9 June 12 • SCB

In just a few days, school is out and our schedules and commitments relax, the weather warms (we hope), and we will start heading out on all kinds of day-trips around Oregon. I am so excited for summer. This week I packed up our summer adventuring kit for the car. It all fits fairly well into a basket I just leave in the car, so when we head out we don’t have to fuss too much about what we bring along. I have been doing this since the kids were small (and the kit was twice the size, filled with diapers, toys and pajamas), and have found that having these essentials available means we can be more spontaneous and don’t find ourselves heading home early because someone is too wet, cold, or hungry. Here’s what I packed:

1. A good sized towel or cotton blanket. Ours is a vintage cotton heavy-weight tablecloth. It works equally well as a towel, picnic blanket or a throw to cover your legs on a chilly night.

2. A Baggu holds lightweight rain jackets (for sudden rain showers or cool evenings), spare bathing suits (for swimming hole discoveries or last-minute invitations to the pool), and a pair of cheap flip-flops for everyone.

3. More Baggus! For trips to the market, but also to hold wet or dirty clothes or to use as impromptu backpacks.

4. A kit with basic essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, hand sanitizer, band-aids, ibuprofen, hair ties, and a packet of tissues (aka emergency toilet paper).

5. An empty jar to fill with berries we find growing roadside, wildflowers or other treasures.

6. Emergency snacks. The key here is to have snacks that won’t spoil in the car or melt and also aren’t too tempting that my kids will eat them up on the next ten-minute ride across town. We’ve got almonds and dried fruit in there.

7. Filled water bottles.

8. Another pouch holds a folding knife (for slicing fruit or whittling), a bandana to use as a napkin or a tourniquet (just kidding—I hope), and a small amount of cash for parking meters, roadside fruit stands, garage sales, and ice cream (or in my case, iced coffee) emergencies.

Happy summer adventures, everyone.