Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

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Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

It’s NO secret that we are an extremely adventurous and mess loving family! From cave exploring to hiking, painting, camping, fishing, sand box play, swimming, and anything else you want to throw in there we are no strangers to a good mess or germ fest. But I can tell you that there are a few key items my heart will absolutely SINK over if we run out of: toilet paper, baby wipes, and diapers. (do you know the feeling?) Paper towels, laundry detergent and napkins are pretty high on that list too and so are floor and household cleaners. My floors have this tendency to turn a lovely shade of black in the summer from beautiful little feet running in and out of the house all day.

Now that we’ve invested in a camper we hit the road a lot and usually stay in state parks around the Midwest – which also mean we’re not home a lot. I have heavily relied on shopping online for household items and free grocery delivery! Sometimes, these state parks have NO water or electricity hook ups which means I need to be even more careful about what we pack with kids! (think no water washing hands before meal time or to rinse dirty rags……yeeeah!) Not exactly a time you want to run out of baby wipes or paper towels and napkins!


I’ve partnered up to promote the #AvoidtheOops campaign because let’s face it – if you have kids you are absolutely bound to have many “oopses” along the way! And if you’re a teacher you know that messes in your classroom are unavoidable no matter how hard you try! When we first moved to our current house I wasn’t use to having a basement so I made the awful mistake of not keeping the toilet paper stocked upstairs…..yeah you can imagine how that went! So I not only keep my house and now my camper stocked with necessities but some necessities (like diapers and wipes!) I also keep stocked in my car at ALL times.

So here we go – some fabulous TIPS to Avoid the OOPS moments in your summer!

Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

Tips For Families with Babies & Toddlers:

*ALWAYS have extra diapers on hand. ALWAYS. That means in your car and at home AND in the diaper bag – I have them everywhere. My rule of thumb is to always have an extra box on hand. So if I am opening up my last box of diapers – I immediately add it to my list to buy another box.

*Baby Wipes are a MUST. This probably goes for any family with even elementary age kids too. I can’t tell you how many times baby wipes have saved the day. From muddy messes to bloody cuts, sicknesses on either end or messy hands from eating – it’s just a really good idea to have wipes around.

*First Aid – No matter what ages are in your families (even just adults) it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have a basic first aid kit around. Heck we’ve even been able to help other families that we’ve met places simply by having a pack of bandages in our bags or car. A basic antibiotic ointment, bandages of various sizes, pain/allergy meds, and Puffs tissues travel packs are a good start.

*Empty Clean Sippy Cup / Bottle – Do you know how many times we have left the house and realized we forgot a sippy cup, bottle, or water bottle? It’s disastrous and can lead to spending money when you didn’t need to! I always have on hand some sort of cup for beverages when we’re on the go.

*Keep a change of clothes in the car. Have you ever had to make an emergency trip to Walmart while you were out because your child had a potty accident? YEAH – we have. Far too many times! Why stress yourself out by needing to find a store pronto for an extra outfit when you have plenty at home and can leave one set in the car?

Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

Tips for Families with Older Kids:

In addition to some of the tips from the babies/toddlers section here are some specifically also for older kids:

*Bring snacks! I can’t tell you how much money we’ve saved and how many melt downs we’ve prevented simply by being in the habit of having a snack bag with us. It has saved us SO many times by bringing our own food out with us to help hold the kids over till we make it back home or to a regular meal. Of course throw a few Bounty napkins in the bag in case there are messy fingers.

*Have a large towel on hand. If you’re part of an adventurous family you’ve probably had a few impromptu dips in the lake or falls in the mud while out hiking. (This is where the extra outfits in the car would come in handy too!) Over the years we’ve learned to keep an extra towel in the car – if nothing else to save the seats of our vehicle! And if you have a child who gets sick in the car you can thank me later. I also like to keep a half roll of Bounty Paper Towels in the car for the same reason.

*Small storage bags are handy! My kids like to collect things – all sorts of crazy things. A feather here, a pile of rocks there, a crab claw like you see below. Instead of having random little bits of nature hiding all over my car I keep a few storage bags in my glove box so that small items can be safely saved for later. I also have on hand a few used grocery bags that act as a trash can any time we need to grab a meal while we’re out so that our car doesn’t get so trashed! (or of course for wet and dirty clothes to be stored!)

*Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer – Whether it’s in the form of foam, liquid or wipes have something on hand to clean germs.

Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

TIPS for Everything Else:

*Car Safety – This is a HUGE one as car troubles can come up anytime and anywhere. Good neighborhoods, bad neighborhoods, downtown, or in the middle of nowhere – you need to be prepared. Always have on hand IN your vehicle at all times your insurance and registration papers, basic car fluids, jumper cables, any phone numbers needed for roadside assistance, etc. If you aren’t comfortable where you are or don’t know how to check anything just stay in your car and leave the doors locked until help arrives! Don’t allow the kids to get out of the car either!

*Keep Sunscreen available! Please please don’t ever run out of sunscreen and do take it with you if you are going to be out for the day!

*Stay STOCKED on laundry detergent and household cleaners at home. Goodness knows where I’d be if I ever ran out of either of these items! I’ve quickly learned as my boys especially have gotten older that we prefer Tide in our house because it truly gets the job done with all their messes. (You should have seen and smelled their suitcases after a week at summer camp – GAH!) I could spend two hours every day (but who has that kind of time?!) cleaning and sanitizing my house to try and minimize the germs and mess and for that I need something more than just a splash of water!

*Phone Chargers for everyone – Right now just the adults in our family have cellphones but we don’t leave the house without a phone and it’s charger. From GPS to emergencies we stay pretty connected to our phones. If you’re going to be out all day or on the road you might also want to consider other electronics or movies to keep the kids occupied if they are tired or fighting a lot!

Surviving the Summer as an Adventurous Family

I’m sure there are a zillion other things that are great to have on hand for adventurous families but these are my top “GO TO” items! And if you’re just coming back from a road trip or travel who wants to have to immediately head out to the grocery store? I’ve had to do it – once we got back from a trip and realized not only had we used almost every last diaper on our trip that we’d packed but we had run out at home too!! Now I just shop online at Walmart and have everything waiting for me when we come home! It sure beats having to drag the kids back out again when they are tired just to go shopping!

Do you have an “OOPS” story to share with us? Have any great ideas to add to our list above? Leave a comment and let me know!

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