camp, campers are allowed a maximum of one plastic grocery bag’s amount of food at the beginning of their camp stay, and another on Visitors’ Day. For more information on our Food & Package Policy.

So exciting for your first-time camper to be joining us for the weekend! Starting camp is not only new for campers but for parents too; we’ve developed a really great information resource on our Walden Long Weekend Page, specifically packing. We encourage you to read everything about the WLW here.


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