Packing for the great outdoors?
Here are some cool camp-ready items to consider
Give those young noggins comfortable protection from the sun with the Sunday Afternoons Fun Bucket Hat. Crushable, floatable, water and stain resistant, breathable, and – oh yeah – adorable. Provides UPF 50+ protection. $28. Available at REI or visit sundayafternoons.com.
The Bushnell Falcon 7x35 Binoculars are perfect for older kids who are ready to use real binoculars as opposed to toy ones. Not too big and not too heavy, they’re just the right size. Ideal for bird-watching and other outdoor exploring, the Falcon series offers powerful magnification at an economical price. For those who wear eyeglasses or sunglasses, clever fold-down eyecups protect lenses from scratching. Around $25-$35. Available at Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit bushnell.com for a store near you.
With its durable nylon outer shell, lightweight PVC inner shell and small storing case, the Kids Inflatable Lounge Bag Laybag makes for perfect seating in the playroom or on the campground. Inflating the laybag is easy, fast and no pump is necessary – and since it’s only 1.5 lbs, your kids can take it on a hike and comfortably enjoy the view and a picnic. $39.20. Visit tuffkidsoutdoors.com.
Quest Performance Youth Baselayer Pants will keep kids warm and mobile with its soft-brushed microfiber lining and smooth exterior. Made with a special fabric that controls odor and inhibits bacterial growth, these pants won’t leave your kids sweaty or stinky. $15.99. Available at Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit coldpruf.com for a store near you.
GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meals need no refrigeration, heating or other preparation. Just open and enjoy. These all-natural boxed meals make great care packages for summer camp or for taking on road trips. $3.99. Available at Target, Barnes & Noble or visit gopicnic.com.
Built to be tough, the Deuter Junior Kid’s Backpack is ready for any adventure your active kid will bring – from the schoolyard to the mountainside. Featuring ripstop microrip-nylon and polytex fabric for flexibility, this pack will last through years of use. $39.99. Available locally at Tuff Kids Outdoors and REI.
Add fun to any camping trip with the Reel Roaster. Simply crank the handle of the roaster, and the skewer automatically rotates for thoroughly cooked marshmallows, hot dogs or veggies. The 27’’ telescopic stainless steel skewer lets you control desired length from the fire and detaches for easy cleanup. $19.99. Available at Over the Rainbow Toys or visit hogwildtoys.com for a store near you.
Create a 15-foot-by-15-foot DEET-free protection zone from mosquitoes, flies or other biting pests with the Thermacell Mosquito Repeller. This device is cordless, pocket-sized and lightweight, making it the perfect travel companion for your kids on all of their outdoor adventures. $23.99. Available at Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit thermacell.com.
Nobody likes sweaty feet while hiking, so be sure to pack some Smartwool Socks to keep feet warm, dry and comfortable. Unlike cotton, wool wicks away moisture and keeps feet blissfully blister-free. $11.95 and up. For a list of local retailers, or to purchase online, visit smartwool.com.
These sturdy, strong and kid-friendly Co-op Camping Chairs are the perfect take-along seats for fireside songs and s’mores. $24.50. Available at REI.
Love tent camping but hate the hard ground? Get off the ground and onto this Smart Deluxe Cot. Its long frame will accommodate even the tallest in your family - not to mention it folds for easy storage. Around $85. Available at Bass Pro or visit online at coleman.com.
Designed with little kids in mind, Kidnoculars have focus-free eyepieces your tot can put to her eyes with perfect-fit goggles. The breakaway neck strap will keep your kid from losing her goggles and keep them safe from catching nearby plants. $14.99. Available at Over the Rainbow Toys or visit educationalinsights.com.
The 21 fl. oz. Hydro Flask Standard-Mouth Vacuum Water Bottle keeps hot drinks hot for 12 hours and cold drinks cold for 24 hours. Double-wall vacuum insulation means no burned fingers from hot beverages or condensation from ice-cold drinks. Built with tough stainless steel, the bottle is BPA-free and resistant to bacteria and odors. $27.95. Available at REI or visit hydroflask.com.
