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top 5 must-haves for winter camp at tumbleweed

Who doesn't love a "must-have" list?! With Week 1 of Winter Camp complete, I wanted to put together the top 5 items I'm adding to my daughter's backpack for this year's camp season since it with be a little different.

At Tumbleweed, we pride ourselves on being all outside and nature-based, but this year's Winter Camp really drives that point home. With the rising number of COVID cases in Los Angeles County and the limited amount of indoor space at camp to begin with, the safest thing to do is to play as much as we can in the wide open fields and hills of camp. 100% outdoors it is! I've been thinking a lot about how I can make sure my daughter is comfortable enough during the day to play and thought I would share with you some of the items on our must-have list.


I'm sure you are all giving me a resounding "DUH", but Winter Camp is the perfect time to find that perfect mask. In addition to regularly washing your masks, you should also change them out periodically, which makes for the perfect opportunity to accessorize! We really love these masks from Old Navy - they stay on well, come in fun prints for the whole family, are reasonably priced for something that might not make it home at the end of the day. Whatever mask you might choose, make sure that they are at least 3-ply, large enough to cover the nose all the way to the chin, and do not need to be adjusted all the time. We recommend bringing at least one extra mask to camp each day in addition to the one you wear.

New backpack and Lunchbox

A lot of us missed the back-to-school shopping experience and our kiddos missed out on a new lunch box and backpack to show off. Now is your chance to get one! With bringing their lunch, masks, layers, and water bottle to camp, your camper is definitely going to need something to hold it all together. I really love these backpacks recommended by The Wirecutter. I'm particularly fond of the LL Bean backpacks - they are durable and customizable.

Gloves, Mittens and Hats

I can hear your laughter now... While you might think it's silly to wear gloves or hats in Los Angeles in December (it's not THAT cold) being outdoors for 6 hours straight does make for a chilly day. I have also noticed that while some kids will refuse to put their jackets on, they will keep a nice, warm beanie on which will actually keep in a lot of heat. When thinking about keeping your kiddo warm this Winter Camp, remember that heat escapes through our head, toes, and hands - less focus on puffy vests, more on wool socks! Which leads me to my next rec...


If you take only one thing away from this post, it's to send your campers in L-A-Y-E-R-S! Tees under long sleeves under sweatshirts under jackets with maybe even a rain coat to top it all off. You could very well drop your camper off in the morning when it's cool but sunny, wonder what they are doing at lunch when it is drizzling, and pick them up in the afternoon when it is suddenly 75 out. While nothing fancy is needed for these layers, I do love getting a few new items for my daughter from REI that are specifically for outdoor play. While I haven't shopped myself, I've been meaning to check out the new pre-owned Patagonia program, Worn Wear. Check out their kid section for some good finds this winter.

Super Secret Treats

Especially in a year of zoom school and learning from home, packing a lunch can be a real treat for kids of all ages. My daughter always like to ask if I'm going to pack her a special treat (usually just a cookie or some left over holiday candy). But every now and then she asks for a super secret special treat which usually leaves me wondering "isn't candy super secret and special enough???" What is a mom do to? Well, one nice, little secret treat I have found to add to the lunch that isn't filled with sugar are cute and funny napkins that I can write notes on, like these from Meri Meri. Best part of all, I usually find them on sale at Homegoods or Target! I also really love these lunch notes from Mr. Boddington's Studio.

Well, those are my 5 faves for Winter Camp - I hope you enjoyed. Speaking of enjoying things, this is my first recommendations list and I really enjoyed putting it together. Let this be the beginning of a beautiful set of guides and recs for your families at camp!

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