With spring here and summer close behind, it’s starting to be adventure time at our house!

I am a spur of the moment person, so I find it helpful to prep to allow us to stop and play.  Here are a few things I like to keep in the car or my bag to keep us ready for whatever fun we find:

A Ratty Towel

I keep an old towel in the car at all times. It really is the gift that keeps on giving. Our ratty old towel has been a shawl in the cold and a place for the dog to sit,; it has wiped off wet swings and slides, cleaned up various bodily fluids, wiped mud off shoes, and many more. I prefer a dark colored towel so we can’t see what grime is on it. 

First Aid Kit with Band-aids

a tan colored bandage with white polka dotsMy kids don’t even like Band-aids, but I bring them anyway. They would rather not have them because they complain they hurt when you take them off. Honestly, I bring them in case someone else needs one (and so I don’t get judged at the playgrounds for being ill prepared).

Travel Potty

If you’re at the potty-training age, this could be for you. Some people swear by them, and I’ve had friends who could extend adventures at parks due to the magic van toilet. 

Bags of All Sorts

a woman in a green shirt is holding a bag that says the word "bag" spelled out on it. She is covered one eye with her hand and appears overwhelmed.I like to keep a few reusable bags in my car. My favorite ones are my Trader Joe’s bags. They’ve adventured from Texas, Alaska, and Virginia, all while being cute and durable. They’re waterproof and made of polypropylene, so they wash up really well after you spill a smoothie inside or someone fills them up with grass. Who does that?!

Since I have a dog, I always keep poop bags in the car. But our team reminded me they are very versatile, so why only keep them for the dog? They can hold wet clothes, that diaper you’d rather not carry with your bare hands and more recently for us, it made a great barf bag. Enormous sorry to everyone sitting by us on the Metro, but better in the doggy bag than on the floor. 


I like to keep disinfecting wipes for the super gross things and use baby wipes for the not as gross things. I have no babies yet still keep baby wipes around. They’ve come in handy after soccer games, freshening up a summer face and body, camping, and helping keep the car clean.

Durable Snacks

A granola bar dipped in chocolate on the bottom and chocolate chips throughout
This is exactly the kind of granola bar I don’t like for adventuring.

I have a very specific kind of granola bar I like to keep in the car. Nothing with chocolate or dipped in yogurt; not those really crunchy ones that come in a 2-pack. There is no way to eat those without a giant mess, and my kids’ thirst is unquenchable after eating them. The right granola bar needs to be chewy and able to remain in the car for months on end yet relatively edible when you fish it out of an unknown seat pocket. My very favorite are Sunbelt Oats and Honey. I have been loving these since high school, and it almost ruins the duty station when I can’t find them. 

Toss in a few apple sauce packets, gum or mints for bribery, and make sure you have reusable water bottles. You’re good to go! Ideally, you’ll clean your water bottles but if they end up in the car for a day or two, you get semi clean, semi cold water which is better than none. Especially if you have those terrible granola bars. 

What is part of your adventure kit? 


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