The sun is out and the weather looks great. Time to get out of the city and bring your family for a picnic, hiking expedition or outdoor camping experience.
There is always a sense of adventure, and some new discoveries about nature (or even yourself) to be made in the great outdoors.
Before you hop off to conquer the latest nature reserve, from sun protection to mosquito repellent, here are some packing essentials you should never leave home without.
1. Sun protection
When you are out in the wild, the heat from the sun can be searing. Be sure to bring your sunnies, large hats, and sufficient sunscreen and sunblock. And in case of burns, pack a small tube of aloe vera gel for some quick relief. It’s available at most pharmacies.
2. First-aid kit
You never know who or what could happen in the wild – sometimes even a thin blade of grass can cause a bloody graze or cuts. So it’s best to go fully prepared so you don’t have to scramble for a band-aid or antiseptic cream.
Remember to pack along your family or child’s regular creams and medications too, such as inhalers for asthma, or moisturizers for eczema or dry skin.
3. Outdoor games
Who’s up for some ultimate Frisbee? Or roller-blading perhaps? Or even easy card games for pre-bedtime relaxation.
If there is a beach nearby, remember to bring along sand toys and lots of buckets if you have young children. A romp in the outdoors is the best way to get your kids off their gadgets, for a couple of days, or hours, at least.
4. Lighting and torches
If you’re staying overnight to catch a glimpse of the stars, be sure to bring along one or two good-sized torches. You never know when you’d need to walk to the washroom at the night, or to pass through some poorly-lit paths. These are also handy for playing shadow games or telling ghost stories at night.
5. Cooking stove / fire-starter
If you’re intending to whip up some simple meals instead of calling uber eats, you’ll need a portable gas burner and also cooking utensils. Make sure you have an extra gas cartridge for backup.
6. Food and ice cooler for storage
Pack handy snacks that are always perennially palatable to hungry kids (think Hello Panda, Pocky, Twisties and all manner of fruits.) For meals that are easy to cook, your standard list should include instant noodles, pasta, and porridge.
Remember to store the raw food items well in a small-to-medium sized cooler with ample ice packs. You don’t want the nasty surprise of raw food that’s gone off when you have a couple of hungry bodies to feed.
(On that note, seasoning the raw food with salt and spices helps them to keep better and prevent spoilage. So, please do this at home.)
7. Drinks and water
Bring a selection of kid-friendly drinks such as Ribena, Milo packs, or juices, as well as adult beverages like sodas and spritzers. Do also make sure that you have litres of drinkable water; you never want to run out of it as outdoor activities will make you thirsty!
Well of course you need a place to sleep, and thankfully these days, tents come with a variety of bedding options that can be easily inflated to provide some cushioning from the hard earth beneath you. If you can’t go without a pillow, make sure to bring a small firm pillow.
For those with frequent stiff necks, here’s a pro-tip: Buy a good travel pillow, yes the ones you’d normally use on an airplane. This helps to provide neck support, and pretty much erases all possibility of waking up with a sore neck. (You’re welcome.)
9. Wet weather contingency plans
When the weather turns bad, you don’t want to be caught without a wet weather plan when your kids start crying. This is why it’s always good to camp or picnic at a site where you’re familiar with, or at least have recced before. It’s also why you should try to bring along and set up a tarpaulin sheet above your tent as added rain protection.
10. Mosquito repellent
Mozzie bites can steal the fun out of an outdoor adventure very quickly. If you have young kids (or pregnant mums) with you, it’s even more crucial that you carry good mosquito protection to guard against the possible dangers of Dengue or Zika.
Shield Your Family from Mozzies
The GoodAire Atomizer P1 repels mosquitoes wherever you are. Light-weight and portable, it creates a refreshing mosquito-free zone within minutes as water mixed with powerful essential oils (proven to knock down mosquitoes) is released as fine mist into the air. Find out more.