Cameron and I have a new addition hanging in the closet. Not really a new item, but a re-purposed one.
My old sling-style bag was just the right size for harness, chalk bag, climbing shoes and a few snack type things. It was always ready to go. At least once a week to the gym, and during the summer around that often somewhere else. Now? I seriously don’t have the time or energy to get out climbing. So the bag sat in the closet.
For Saturday’s trip to Bowen Island I decided that running around in the morning, trying to remember the essentials, then trying to find them, trying to keep two hundred and eighty seven toys from being packed, and trying to ensure that all things we needed stayed in the bag was just plain nuts. Too much work! So the sling backpack was emptied of climbing gear, and the Adventure Bag was born. Loaded with a day’s worth of items Cameron could carry it with little difficulty, letting him ‘help’ and feel useful for as long as he wished. He wanted to bring one of his own back packs, but I nixed that idea. They’re too small for me to wear when he gets tired of it, and would just be one more thing to carry!
The essentials for us that just stay in the bag are: a change of pants and underwear for Cameron, sunscreen, hand wipes, Kleenex, an extra battery for my camera, a toy car, crayons, and paper, lip stuff, a swiss army knife, and a plastic bag to collect either garbage or wet clothes. As the weather turns sunnier, I’ll add sunglasses and a hat. Perhaps some bug repellent.
Before heading out on some adventuring, I toss in: two apples, two granola bars or some trail mix, a container of raisins, a water bottle, the camera, wallet and keys. If lunch is a picnic one, then of course more food. Notice that these are almost all things that Cameron can get himself? He knows how to reach the fruit bowl, knows where the granola bars are kept, and can even fill my water bottle with very little assistance.
Mind you, this is for urban, or at least semi-urban adventuring where we can reasonably expect to find a café or corner store with very little effort. When we start doing hike type adventures it will need some revision to include the Essential Ten.
Best of all, the name Adventure Bag has stuck. Cameron knows it. He chats about it, points it out to me, and on Sunday when we were getting set to go out my picking up the bag changed the tone of things. He asked with audible anticipation, “Are we going on an adventure, Mommy?” When I hugged him and said, “Yes,” he couldn’t help me get ready fast enough.
That was exactly the reaction I was hoping for.
What would you put in an Adventure Bag, and where would you take it?