Stacked or side-by-side, save space and patience with these portable, easy-to-assemble Kid-O-Bunk beds. Perfect for camping, vacations, sleepovers or family visits. Comes with two matching side organizers for holding personal belongings. Includes a zippered carry bag for easy transportation and quick storage. $269.99. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Sportsman’s Warehouse or visit discobed.com.
Keep track of the memories you make while visiting our national parks with a Passport to Your National Parks and a Kids’ Passport Companion. Stop by park visitor centers to fill the pages of the booklets with rubber-stamp ink markings that show the date of your visit (similar to those received in an international passport). Kids can also document completed Junior Ranger programs, fill out the field journal, and more. $14.95 for the set at eparks.com.
The Ascend Youth Frame Backpack is a great choice for longer treks into the wilderness. The frame pack is adjustable to accommodate growing children. Available locally at Bass Pro Shops. $79.99. basspro.com
The perfect hiking shoe for little trekkers, the KEEN Big Kid’s Pagosa Low WP is waterproof with mesh lining for breathability. A luggy outsole provides sure footing on rugged terrain. Available locally at REI. $70. keenfootwear.com
The sturdy KEEN Big Kid’s Newport H2 summer sandal can take anything kids dish out. Quick-drying webbing is perfect for when kids are in and out of water. Available locally at REI. $50. keenfootwear.com
The Boys’ Kilowatt Jacket is a versatile, spring layer with an abrasion-and wind-resistant hooded jacket. It’s exceptionally durable and features fleece sleeves that are finished with comfortable thumbhole cuffs. Available locally at The North Face. $99. thenorthface.com
Klean Kanteen is a healthy, BPA-free alternative to plastic and aluminum water bottles. The 18 oz Kanteen Classic holds enough to keep you hydrated but still fits in your backpack. Available locally at Classic Toys, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Beaver Sports and REI. $19.95. kleankanteen.com
Great for younger campers, the Deluxe Camp Chair for Kids is easy to carry and opens and folds in seconds. It has a built-in cup holder and comes with a convenient carry bag. Available locally at Bass Pro Shops. $12.99. basspro.com
The North Face Youth Party in the Back Hat stops sunburns from ruining summertime fun. The lightweight, attached sun cape comes in several stylish designs and offers UPF 50 protection. Available locally at The North Face Anchorage. $22.00 thenorthface.com
The North Face Mini Crevasse Backpack is a classic backpack reimagined in a 15-liter, pint-sized package just for kids. The main compartment is still large enough to hold binders and perhaps more importantly, lunch! Found locally at The North Face. $50. thenorthface.com
Kids love the tangerine and vanilla scent of Badger Kids Sunscreen. Parents love how natural zinc oxide offers broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection. Found locally at Natural Pantry and Susan’s Bath & Body Boutique. $15.99. badgerbalm.com
Take Natrapel Picaridin Insect Repellent Wipes on all of your outdoor adventures and repel insects for up to 8 hours. Comes in individually wrapped packs of 12. Formulation is safe on clothing. Available locally at REI. $6.95. rei.com
No more lost and found bins or mix-ups! StickerKid offers cute and durable personalized name labels for kids’ belongings. Made with top-quality materials, these labels are weatherproof and can withstand the water, dishwasher, microwave and refrigerator. Available locally at Toys R Us. $8.95 and up. stickerkid.com
Keep kids dry and warm after a jump in the lake with the 100-percent cotton Pendleton Jacquard Hooded Towel. Found locally at Mountain View Sports, Prospector Apparel and Sweeney’s Clothing. $49.50. pendleton-usa.com
Built for the young backpacker, the three-season REI Youth Lumen Sleeping Bag is durable, compressible, and snugly insulated. Plus, the contoured hood and relaxed fit make it super comfy. Available at REI. $119. rei.com
Greet your camper with a friendly hello every morning! Hello Toothpaste is not only free of triclosan, dyes and artificial sweeteners, it also comes in delicious flavors: blue raspberry, bubble gum and watermelon. Available at Walgreens, Fred Meyer and Target. $3.99. hello-products.com
