What to Bring to Camp Big Canoe

We want all our campers to have the things they need to enjoy their time with us! Make sure to go over this list to ensure they are bringing enough for their length of stay (and not bringing the things they shouldn’t be!).

Please note:

  • Laundry facilities are not available for camper use: be sure you pack enough clothing for their camp session.
  • All items must be clearly marked with the camper’s name.
  • Don’t send anything valuable.
  • Please use soft luggage or backpacks.
  • Do not tie paddles and PFDs to luggage.


Best to Bring:

  • shorts – include 1 pair nylon swim type
  • jeans/track pants – at least one pair should be quick-drying (important for out-trips)
  • long-sleeved shirts – at least 1 hooded sweatshirt
  • t-shirts
  • underwear
  • socks – 3 pairs wool or cotton work type
  • hat
  • polyester fleece jacket or warm wool sweater
  • pyjamas
  • swimsuits (2) & cover-up
  • rainsuit


  • zany hats/ clothes
  • long underwear
  • bandanna
  • nylon wind jacket
  • nylon wind pants

Camp Big Canoe Clothing:

Camp T-shirts, hoodies, hats and more are available for purchase. For more details see our Camp Big Canoe Store!


Best to Bring:

  • rubber boots/duckies
  • “wet” shoes – inexpensive running shoes or
    aquasocks for canoeing, swimming
  • “dry” shoes – running shoes with laces or Velcro
  • sandals – for campsite use only


  • hiking boots for 10 years & older

Personal Items

Best to Bring:

  • drinking water bottle (1+ litre)
  • pillow with pillowcase
  • sleeping bag 3 lb. maximum
  • towels (2)
  • washcloth
  • insect repellent, non-aerosol
  • sunblock, SPF 15 – 30 or more
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • hairbrush/comb
  • sanitary products (as needed)
  • environmentally friendly soap/shampoo
  • flashlight/extra batteries
  • sunglasses
  • extra blanket
  • drawstring bag for toiletries


  • small chamois type camp towel
  • books
  • T-shirt for tie-dying (a potential activity option)
  • camera – inexpensive
  • musical instrument
  • favourite toy (1)
  • favourite stuffed sleeping friend (1)
  • PFD or lifejacket government approved
  • dry bag (30 litres)
  • small day pack
  • bug hat
  • bug jacket
  • writing materials/stamps
  • lipblock

Things to Leave at Home

At Camp Big Canoe, we pride ourselves on being a space for campers away from screens, the internet and technology! Please respect this and leave cellphones, tablets, iPods, computers, screens and similar items at home. We know it is tough to be away from your child, but it is an important space for us to protect. You can always call our office should you need to reach us or your camper in an emergency.

Other things to leave at home: watches, jewelry, valuable keepsakes, expensive cameras, radios, recording devices, screens, DVD’s & DVD players, computers, any other electronic devices, hatchets, hunting knives, lighters, curling irons, hair dryers or any substance in an aerosol spray can.

Camp Big Canoe cannot be responsible for lost items and has no way of securing valuable property.

Some Helpful Hints:


Hats must be worn in camp! We are outside a lot, and we take sun safety seriously.

  • should protect the back of the neck, the tops of the ears and the forehead
  • are worn by all participants on an out trip and on hikes
  • baseball caps do not provide adequate protection from the sun

Skin Protection

  • campers are always encouraged to wear sunscreen when outside
  • we recommend long-sleeved T-shirts of thin, polyester fabric to be worn while swimming
  • we recommend a protective hat


Sturdy, flexible footwear can help avoid accidents and injuries at camp.

  • sneaker-type shoes are advised since they protect the feet, dry quickly on out-trips, and have flexible soles
  • shoes with inflexible soles have been found to cause accidents at camp
  • we discourage sandals, crocs and flip flops
  • sandals may only be worn on site (not on out-trips)


We recommend a waterproof jacket and pants. These are less bulky on out-trips and safer than coats and ponchos around the campfire.

Toiletries Drawstring Bag

Ideally, it is important to have a sturdy net drawstring bag, big enough to hold toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, etc. It will be hung on a hook in the bathroom.

Old clothes are best

We recommend bringing old familiar clothing to camp. Camp life can be hard on clothing!


Including sleeping bags!

Please use an indelible pen, iron-on or sew-on labels. This makes a huge difference in the incidence of lost clothing and equipment. We will contact you about any labelled lost items that are found and they will be returned to you at your expense. Unlabeled items found will be sent to a suitable charitable agency.

Looking for a way to support Camp Big Canoe and make sure your camper’s items get back home safely?

We have partnered with Mabel’s Labels!

Order your clothing and item labels through Mabel’s Labels and support an easy fundraising campaign for Camp Big Canoe! We have a package coming soon with the Camp Big Canoe logo on it!

This helps make sure you go home with all the clothing and items you came to camp with.

How to Order: Click the image above to access the website. Once at the website, search “Camp Big Canoe (Bracebridge)” to find our campaign. This will link your purchases at Mabel’s Labels to support for Camp Big Canoe fundraising campaign.

To access the Camp Big Canoe Logo Label Pack; select “Combo Label Packs” and then “Logo Label Pack” (shown below). Once you select the Logo Label Pack, you can see the Camp Big Canoe Logo Labels.

Label Logo Pack when searching

Label Logo Pack when selected

Personal Flotation Devices and Life Jackets

Each camper and staff member using a canoe or kayak must wear a PFD or life jacket. Camp Big Canoe has a supply of PFDs but if you wish to send one of these devices with your camper, please ensure that it fits well, is government approved and is clearly identified with the camper’s name.

Costumes, Games, Puzzles

The camp can make great use of discarded clothing such as shoes, hats, old coats and dresses. These are used for skit nights and other special programs. Quiet table games are welcome on rainy days and in the Health Centre.

Tuck Money

When campers arrive at camp, the counsellor will collect tuck money and place it in safe keeping in the Camp office. Whatever money is not spent will be returned to the camper before leaving camp. Campers are limited to spending $5.00 per 12-day session and $2.50 per 6/7-day session – please avoid sending more money than necessary. PeeWee Camp is short and sweet enough, so no Tuck Money is needed.

Food Parcels and Birthdays

Please do not send food packages. Campers have nutritionally balanced meals and an evening snack. Food taken into the tents may attract insects and animals. The use of chewing gum is discouraged. For campers celebrating a birthday at camp, a birthday cake is served for their unit at lunch or dinner on their birthday!

Parents’ Vacation Address

During camp sessions, if you change your address temporarily, we require your vacation address on file. Please make sure we can contact you.