I never really quite managed to hack the baby bag, but I reckon I am pretty good at the day out rucksack – perhaps it is because it feels like more of an adventure than packing nappies ever did. I also think I have found a new favourite rucksack. Travel Outdoors invited me to choose one, I immediately loved the Lowe Alpine Helix DaySack, and together we came up with some great family friendly travel products that fit in it.
The other great thing is Vango stuff sacks, I am using this small red one to keep all the bits and pieces together so I can move things from bag to bag if I need to. Sometimes you want a bigger bag, or a prettier bag, although I chose the rucksack especially for being the most stylish and least sporty I could find. They are also great for packing up a spare bag of clothes, my son always gets wet or mucky somehow, wherever we go. They can also help with holiday packing – whatever you put in them, it reduces the size.
The rucksack has a front pocket, which is perfect for maps, novels or guide books. The two side pockets make water accessible and keep bottles out the main section. You can fix up a hydration sack inside the bag, if you are doing serious walking.
I really like the top pocket, it is perfect for keeping my purse, keys and phone safe without having to rummage at the bottom of the bag, I also especially like the orange key clip, you always know where your keys are. The bird whistle is my keyring, it fits in a little bird house glued to the wall, so I never loose my keys, but a whistle is a handy thing to have in emergencies so I mention it here. The only missing feature is a phone pocket, but I keep a phone case in there to stop my phone getting scratched by my keys when it isn’t in my pocket.
Now for great ideas for things to put in the bag, most of which are available from Travel Outdoors
You can guarantee you will carry the kids’ bulky raincoats all summer and the one time it rains enough to need one, you haven’t got them. These ponchos are so light you can keep them always in the bag, and hopefully forget about them all summer long! Great for festivals and theme parks too.
First Aid Kit
When Mr G split his head open at the park it really made me realise how useful a simple first aid kit is. Someone had to run off and buy me a swab and bandage so I could get him to hospital. Fine if you are in a public place, not so great if there is no one else about. We have a larger kit which we took with us walking in the Lakes, but this small kit is great for days out. Plasters are always handy and often make the difference between carrying on a walk and giving up because of a rubbing sandal.
If you are heading to anywhere with a glimmer of hope you might swim, splash or paddle travel towels are amazing. They are so light and compact, but they work. They are also perfect as a picnic rug or to keep your suitcase weight down when you pack for holidays. Miss L loved the zebra print towel and tested it out on her School trip – she said it was great for the beach!
Water bottle with filter
Water to Go bottles have inbuilt replaceable filters, so are a great way to get filtered water on the go. Great if the water tastes different on holidays or days out.
My kids loved this little pack of crocodile themed Pyramid Suncare Essentials. The suncream gel was a particular hit, and could I find the SPF lip balm anywhere when I came to take this? No Miss L had snuck it in her bag to take on the school trip to Skegness. I buy small day out size bottles to squirrel safely in my bags for the summer so we are always prepared.
Almonds are my lightweight snack of choice, they take up so little room but seem to fill everyone up. I was given this tin, but when I see little tins in souvenir shops I snap them up.
Tissues and handy packs of wipes, and hand sanitiser
All are are great for clean ups. Although I am anti over liberal use of hand sanitiser around kids, they need to pick up some germs, there are some situations like festivals, were it is really ‘handy’.
I have a small zipped make up bag with my own essentials like paracetamol and lip balm that I can easily grab and move between bags.
The Lowe Alpine Helix Daysack is really comfortable, it has lots of padding in the back and straps and is designed to keep your back cool. It is spacious and the long zips make it easy to get to the bottom of. Well designed pockets too.
It is a really versatile bag, I also used this bag for a night away at Britmums, it looks smart and has a padded space for your tablet or laptop. Mr A has been trying to steal it from me, it’s really is a great unisex, multi purpose rucksack.