Dear Caring Parent,

Summer is in full swing! I finally have this year’s ALWAYS NEEDED supplies for family outdoors activity. Pack your bag with these and you will be ready for most things. It’s taken me a bit longer because I wanted to test a couple of them out before putting out amazon-affiliate links. Many of these I’ve been using for several years now. 

I’ve tried out the must-haves below in hiking and beaching environments, but they’d work equally fabulously for being out in the backyard or at the local park. 

1.First and foremost, sunscreen! For children and adults even if you have darker skin tones, I’ve settled on ALBA Botanical sport mineral sunscreen. It sticks even in the water. Plus all those good minerals are making my skin look good. It’s not greasy so isn’t hard on clothes or doesn’t make sand stick to you. The final plus for it is that it’s not damaging for the water you’re playing in which is important when you think about coral reefs and fish life or sharing a pool.

2. My next concern usually runs with ticks on the dog when hiking. This year, we’re hearing about ticks in the beach grasses too. SO, it’s important. I’m now using a natural product that is working like a charm, even in our tick infested N Minnesota woods. Check it out! Wondercide Natural Flea and Tick Control. I’ve gotten a bottle each of lemongrass and cedar scented and combined them both. These bottles will last you at least a couple of years, even if you do a moderate amount of hiking. 

PLUS, these are safe for children (and you) too. They are a little oily so go lightly on application. After use, clothes wash without an oil residue. Scents include peppermint, lemongrass, cedar and rosemary scented. I haven’t tried their Eco Treat Outdoor Pest Control, but if you have, shoot me an email through the Contact Natasha link on the website and let me know how it works!

3. Who doesn’t need bandaids when moving around outdoors! Our regular ones that we grab as we run out the door are great until things get wet from water or sweaty feet. So reduce your frustration and get some  Nexcare waterproof bandages in assorted sizes. They work!

4. If you’re traveling much and care about water quality, I’ve recently become aware of filtered water bottles (I know, where’ve I been!). It’s a dollar saver and reduces plastic use. You get to leave all those bottled waters on the store shelf. So if you’re following my snails paced greening of the household, this product will be added!  I’m going with Epic’s – The Epic Nalgene. It’s a super filter, light weight and BPA free. Take a look at all that it filters!

Not filtered, but great for travel and chore driving is the collapsible Hydaway water bottle. I use the 17 oz one because it’s perfect in my car when doing chores or when traveling by air because it takes up next to no space in the suitcase. Plus, it’s cute, along with fitting into all kinds of different sized holders. Again, it’s about plastic waste reduction and the incredible loop of support that gives to environmental health, which is also about your health.   

5. For any adventuring, it’s great to have ace bandages for the various twists and turns we  take with our bodies. It’s nice to have smaller ones and larger ones so older and younger can use them. 

6. Last but not least, a waterproof cover for your cell phone is a must if you’re off to the beach, pool, or lake. While at it, if you can budget a few extra dollars, go for flotation also. It might even help in the house when toddlers are exploring the delights of dropping things into water, shall we say toilet? Isn’t technology amazing. These don’t even interfere with phone or camera use. 

Load up your bag with these always needed supplies for family outdoors activities! Add a lot of treats, fill those water bottles, your flexibility attitude and confidently go outdoors! One last friendly reminder – have a conversation that includes your children answering questions like what do you want most from this time, what will you need to support that, and how will you help. Remind them of the need for maximum flexibility when having fun or traveling.

Take care now, Natasha