I had a wonderful morning chatting with Lisa Hendey and Gina Felter about our summer plans.  I talked about some strategies for getting outdoors with little kids.  Here are some links to the products that really help my husband and I out in maintaining our sanity (and our cleanliness 😉 when we’re out and about!  I’ve put these links in their main category but of course, there is a lot of overlap too!

NOTE: As soon as the CatholicMom video is up, I’ll link it here!

For Hiking

  • We always take a plastic potty seat with us and keep it in the car so we can take bathroom breaks whenever a little one needs to go. Get one that only has one piece. My husband drilled a small hole in the side so he could attach it to his pack using a carabiner : IKEA LILLA Children’s potty, Green
  • Our girls wear these sun hats when we go hiking.  The flowers start out pink and then turn purple in the sun and that’s quite amazing to the girls! Sun Protection Zone Kids’ UPF 50+ Safari Sun Hat
  • When our kids can do an entire hike (at least one mile) without having to be in a pack on my (or my husband’s) shoulders, they earn their own backpack: Children Backpack Hiking
  • We don’t spend a lot of money on shoes but you do need a really solid shoe for hiking so as soon as they are a size 8, we buy them a pair of Keen hiking boots: KEEN Koven Mid WP Hiking Boot

For Camping

  • When camping, we now use a 10’ canvas tent with wood burning stove.  We looked for five months before we found a used one on craigslist: Canvas Tent with Stove from Cabela’s
  •  Our girls both sleep on these cots when we go camping: Regalo My Cot Deluxe
  • We always bring 3x as many outfits as there are camping days for the girls.  Kids clothes are small so it doesn’t take up much room.  We also bring plastic grocery bags and ziplock bags to contain any big or gross messes.

For Road Trips

  •  Pack food that doesn’t melt and isn’t sticky: we go to the bins section at Winco and make our own trail mix of nuts, dried berries and banana chips. Then we put their snacks in a spill free cup like these: Nuby Snack Keeper
  • We also pack deli meats, beef jerkey and presliced Tillamook cheese and put those in their cups as well.
  • We do food in the car while we are driving so that when we stop, we can use that time to run around and get energy out.
  • For our very long car rides (8+ hours) we also bring a Travel Tray: Star Kids Snack & Play Travel Tray
  • We have neck pillows to help the kids sleep in the car.  Sometimes the kids use them, sometimes they don’t.  Because we have three girls, we get the same one so there’s no fighting: Critter Piller Kid’s Neck Pillow
  • For our road trip of 24+ hours, we do bring our laptop loaded up with a few movies and when we’re desperate, we play Cinderella for the girls.  This is the only screen time they get and we usually do it once in a 24 hour period of time.
  • We load up audiobooks, bible songs, veggie tale songs and… the Frozen soundtrack.