Packing for a Day Outdoors (a Checklist)

Mountain ChecklistLife is hectic.  Especially when you have more than just yourself to look after.  Remember those days when taking a trip to the beach or the community park only required the shoes on your feet? When your household expands into kids and multiple grown-ups to plan and pack for, a simple outing such as a picnic in the park or a local ball game can bring on a massive panic if you forget something.

When you are planning an outing for a family or a group of friends, there is simply too much to consider.  Chances are, you will forget something.  That’s why I use checklists for almost everything.  Keep them all in one place on your computer, and simply print out the appropriate one when the time is right.  Here’s an example of one I put together just for this post.  I call it my Sunny Outings Checklist.  Maybe it will help you pack for your next outdoor adventure!


I thought of these items “from the ground up.”  🙂




1.  SIT

I don’t like bugs, and I don’t like dirt or wet grass. So if you’re like me, then you’ll want some special attention underneath you during the outdoor event.

  • Blankets.  Thick, knitted blankets and nylon-over-fabric-filled blankets are great to cover the ground for seating.  Knit blankets provide a comfortable cushion, as well as enough friction to prevent things from slipping and sliding if you’re seated on an incline.  Nylon-topped blankets provide water resistance, which means easy clean-up of soda spills and sand.
  • Folding Chairs. Don’t like sitting cross-legged or sprawled out on the ground?  Folding and camping-style chairs are great for those who like to sit comfortably and hate crawling bugs.  (That should be everybody.)


2.  EAT

What’s a get-together without food?  Whether you choose finger foods or fancy bites, there’s always a need for the basics.

  • Utensils – Spoons, forks, knives, and serving tools
  • Plates and Bowls
  • Cups for drinks and water
  • Napkins or Paper Towels (for the bigger jobs)… OR go green and bring some fresh-washed kitchen towels
  • Plastic Bin or other box to carry the items from car to site
  • Water and Food Bowls (if you have a four-legged friend!)



Everyone enjoys looking back on pictures and videos of the good times.  Nowadays, you can capture both candid and posed moments on multiple devices.  It’s likely that you’ll be bringing your phone… so remember to take it out and use it!

  • Digital Camera or Phone with Built-in Camera.  Remember to charge it!
  • DSLR Camera.  If you buy a good one, you’ll never regret it.  I am in love with my Canon 60D…



As you will figure out from this blog, I’m a big advocate of protecting your skin.  We’re human beings so it’s the only skin we get!  It is the barrier that protects us from our external environment, and it is delicate.  For fair-skinned people, there are times that  spending even a few minutes in harsh direct sun can cause considerable damage… so think of how march harm continued exposure over years and years can cause.  Now, I love soaking in some rays as much as anyone.  But it sure is nice to have some shade around when things get too hot.   So be sure to pack your umbrella (and your Original Umbrella Stand or Bench Buddy, of course!) so that others can share your shade!


So whether you’re heading out to the sandy beaches of San Diego to watch the surfers or to your local community park to cheer on your Little Leaguer, be sure to pull out your checklist.  It will make your outing more enjoyable, and you’ll be able to focus on the event, instead of finding a place that sells beach blankets.  🙂

Sandy Fields