We wanted to share some of our tips for packing your backpack (or bag of your choice) for an outing with the kids. During our time in Colorado, we both used backpacks to carry all of our essentials for the day away with our kids. Many nights, we would just take our backpacks out to dinner instead of a purse. It may not be the most fashionable choice but it is by far the most practical (especially chasing a busy toddler around).
Listed below are the essentials that we had in our backpacks for hiking while in Colorado but could be applied to any outing.
- Easy snack for kids
Some examples: oranges, granola bars, applesauce pouches
- Pack water. We had one water bottle per child. Stainless steel is ideal for keeping cold, but adds weight to the backpacks.
- Bug spray. In Colorado there are limited bugs (especially compared to Wisconsin) but we did notice them in some places
- A bag for trash. It is important to not leave any garbage behind. I carried a Ziplock bag that I could put garbage in, including a dirty diaper 😉 Doggie bags also work, or reuse a grocery bag.
- Hand wipes, diapers, wipes (if needed)
Katie keeps her diapers and wipes in a separate pouch that can be grabbed quickly (anyone else have a husband who struggles to find things right in front of their face?) This diaper pouch can easily be transferred from backpack to purse for a night out.
- Sunglasses and hats for kids and adults
- Lip balm and lotion (not pictured) – especially when swimming or in the dry mountain air
In the car, we kept a jug of water so we could refill water bottles once we got back to the vehicle – especially if we were going to be gone all day. Tip: buy a gallon of water from the store and refill throughout trip. Or have a reusable one like this: water jug
Both of us are believers in packing cubes. They are great! Even in a backpack to keep things organized and easy to find. They can be used to store snacks, swimsuits, or change of clothes and easy to grab when transferring from one bag to another.
We’ve linked a few of the items pictured below: