Summertime can be one of the most appealing opportunities to take kids into the woods and explore new trails, but a few key necessities added to the pack can make any trip better and safer.
The Boy Scouts of America recommend any kit destined for back of beyond contain a first aid kit, filled water bottle, trail food, flashlight, whistle and sunscreen.
First aid kits are available in readymade form, but you can easily assemble your own and keep it stocked. According to the American Red Cross, a first aid kit for a family of four should contain:
• Two large absorbent compress dressings
• 25 adhesive bandages in assorted sizes
• 10 yards of cloth tape
• Antibiotic cream like Neosporin
• Lightweight blanket
• Breathing barrier with one-way valve for administering CPR
• Instant cold compress
• Elastic bandages
• Gauze pads
• Oral thermometer
To these items, you might add any extras that tend to come in handy for you around the house such as sting-kill swabs or antacid tablets.
Keeping kids hydrated can be a challenge, especially since they need to start drinking water well before they’re actually thirsty. A little flavoring won’t hurt, but making them drink is a project the adult has to start and stay on continuously.
Keeping food fresh in the Mississippi heat is no simple task, and it becomes all the more complicated when you’re feeding it to small people.
There’s food designed for the trail, and there’s food children will actually eat. It’s up to you to determine where these two areas intersect for the kids in your care. Further, it’s a wise move to try it out on them at home to confirm they’ll eat it. Yogurt covered raisins, dried fruit chips, regular chips and other heat-proof items are a good place to start the search.
Light and sound
Nothing makes a kid feel like part of the program like their own flashlight. The ideal kid flashlight is a small one that 1) works and 2) was inexpensive. Needless to say, the trip’s main flashlight should never be the one kids are allowed to carry out of your sight.
A shrill whistle should be something everyone has in their possession, but especially the youngsters. At the first sign of separation from the group, every youngster should know they’re to remain where they are and blow their whistle.
Finally, the core of any kit should include sunscreen, which should be applied routinely to everyone. Special care should be given to make sure the kit sunscreen isn’t a type that irritates the youngsters’ skin. New, natural sunscreens that are demonstrated to be non-harmful themselves have been introduced in recent years and are worth a look. Beyond Coastal is a brand that has typically tested well.