A person lays in a hammock strung between two palm trees on a the tropical beach in Moorea. It's a perfect product for the outdoors adventurer.

Gear for the Outdoors Adventurer

Last Updated on March 19, 2024 by Kathryn

These are the top 10 must-have products for the outdoors adventurer have stood the test of time in my family. Of course we have all the regular stuff – ski jackets, camping tent, life jackets, etc., but decades of camping, hiking, road-tripping, and traveling together as a family and these are the products that have helped make our adventures easier and more fun.

These are the unique products we’ve found that give us that extra “let’s do this” motivation. They’re great for both the weekend outdoors adventurer and die-hards alike.

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Summer Adventure Gear

Sit Back and Relax

One of my favorite memories is reading in this affordable hammock during a camping trip at Bryce Canyon National Park when I glanced up to see a deer just a few feet away from me staring me down. This hammock is easy to set up and cozy to relax in. We take it with us on picnics up the canyon or even to the beach when we know there will be palm trees around (seriously nothing better than napping in a hammock at the beach).

Carrying Baby

We’ve taken this soft-structured baby carrier all over the world. It’s lasted for years through multiple kids. It’s also lightweight and a breeze to travel with.

Lightweight Towel

These ultra-lightweight towels come in lots of fun designs. They take up next to no room in a suitcase or beach bag (which is big when you have to take one for each person). We take these when we travel to the beach or lake, or even camping or to the pool.  

Beach Bucket

What’s a beach trip without a beach bucket? We pack a couple of these collapsible buckets in our suitcase for our little kids. Don’t forget a shovel!

A bucket is a must for a little outdoors adventurer!

Toddler Sleep Tent

I’m not exaggerating when I say that we used this baby sleep tent for 200+ nights. It folds up so small and is easy to fit into a suitcase. We’ve used it in hotel rooms all over the world. We also put it inside our tent when we’re camping.

It creates a cozy little space for kids to sleep and ours have loved it. Note that it is recommended for kids older than 1. I’ve also noticed that it gets a little warm inside so keep that in mind when dressing your kids for the night.

A small child sleeps inside a red child sleep tent.
Sleeping soundly in the toddler tent.

Scoot in Style

If you’re visiting a walkable city and want your kids to keep up with you, I recommend taking a scooter for them.

We’ve taken these (somewhat) packable scooters to Paris, Montreal, and London. They’re easy to take on trains and buses and make a world of difference in where you’ll be able to go with kids in tow.

We’ve found that most museums and restaurants are happy to store them for you or will allow you to park them near the strollers. 

Keeping up on our adventures in Boston.

Winter Adventure Gear

Three freezing Boston winters helped me to learn how to stay warm outside. Just walking outside my door was qualified me as an outdoors adventurer…It was SO cold!

I came to embrace it and eventually my rule-of-thumb was that I would be outside with my kids as long as it was at least 20 degrees fahrenheit, which is totally doable if you’re dressed correctly.

Thermal Base Layer

This is the secret to staying warm. Wool is best but expensive. Synthetic material works great too and it’s what I’ve always used. My kids love these fleece-lined base layers. They’re great for outdoor adventures and as a bonus, they double as pajamas. My kids even wear them under their regular clothes on chilly school days.

Baby Sleeping Bag

I was always hesitant to camp with my babies because I was so concerned that they wouldn’t be warm at night.

I was so happy when I found this super cozy baby sleeping bag and it gave me SO much peace of mind knowing my baby was safe and warm when we camped, plus she always slept GREAT in it. It’s pricey but worth it.

Socks Are Key

We always go with wool socks. These super-thick wool baby socks last FOREVER (think: multiple kids/years). For older kids, these socks are warm for skiing and other outdoor adventures (I have some of these as well). My feet are always ice cold and these battery-operated socks have saved many ski days for me. My husband prefers these durable wool socks (with a lifetime guarantee!

Keep the Neck Warm

A simple balaclava paired with a neck gator keeps us warm when skiing, spending time in the mountains, or even when walking to school. A warm neck makes a huge difference in cold weather and if I get warm, the neck gator is so small that I can take it off and put it in my pocket. We’ve had these two products for nearly 10 years now and they’re both holding up well. (I don’t recommend using these or anything that wraps around the neck while sleeping.)

Stroller Bunting

If you’re pushing a child in a stroller and it’s super cold, blankets just don’t cut it. They fall off the stroller and it’s easy for cold to sneak in. Keep in mind that kids in strollers will be colder than you are since they aren’t moving. I’ve used this warm stroller bunting for years to keep my babies and toddlers warm.

A thought about making it work with what you have…

There’s no way to get around buying some things, but I do not advocate going out and buying the best, most expensive gear. A lot of outdoor adventuring can be done without buying anything at all! When you can, save some money and the environment. Look at what you have or can borrow and make things work. 

For example, I am a huge hiker and I’ve never owned a pair of hiking boots! (Though they’re on my wish list.) We use 18-year-old sleeping bags and borrow items that we don’t use very often. Before I buy something, I try to wait a few days to make sure it’s something that I actually need (sometimes, sometimes I do this).

Also consider buying used! We buy most of our ski gear off of Craigslist.com or KSL.com. Check out local thrift shops in your area. A lot of our kids’ snow gear comes from Kid-to-Kid, and we’ve scored awesome deals on snorkeling equipment from our local Pando Refitters outdoor gear thrift store.

Get out there!

There it is – my top 10 favorite products for the outdoors adventurer and their family.

Is there anything you’d recommend that I add to the list?

I hope these ideas are helpful for you to get your family out into nature.

Get out there, far and wide outside!

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