If it wasn’t obvious by now, we are big fans of being outside! We love the hiking, camping and just sitting outside. Thankfully, our boys enjoy all of it too. I’m pretty sure my youngest would live outside 24/7 if I let him.
Here are some of the must-haves that we recommend having on hand for a great experience outdoors. We own and use every item on this list! Some are necessities and some just add to the experience! Check out the photo gallery to see how we put each to use. Check back often, I will be adding items often!
*I am an affiliate of Amazon, Carhartt, Columbia, Forsake, MooseJaw, and REI. I receive a commission if you decide to click through and purchase any of these items at no extra cost to you. Thanks for your support!
Once upon a time, Kyle was obsessed with hammocks. I couldn’t understand why on earth he needed a hammock that rolled up into a tiny pouch. Then he tied it to a tree and let me take it for a spin. The rest was history. These ENO Hammocks are easy to put up by yourself and light enough that you can hook it to your belt and take it with you anywhere. We use the ENO straps (sold separately) to tie to trees. They come in single and double occupancy!
This is another one of those items Kyle just had to have, ha! Of course, I argued but the reality is that we use these daily… not just for camping! We take them on planes. We take them to the beach. We sit outside while the kids are playing in the yard and we even have two set up in our living room as I speak. They are compact, lightweight, and snap together in seconds! Kyle and I are competitive (or maybe it’s just me?) so sometimes we race to see who can pop theirs first! We have all of the brands below!
Fall is our favorite time of year to camp! That makes these 2-in-1 Cubcoats worth their weight in gold. The weather is cooler so sweatshirts are a must around the fire. When your kids done with that sweatshirt for the night, it tucks up into the perfect stuffed animal to snuggle with in the tent. Two birds with one stone here friends!! Bonus: They come in so many different characters and colors. For reference, we chose to size up a bit. We bought Asher’s for him at 7 years old, and purchased the size 9/10. Brooks got his at 2.5 years old and purchased the size 3/4. They fit well with space to grow for good measure!
If you would prefer Amazon use the link below or fox image and scroll down to see the other characters available:
Both of our kids actually wear these hats! We opted for the bright orange so that they are high visibility when out in the woods! We make it a point not to hike near hunting areas but it still makes me feel safer knowing they have something on that stands out from the natural backdrop.
I know this may come as a shock, but Kyle is obsessed with headlamps too! It is a great tool for when he needs both hands to work on something in low light. He wears it often in the morning when he walks our dog, Ozzie, before daylight!
These base layer sets are imparative for us when camping! I never have to worry about the kids being cold or uncomfortable. We taking them camping with us but also use them for pajamas all the time and when playing in the snow in winter!
Bonus: They look like cute little ninjas running around in them!
We hike A LOT. We know the importance of good socks, even on the kids. We don’t want them to dislike hiking because their feet get cold, uncomfortable or they get blisters. Here, we stick with our tried-and-true Carhartt gear to keep us all warm and comfortable!
A child carrier backpack has changed our hiking lives! We have traveled with it on airplanes and taken it on countless adventures with both kids. It has plenty of storage space and adjusts to fit for comfort. My advice is to take the time to really perfect the fit so that you can go for miles!
These lights are so much fun! You can easily attach them to your tent or canopy for a soft light when it gets dark out! They have 8 different settings and a remote. We like to attach ours to our tent and run them up and down the sides of the ladder so that we can see where we are going!
These LED Lanterns are a must-have with kids. Asher and Brooks each have their own and carry them around the campsite when it starts to get dark. When we head into the tent for the night, we hook the lanterns up to the top or side. They have two light modes, so the lighter one is nice for reading books before going to sleep! They are lightweight and easy to recharge.
As long as Kyle is around, I will never be in the dark! He loves his flashlights and has plenty of them to go around. These UltraFire flashlights are his favorite. He loves the size, the 18650 battery, and the fact that it can be used in the event that defense if necessary.
This table is another must have if you like to cook while camping! It’s always nice to have a little extra space while laying stuff out. Sometimes the extremely weathered picnic tables at campgrounds aren’t the most inviting place to sit your food down, so this works well for us!
Kyle’s favorite item is this Stainless Steel Cook set by Stanley. He mostly uses this to boil water for coffee, hot cocoa, and Cup of Noodles (Asher’s fav)! We have used the same set for over 8 years now!
Unbreakable wine cups? Don’t mind if I do! I love using these all the time, not just while camping. If you happen to be a bit of a clumsy person like myself, these are a life saver. 🙂
We love using these RTIC tumblers while camping or at home! They are perfect for coffee in the car or two fingers of bourbon by the fire. They are double-wall vacuum insulated so they keep your beverage warm or cool for a long time! They are as nice as Yeti’s without the price tag.
I bought this spork for Asher as a Christmas present a few years ago and he loves using it all the time! His favorite meal when camping is Cup O’ Noodles and this is perfect for it! We always try to keep our trash to a minimum and using metal utensils helps tremendously. This spork comes in a few fun colors.
When I bought Asher’s spork, I also found this nice utensil set for Kyle! While he takes this set camping each time, he also uses it in his lunch every day for work. They are lightweight and sturdy. He likes how the polished finish makes them easy to clean, and the carabiner that keeps them from getting separated!
Don’t give up coffee when you camp! This is my favorite brand of instant coffee. They are single serve sticks for a cup of coffee with the creamer and sugar included! They also have regular, black coffee sticks as well. Using Kyle’s Stanley set mentioned above, we have everything we need for a great cup of coffee!
These are a security blanket for me. I sure hope I never need to use them but you can be sure I will have them just in case! It is like the cup of water I place by my bedside every single night of my life. Sometimes I don’t take a single sip, while other nights I have it finished in a few hours. These help me feel at ease, especially on the bigger hikes we do with the family.