Counselor Tools

How to Prepare Your Trip Leader Survival Kit

Last Updated on

This is a guest post by Harper Reid.

Trip Leaders need to be prepared for everything and anything. However, while lots of the things we recommend for your survival kit will be common sense, let’s start out with a few things it is easy to overlook.

As a trip leader, you are going to be spending a good deal of time out in the sun. Make sure you pack a wide-brimmed hat, and lightweight long-sleeved shirts and trousers. Even if you keep covered up as much as possible your skin will still become dehydrated, so be sure to include in your survival kit a good natural moisturiser or some Omega-rich rosehip oil.

USDA Certified Organic Rosehip Oil for Face 2 oz - Moisturizing Oil for Skin, Hair, Nails - Face Oil and Body Oil to reduce fine lines/wrinkles, acne scars, dark spot removal - Eve Hansen
  • BEAUTY'S BEST KEPT SECRET - Regenerate damaged and dry skin and reduce appearance of deep...
  • SOOTHING SKIN REPAIR - Reduce appearance of skin inflammation, acne, breakouts and dark...

Other skin care tips for camp counsellors include regular exfoliation to help open up the pores. This improves the absorption of rehydration products. Another essential skin care product for camp counsellors is a high-protection sunscreen, which you should apply every couple of hours throughout the day.

A trip leader’s backpack needs to be robust, large enough to contain all of the following items, and with multiple pockets to keep things organized. Practice packing and unpacking so that you will always know exactly where everything is.

Roam 25L Lightweight Packable Backpack: Water Resistant Nylon Weave Camping, Traveling and Hiking Backpack - Small Ultralight Backpack for Men and Women - Compact and Foldable Travel Day Pack, Black
  • COMPACT & FOLDABLE: Roam ultralight backpacks are 18.6" x 11" unfolded and collapsible to...
  • DURABLE DESIGN: The water resistant backpack is made from high strength ripstop nylon with...

A sturdy water bottle, and just to be on the safe side, include some water purification tablets. Always have in your backpack some high-energy granola bars, chocolate and sweets, or other emergency rations. In the unlikely event of you and the kids in your charge of getting separated from the group, these things could save your lives.

Hydro Flask Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle Wide Mouth with Straw Lid (Black, 32-Ounce)
  • DESIGN IN MIND: With it's easy-access wide mouth, the sleek design holds the same volume...
  • SLIP-FREE GRIP: Unlike other leading water bottles, Hydro Flask has a powder coat, which...

High-powered torch and extra batteries. First-aid kit, plus lots of extra Band-Aids, hydrogen peroxide and antiseptic cream. You’ll be able to take care of most minor emergencies with these. A wind-up watch and a waterproof stop-watch. Compass and maps of the area. Matches, and ideally an emergency way to start a fire, such as a flint kit. Multi-purpose pocket knife. Waterproof cape.

I GO Compact First Aid Kit - Hard Shell Case for Hiking, Camping, Travel, Car - 85 Pieces
  • BEST VALUE: I Go first aid kit comes with 85 medical grade items in a compact, flexible,...
  • FDA APPROVED: I Go first aid kit manufactured with the highest quality approved by FDA....

Cell phone and solar charger. Post-it notepads, brilliantly useful for all kinds of communications, and a stock of golfer’s pencils. Whistle, great for getting the attention of noisy children.

Portable Solar Chargers X-DRAGON 20W SunPower Solar Panel Waterproof Foldable Camping Battery Charger with Dual USB Ports & SolarIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad Mini, Samsung, Other Cell Phones
  • Exclusive SolarIQ Technology: It can automatically adjust the current and voltage to...
  • High Efficiency: SunPower solar cell is made from US, up to 22%-25% efficiency, while most...

Pack of cards and a rulebook. List of different games and ideas of fun things to do with the kids. You won’t have time to do all of them, but a good trip leader should have a schedule set out and flexibility when things don’t go to plan. Having entertainment ideas prepared can be your ace up the sleeve.

Duct tape. This product has loads of uses from tent repairs to blister healer. Don’t think of leaving home without it. Rubber bands and Ziploc bags are excellent for keeping opened packets of snacks fresh and for storing anything like shells and seeds.

A hammock takes up very little space, just needs two trees to hang from and creates a perfect place to rest and take a break. Pop in some Chamomile tea bags, and some natural lavender shower gel, to get you ready for a good night’s sleep.

Wise Owl Outfitters Hammock Camping Double & Single with Tree Straps - USA Based Hammocks Brand Gear, Indoor Outdoor Backpacking Survival & Travel, Portable SO NvyBlu
  • UNLIKE OTHER HAMMOCKS ours are made of high quality heavy duty 210T parachute nylon. This...
  • RELAX IMMEDIATELY W/SUPER FAST & EASY SET UP: Tree straps & carabiners are included w/this...

Being a trip leader is fun, but it is also a big responsibility. Preparing yourself adequately will make things much easier, both for you and for the kids.

The above list is just a brief guide of what you should have in your camp counsellor survival kit. Think about the particular location and situation in which you will be and make the appropriate additions for your particular circumstances. So, do your planning, pack your backpack and prepare to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.


Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who has a passion for travel, adventure and everything fun! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her planning her next trip, running on the beach, or hiking with friends. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr.


Image Sources:
Backpack by Pablo E. Ortiz via under license
First-Aid via under CC0 License
Relax by Cara Fuller via under license



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.