Have you ever gotten to the campsite and immediately wished that you had packed an extra 10- pack OFF Deep Woods mosquito spray? Or smacked yourself in frustration for not thinking of the brilliant entrepreneurial advantage of bringing string supplies, so you can string people's nets in your downtime and bankroll your whole summer? Be it lacrosse or hockey camp, you are not likely to forget the essential equipment or your clothes and toiletries.
But what about items you hadn't thought of that will come in very handy?
To compile the most comprehensive list of no-nonsense things to bring camping, we reached out to SISU Mouth Guard users, Redditors and Twitters to share their experiences. Here are the top twelve items they recommend you don't leave home without:
Let's face it, your workout clothes are going to get funky. Unless you have direct daily access to laundry facilities, or the motivation to do laundry every day (which is not likely), you are going to shove your sweat covered clothes into your "used clothes" bag and opt in for the fresh pair.
Do your roommates and your mom a favor, and keep the cabin passably non-revolting by spraying your used clothes with the sports fabric spray first. We recommend keeping a scented dryer sheet, like Bounce Fresh Linen, in between layers to keep the funk at bay and the roommates happy, until your mom picks up your dirty laundry.
Baby wipes are savvy camper's essential items. They clean up gear, keep the sweat factor down, serve as a great refresher in-between shower times and are an easy clean up solution for any mess. They are great for removing spots off of clothes. And besides, if it works for babies, it will certainly work for you in it's intended capacity. Your sweaty, overworked body will thank you for it.
Over-pack! According to our camp experts, you most likely did not pack enough underwear or changes of clothes. "You can never have too many shirts, compression shorts, or socks for the sessions." shares a Redditor in /r/lacrosse/. Summer is hot, practices are messy and accidents are always waiting to happen. "I wish that I had brought more shorts." writes Ross C., " Sweaty pants are no fun to run around in." So go ahead and toss that extra pair of shorts in, and a few more pairs of socks while you are at it.
Remember you're going to have free time to do stuff after the games. Bring whatever you need to protect yourself from boredom. Give yourself a chance to step away from solitary entertainment and opt in for a friendly game of cards, or a party version of Apples to Apples - Cards Against Humanity (parent guidance advised). Or hey, there is always UNO!
Like a magic wand, duct tape fixes everything, from torn shoes to broken sticks. "It is good for any little or big fix!," writes Elizabeth S., a derby athlete and camp veteran. For lacrosse campers, stringing supplies are essential, in case anything breaks. And since a half dozen people wrote about it, we should mention that it makes for a nice fundraising opportunity: string other people's nets in your down time and ask for a modest donation towards your time and supplies.
"Plastic bags, preferably extra large ZipLock ones, are a must," writes Cori R.. "You can use them to put all your dirty clothes in, so you don't contaminate the rest of your bag with a sweaty stench." They will also serve as a great place to store all those mending supplies, items that tend to run off and hide under the bed and protect the snacks you are stashing in your room from the attack of the ants or from going stale.
Ah, yes. You will get hungry in between meals. Bring snacks that are not likely to melt, and won't taste stale after a week. Although far from healthy, PopTarts came in at the top of the recommended list of munchies. These tasty treats are just as good when eaten cold, and they'll load you with enough sugar to remember why being away from parents for an entire week is such a great opportunity for personal growth. The other recommendations included granola bars, beef jerky, and mini packs of baked chips, Ritz crackers and Goldfish.
Bring extra sunblock. SPF 50 will only protect you for up to two hours, and even less when you are sweating profusely. So make sure to reapply it throughout the day, especially during active times. While you may want to look cool sporting your lacrosse mask tanlines, each year an estimated 3.5 million or more new cases of skin cancer occur in the US. Over 9,000 of those result in death, according to a study by the American Cancer Society.
Consumer Report recommends Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen SPF 50, a Walmart brand lotion, which is water resistant and provides both UVA and UVB protection, at only 56 cents an ounce. Check the expiration date! Sunscreen can expire, so grab a new bottle and apply copious amounts - about 1 shotglass full per use.
If there is grass, there will be mosquitos or some other pests who will try to get a shot at your lifeblood. Here in Michigan the winter was long and cold, therefore mosquitos, while not overwhelmingly numerous, are very large this year. Save yourself the trouble of getting eaten alive and go for the Off Deep Woods. It stinks like the entrance to Tartarus, but it will keep the pests away. As you sweat, the spray lessens its effect, so reapply often and liberally. For the added night time protection, consider brining a mosquito net to put over your bed.
And if you do fall victim to the vampiric beasts, clean the area with soap and water and apply anti-itch cream, so you won't get an infection. Don't scratch it!
It doesn't have to be big: antibiotic creme, waterproof bandaids and Gold Bond should just about do it. "Goalkeepers, if you're not bringing Gold Bond...you're going to have a bad time. Forgot mine at navy camp last year. My roommate had my back. Be that guy!" ecourages BaconBob on Reddit. And make sure to clean and treat all of your popped blisters and even the smallest cuts.
It will depend on where you are staying, but for the most part your accomodations are not likely to have AC. Bring a little fan so that you can sleep in peace, even on the hot and muggy nights.
You should wear your guard during games and practices, to reduce your risk of injury by 35%. It's good to have a spare guard, too, in case you lose it. Your SISU mouthguard will let you breathe naturally, shout to your teammates and stay hydrated during hot summer days.
Have a fun filled summer and play safe!
Did we leave anything out? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.