Written by Hannah W.
Summer time is in full swing! The world is green again and the nights are longer, meaning we have more daylight to enjoy the outdoors! Yes, yes, yes!
With the warm weather (or really hot weather depending on where you live) it’s easier to get outdoors again! Your neighbors have come out of hibernation and you yourself are feeling like you are ready for an adventure.
Hiking, fishing, park days, picnics, playing at the splash pads with your kids, and swimming can all be a part of your life again. Wahoo!
With so many opportunities to head into the outdoors and enjoy a little sun, it’s important to pack the necessities to fully enjoy your time outside.
There is nothing worse than forgetting something while you are out and about and, let’s be real, it can ruin the fun if it’s essential to the trip! Or maybe you want to go outdoors and just have no clue what to pack.
Well, I’ve created a simple list of all the top outdoor must-haves in order to enjoy your next adventure whether that’s sitting by the pool or backpacking in the wild.
6 Top Outdoor Must-Haves
1. Charged Cell Phone/Cell Phone Charger
A big perk about getting outdoors is that it can help you unplug and unwind from the stresses of life. This doesn’t mean you should leave it at home!
Having a charged cell phone with you while you’re exploring the outdoors is a great safety precaution. Carrying a cell phone charger is also a good idea in the event that your battery dies.
Just remember to use it as a tool, not entertainment!
2. First Aid Kit
It doesn’t matter if you are going to be gone for 10 minutes or 10 days, having a first aid kit in your backpack is always a great idea! You would hope that you would never need to use a first aid kit, but accidents can happen.
You might trip on the concrete sidewalk and skin your knee at the park (guilty). Or you could trip over a fallen log and scuff up your hands (guilty again). These slightly embarrassing moments, especially if done in public, can at least be relieved if you have the proper gear to clean up and avoid a bloody mess.
Your outdoor adventure may include your kids, your friends, or your friends’ kids, so even if you’re the careful one it’s great to carry a small kit with some essentials to ease any scrapes, cuts, bruises, or injuries to help those other klutzes!
The best part is that this kit doesn’t need to be huge and bulky taking up way too much space in your pack. So what items should be in this first aid kit?
Band-Aids: A variety will do. Small ones to cover where that rogue tree branch scratched you and large ones to cover that knee scrape! Including a variety will prepare you for most cuts and abrasions.
Antiseptic wipes: Use these to clean out open wounds before applying band-aids. They will also prevent infections!
Baby Wipes: Surprisingly useful in many scenarios. Use your imagination.
Elastic Bandage Wraps: A small wrap that can be wrapped around the wrist or ankle for small sprains to brace the joint from too much movement and prevent swelling.
Whistle: This may seem weird, but it could save your life if you ever needed it! If you ever get lost while outdoors, it can easily alert bystanders or search parties without tiring your voice and wasting precious energy.
Tylenol: For headaches or to ease the pain of those cuts and scrapes!
UV protection is always important while enjoying the outdoors! Even if you tan easily, you’ll want to protect yourself from the damaging effects of the sun. UV damage can cause a whole list of problems, from premature aging of the skin to skin cancer.
Do yourself a favor and pack a little sunscreen in your pack and hey, maybe take it one step further and apply some while outdoors! A little can go a long way and your skin will thank you for the protection!
When you are hanging by the pool or park, it’s easy to relax and have a bite or two… or ten. You know, grab your favorite snack and munch for hours. The mindless eating can add up in calories quick, so instead of grabbing your favorite candy bar or chips, pack a few healthier snack alternatives that will keep you fuller longer. Some ideas are:
These snack ideas are packed with protein which will definitely keep you fuller longer. But they will also provide nutrients that will help give you the energy to enjoy your next adventure without the sugar crash that can come from candy or other sugary snacks.
These options are easy to pack when you are trying to get out the door on time and they’re also mess free, because who hates sticky fingers from a messy treat? (You know what’s good for messy hands? Baby wipes!)
Wearing a hat and/or sunglasses will also protect your skin and eyes from damaging UV rays from the sun. And if you are thinking uhhh eyes? Seriously?
Yes, you can get a sunburn on your eyes and it can be quite painful! Symptoms can include itchy irritated eyes, sensitivity to light, and dry or watery eyes. Packing a hat and sunglasses can keep the sun off your face and keep you cooler in the heat.
A two for one deal!
Probably the biggest on the list of top outdoor must-haves is water! Just repeat this mantra – hydration hydration hydration!!
It’s all about hydration when exploring the outdoors. Drinking enough water during the hot summer months is crucial for your health and happiness. Anything can happen when you’re out and about – your 10 minute trip could unexpectedly take 2 hours!
Always pack a water bottle in your pack and always pack more water than you think you need because in the heat, your body will lose water at a faster rate. Don’t chance it!
Drink even if you aren’t thirsty because if you are thirsty, that means you’re already dehydrated…yikes. Early signs of dehydration include thirst, headaches, darker colored urine, and dizziness.
So if you experience any one or combination of these symptoms, don’t ignore it. Drink water!
This list is a simple guideline to help set you up for success when exploring the outdoors whether that be hiking, hanging out at the park, or chilling by the beach.
Though you might need more or less than this to suit your current adventure, it’s enough to get you started on the right track and avoid confusion about what to pack when exploring the outdoors.
So grab your backpack and get outside! The outdoors is waiting for you!