Packing Lists

What Should I Bring?

Camping equipment is not cheap, but it is an important investment for the comfort and safety of the user. The following are some points for your consideration.

Label Your Belongings

At the end of every summer we end up with our own little equipment and clothing store, with a bunch of nameless items. Please be sure to mark everything that you send to camp. It is a good idea to have campers, bring a list of the items they bring to camp.Advertisement for Mabels Labels for personalizing clothing and sundries labels for your camper.

The clothing and equipment lists have been designed for this purpose. Have your camper bring the lists with any necessary notes i.e. color, brand names, etc. in a Ziploc type plastic bag. This way it will be ready to use as a check list when campers are packing to go home.

Help raise funds for Camp Wanapitei’s camper bursary with a purchase of labeling products from Mabel’s Labels.  Visit this link and place your order.  Campers love labeling their own clothing and gear with these easy-stick-on labels.

Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs)

When choosing a PFD, make sure it fits properly and that it is a government-approved vest style preserver. It is important that one is able to move freely and comfortably in it, to fit warm clothes underneath it, while at the same time making sure it is snug enough so that it does not slip off when in the water. It is a legal requirement that everyone have a whistle attached to his or her PFD. We also require a second whistle be on their person at all times.


Paddles come in many shapes and styles, as long as it does the job, the rest is personal preference. For campers 14 and older we recommend bringing two paddles, at least one for white water. Paddles can be rented for $1/day upon request prior to camp.


Helmets are required only for campers 14 and older who will be paddling in white water. There are many different types of whitewater helmets. There must be a snug fit and a good chin strap. A cycling helmet will not do. Helmets can be rented for $1/day upon request prior to camp.

Rain Suit

Your rain jacket must be waterproof. Breathable is highly recommended, though not imperative. Rain pants are usually worn during the day when raining and at night to keep dry while on the camp site if it is raining. Campers could conceivably be in their rain gear all day and evening depending on the weather. Breathability for the rain pants is recommended though not highly. Rubber rain paints are sufficient.

Sleeping Bags

Two prime considerations when choosing a sleeping bag are warmth and bulk. One wants a warm bag, but it must not be so bulky that it cannot fit in a stuff sac and then into a pack. A variety of synthetic materials such as Holofil, Polarguard, Thinsolite, etc., are moderately priced and effective when wet. One might want to consider a three-season bag for future versatility.

Sleeping Pads

A sleeping pad is for comfort and warmth. Closed cell foam, about ¼ inch thick, is good. Ensolite or Superlite pads are common and inexpensive. For added comfort, warmth, (and expense), one could purchase a Therm-A-Rest or Wolfmat Lite.


While clothes are quickly grown out of at this age, a good backpack can last a long time. Invest in something sturdy rather than with many “bells and whistles”. The backpack should be able to hold all of the items on the Essentials for Canoe Trip lists (sleeping bag and pad optional). This is around the 65 L range of pack. Size, durability, and comfort are the biggest priorities. Remember campers carry their personal packs on portages, it should be comfortable. Dry Bags and backpacks are normally measured in liters hence the 65L (liter) reference above.  NOTE:  This backpack does NOT have to hold all of the belongings that your camper is bringing to camp.  This pack is for canoe trip.  Most campers have an additional bag (like a duffel bag) for their belongings.  Once at camp, leaders aid campers as they pack for trip and all campers leave some belongings in camp while they are on trip.


Keen Voyageur Light Trail Shoe

For Junior through Coureur de Bois, a good-quality running shoe (no canvas uppers) with a tread that is not too worn is fine.  For Pioneer and older, we recommend a light trail shoe (not a hiking boot) which is safer when paddling in moving water.  We suggest speaking with the salespeople at the store or giving us a call if you need further guidance.

For the campsite, light runners, closed toed sandals or Crocs are fine.  No flip flops.

Biodegradable Soap and Shampoo

For environmental reasons, Wanapitei requires that all campers and participants use biodegradable soap and shampoo.  Brands like Dr. Bronners, Camp Suds and Live Clean are easily available through MEC, pharmacies and health food stores.


Packing Lists by Program

The clothing and equipment that campers will need for their stay at Camp Wanapitei will depend on the program in which they are registered. Please choose the Clothing and Equipment list for your program: