What to pack when you go outdoors with kids

It’s easy to get carried away when we’re thinking about what to pack when we go out doors with kids.

I get it; it’s easy to forget a thing or two so you bring ALL THE THINGS!

Unfortunately, someone’s got to carry all the things-and that someone is likely YOU!

You want to get your kids out of the house, but you don't know what to bring with you. This is what you need to pack to go outdoors with kids!

When your poor back is on the line it’s important to really consider what you need and what you don’t need. This, of course, varies from person to person, but there are a few things that Sheena and I find to be really helpful when we pack up for a day trip outdoors with kids:

Diapers and wipes

Take diapers on you on your day trips

This may seem like a no-brainer, but the amount of times that we’ve forgotten one or the other is astounding. Forgetting one or the other, however, is not even the least bit fun. The diaper part probably only applies if you’ve got a child in diapers, but it’s actually helpful to have some wet wipes with you for using on the older kids. It’s nice to think that your 7 year-old won’t hold a slug and then freak out about the slime all over her hands, but….kids.


water on a day trip is crucial

Dehydration is not cool. Even minor dehydration can cause all sorts of horrible symptoms, including: nausea, headache, irritability, and fatigue. 

The possibility have having tired, grouchy kids is enough to remind you to bring a water bottle for everyone. Not only will it keep your littles (and you) properly hydrated, it will also give them a little something to put in their packs. Bring one bottle of water for each person!


snacks are important to take on a day trip

Speaking of irritable and tired…

Snacks are not only a great source of fuel for our bodies, but they’re also fantastic motivators. The promise of a picnic can push your kids a little further to go just that little bit more. It’s nice to make sure you bring super healthy snacks to fuel everyone’s bodies, but a few jellybeans is a good idea, too;)

Depending on how long your trip is going to be you may have to pack up a lunch. Using plastic containers is your best bet here-especially with bananas:S It’s important to remember to bring healthy food for the kids AND you!

First Aid kit

bring a first aid kit on your day trip

Chances are you’ll just occasionally need a band-aid for a bruise *insert chuckle and eye roll of a parent of a 4-year-old*, but you never know when some gauze or antihistamine. Keep a first aid kit on you on all of your little adventures just in case.  Better safe than sorry when you’re outdoors with kids! You can get a pre-made first aid kit at most drugstores.

Spare clothes

a day trip needs spare clothes

Accidents happen. Most kids understandable don’t want to continue on the day trip if they’ve got wet or muddy pants. Having a change of pants and socks can make or break your day!

Bear Spray/bangers/bells

bear spray might be a good idea for a day trip

Gauge this based on where you’re going. If you are staying in a populated, open area it may not be necessary to bring bear prevention tools with you. However, if you’re heading out into the woods it’s probably a good idea. Bear prevention tools will help defend you against bears and any other animals you may encounter. 

Don’t forget to keep these things out of the reach of the kids, yet easily accessible to you.

Cell phone and/or GPS

gps is helpful on a day trip

A GPS is expensive and isn’t really necessary if you’re staying within service areas. However, tools like the GARMIN IN-REACH can give you peace of mind that if you’re out exploring outdoors with kids you’ll have a safety net.

Your phone is always good to have on you in case of emergencies, to coordinate meeting up with friends, and, of course, for taking photos to share with us on Instagram! 


Okay, so I’ll admit that I’m the WORST for leaving my wallet at home. I never think I’m going to need it. However, in our wonderful part of the world your little adventures may just lead you to an amazing place that sells coffee. You always need to be prepared to get yourself sufficiently caffeinated!

This is what we take on our little adventures when we go out on a day trip outdoors with kids. What do you take in your bag??

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