Start your child’s swim experience off right with Swimple Tie Dye Goggles. These goggles offer superior comfort and are ideal for both training and recreation. Lenses are anti-fog and offer UV protection. Available locally at Sports Authority. $10.99. tyr.com
Real Kids Shades – BOLT sunglasses have fashion-forward, two-tone coloring. The frames are flexible and can survive all the twists and turns of kid life. Ages 4+. Available locally at REI, Everything but the Princess and Kinder Komfort. $29.95. realkidsshades.com
Honest DEET-Free Bug Spray is a pure and gentle organic mosquito repellent. Formulated with only organic essential oils, this spray repels mosquitoes for up to 4 hours. Found locally at Nordstrom, Target and Soldotna Professional Pharmacy. $12.95. honest.com
The one-piece, three-layer Oakiwear Trail Rainsuit for kids is durable, windproof and fully waterproof. The ultra tear-resistant fabric is also incredibly soft and flexible for comfort. Available locally through Tuff Kids Outdoors. $59.99. Free shipping in Alaska. tuffkidsoutdoors.com
Keep the Intex Cozy Kidz Air Bed handy for sleepovers, naptime and camping. This mattress is made to last with a 20-gauge top and 12-gauge vinyl sides and bottom. Available in a variety of colors. Found locally at Cabela’s. $19.99. intexcorp.com/airbeds
more camp kids from summer 2015....
Kiss My Face’s deliciously fruity-flavored lip balms not only smell great, but also nourish and protect the lips with all-natural, organic ingredients. Biodegradable, gluten-free, paraben-free. Available at Natural Pantry, Fred Meyer, REI or visit kissmyface.com.
All patched up
Bekoool Medicated Itch Relief Patches give instant relief from itching due to insect bites, minor skin irritations, cuts and scrapes. No more ointments and messy tubes in your handbag, and the patches prevent kids from scratching at the affected areas. Perfect for active parents and kids. Available at Walgreens, Wal-Mart or visit bekoool.com.
Socks on a mission
Your kid is on a hike and wearing cotton socks? Parental fail. Be a good parent and pack a pair of Wigwam socks. Made of a moisture-wicking synthetic blend, the socks dry quickly (thus avoiding wet, clammy feet) and won’t slink down into a shoe or rub against the skin the way cotton might (which can lead to blisters). Available locally at Fred Meyer and REI, or visit wigwam.com.
Shield and protect
Along with being lightweight, shatterproof and heat resisitant, Chili’s Jellie sunglasses are sized to fit smaller faces. Best of all, they’ll protect young eyes from the harmful rays, with 100 percent UV protection. Available at local REI stores.
Band on, bug off
Forget those mosquitos – and those messy, toxic mosquito sprays! Mosquitno Bandz are all-natural, non-toxic, DEET-free wristbands made of silicone rubber infused with 100-percent citronella oil to effectively repel bugs for up to 150 hours (or six days). These sporty comfortable wristbands are also waterproof and come in lots of fun colors – even glow in the dark. Ages 3+. Visit mosquitnoband.com.
During those summer activities, it’s important for kids to drink lots of water, but let’s face it - who wants to lug around a bulky bottle? Unlike traditional reusable bottles, the Vapur Quencher stands upright when full, but it can be rolled, folded or even flattened when empty. Along with four cute designs, these Quenchers are also made from a BPA-free plastic and include a carabiner that makes attaching to belt loops and packs quick and easy. For local retailers, visit vapur.us.
Swim with ease
If you’ve ever had to struggle with traditional swim goggles, only to have them slide down your child’s head, pinch their ears or pull their hair, Frogglez goggles come to the rescue. They make life easier by making swim goggles easy to put on, and stay on. No adjusting required. Even better: they float. For ages 9 and under. Available in three fun colors. Visit frogglezgoggles.com.
Lost and found
Kids are always on the go…and they tend to forget things. FinderCodes gives you added peace of mind knowing your kid’s gear is protected if lost. Anyone who finds your valuable item can easily scan the QR code to contact you. What’s more, the second someone scans the QR code, FinderCodes sends a text message to the owner alerting him that the lost item has been found, and with GPS technology, it includes a link to a map of the finder’s location. Available at Office Depot or at findercodes.com.