As a family we absolutely love being outdoors, especially now that we are closer to the beach. If we are at home on the weekend you can guarantee we will either be pottering and playing in the garden or heading down to the beach or local wood for an explore. Eli in particular absolutely thrives in an outdoor environment and turns into a completely different little boy!
Something we have quickly learned through trial and error is that there are some things you should always take with you in order to be prepared for an outdoor adventure. Having two young children and one dog is often a recipe for someone either going face (or paws) down into a huge pile of mud or the heavens opening on the one time you didn’t think to bring any spare clothing with you.
Despite knowing that we need to think in advance we even got caught out the other week when we headed out to the sand dunes in Ainsdale. It was drizzling lightly and we had our coats and wellies on, the temperature was quite mild and although it was windy, it really wasn’t too bad. So off we headed, with just the things we had with us. Big mistake. When we were about an hour from the car the rain began to just pour and pour down. That wind which had seemed okay a short time before was now an icy blast whipping our hoods off and lashing the rain into our faces. Our wellies and coats proved insubstantial after half an hour of the torrential downpour; when we got back to the car Eli took his welly off and emptied a whole puddle of water onto the floor! It would have been the ideal time to have a change of clothes handy but alas, we didn’t even remember to take our own advice!
Which is kind of what prompted me to write this post today; to share with you our ideas of ‘essential’ items to pack on any outdoor adventure so that no matter what Mother Nature decides to unleash, you will be fully prepared and able to deal with it:-
1. A change of clothes
Accidentally falling into a deep puddle, slipping in mud or just getting caught out in the rain…these are all things which can regularly happen on days out, especially when you have children. We very rarely leave home without a change of clothes for all of us (a few weeks ago excepted!) because you just never know what might happen.
In fact, a couple of years ago we visited Delamere Forest in the winter. It was bitterly cold and really quite vile weather. We were following a trail and when we were about halfway round, Eli had given up completely and James was carrying him. Cue James missing his step and slipping down a very muddy and wet hill. With the extra weight of Eli, the pair of them just flew down this hill like it was a ready-made slide and they ended up absolutely soaked through. So it isn’t just kids who can have ‘accidents’, the grown-ups can fall foul too.
2. Wipes, wipes and more wipes
Baby wipes are an invaluable tool for any day out. Whether you are wiping sticky fingers after an ice cream or muddy fingers after a fall, they are a real asset and we never leave home without some. We usually pack one into the bag we are carrying for the day and have another pack in the car for emergencies.
3. Proper waterproofs
Especially key if you are travelling anywhere in Britain; you just can’t ever guarantee the weather! A decent pair of wellies and a proper raincoat will see you through most situations. My coat is from Regatta and I love that it isn’t only waterproof but it’s also wind proof as well. Unfortunately I was daft enough to choose a white one so it’s looking a little past its best at the moment. I would definitely suggest darker colours if you are likely to be getting a little bit mucky when out and about!
4. Drinks and a snack
Obviously you would hope that nothing would go too wrong whilst having an outdoor adventure but in case you find yourself further from the car than you imagined or just a little bit thirsty, it’s always good to carry a backpack with some supplies (plus your wipes). Even just for your own sanity when your children start whining about being hungry, it’s always good to have a piece of fruit that you can whip out and hand to them.
5. A sense of humour
This is such a vital thing when an outdoor adventure goes awry. You have to just be able to laugh about whatever situation you have gotten yourselves into, because what is the alternative? Moaning and crying will just inevitably make you feel worse about it!