Outdoor adventures with kids can be incredibly rewarding, providing opportunities for exploration, bonding, and appreciation of nature. To make the most of your outdoor experiences and ensure a smooth and enjoyable time for the whole family, it's important to be well-prepared. So if you're getting ready for your first long hike, camping trip, or simply want to be well prepared for the outdoors with your kids, we've created a list of basic items parents should pack to be prepared for outdoor excursions kids.

Clothing and Gear:
    • Dress in layers: Pack clothing suitable for the weather, including lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics, waterproof outer layers, hats, and sunglasses.
    • Comfortable footwear: Choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes or hiking boots to protect little feet and provide stability on uneven terrain.
    • Sun protection: Pack sunscreen with a high SPF, sun hats, and UV-protective clothing to shield your child's delicate skin from harmful rays.
    Hydration and Snacks:
      • Water bottles: Carry enough water for the entire family, ensuring everyone stays hydrated during the outing. Consider insulated bottles to keep water cool for longer periods.
      • Healthy snacks: Pack nutritious and easy-to-eat snacks such as trail mix, fruit slices, energy bars, and sandwiches. Avoid sugary snacks that may lead to energy crashes.
      First Aid Kit and Medications:
        • Basic first aid kit: Include adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze, tweezers, insect repellent, and any necessary prescription medications.
        • Emergency contacts: Carry a list of emergency contact numbers, including your healthcare provider and local emergency services.
        • Tick Kit: If you're going to an area prone to ticks, consider packing a tick kit for safe removal of ticks. 
        Navigation and Safety:
          • Maps and compass: If you're venturing into unfamiliar territory, bring a map and compass to navigate the trails. Consider using a child-friendly map or a nature guidebook to engage your children in learning.
          • Whistle or signaling device: In case of emergencies or getting separated, teach your child how to use a whistle to attract attention.
          • Bug spray: Protect against insects and ticks by applying child-safe bug repellent. Check for ticks regularly during and after your outdoor adventure.
          Entertainment and Learning:
            • Binoculars and magnifying glass: Encourage curiosity by packing binoculars for birdwatching and a magnifying glass for exploring plants and insects up close.
            • Nature journal: Bring a small notebook and colored pencils for your child to record their observations and drawings.
            • Field guides: Consider bringing field guides or nature identification apps to help identify plants, birds, and animals you encounter along the way.
            • Download a nature scavenger hunt: A scavenger hunt can bring kids closer to nature by helping them to closely observe the areas around them.

            By packing the essentials for outdoor excursions with kids, you set the stage for memorable and enjoyable adventures. Adequate clothing, hydration, snacks, first aid supplies, navigation tools, and entertainment options ensure that you're prepared for various situations and can fully engage with nature. Remember to prioritize safety, encourage curiosity, and embrace the wonders of the great outdoors. Happy exploring!

            May 30, 2023 — Barbara Chernyukhin