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Summer Camp Essentials

Send kids off to camp prepared to tackle the day with these five must-haves.

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1. There’s nothing worse than sending your child off to camp with brand new gear, only to have it lost or mistakenly picked up by another child. Save yourself the hassle—and the cost of replacing lost items—by labeling your child’s gear. StickerKid name labels will withstand all your child’s camp adventures, and increase the chances that everything will make it home at the end of the day. All labels are water resistant, dishwasher and laundry safe, and microwave and freezer safe. Check out the “camp” page on their website for a variety of label options.

2. Packing a hearty lunch is necessary for daylong camps, and snacks are required for many half-day experiences. Keep perishables cool all day with the PackIt freezable lunch bag. No ice packs are required—just pop this lunch bag into the freezer at night to activate the built-in freezable gel and the bag will be frozen by morning, keeping food cold all day. Available in fun patterns including mermaids, melons, camo, and unicorns. $22

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3. Outdoor camps call for sun protection, and sunscreen alone won’t cut it. Block harmful UV rays from burning your child’s delicate scalp with a hat from the Boulder-based Wallaroo Hat Company. These UPF 50+ hats are made to block 97.5 percent of UV rays, and they’re super cute to boot. Available in a variety of designs and sizes for toddlers and kids. $14-$36

4. Hydration is key for any summertime activity, whether it be indoors or out. And kids are more likely to drink water throughout the day if it stays cold. Arm them with an insulated stainless steel water bottle from EcoVessel. The Boulder-based brand has a signature TriMax triple insulation to keep drinks cold for 36 to 100 hours—depending on the model. The Frost water bottle ($20) is perfect for young kiddos age three and up, whereas The Boulder design ($27-$33) works well for older kids and tweens.

5. Summer camps typically send out a checklist of items your child needs to bring each day. A sturdy backpack from Herschel Supply Co. will store everything your child needs for summer days of fun, and then some. Both the Heritage kids backpack, for ages three to six ($40-$60), and the Retreat youth pack, for ages five to seven ($60-$70), come in a variety of colors and prints your child will love.

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