Packing an excersion bag

The car door swings open as if pushed by a mighty wind, sometimes I think a cyclone has spontaneously started in the back seat. Looking out from the shaded interior my three girls glare at me, each colourfully nicknamed: Bitey, Scratchy, and Pinchy.

“Ok we’re here girls, who’s got shoes on?”

Looking back at me with blank stares its then that I realise we’ll be trudging across 1/2 a mile of hot sand shoeless, this could be the worst think thats ever happened to me.

Packing an excursion bag.

I don’t know how many times I’ve left the house with one or all my kids only to find, once we’ve reached out destination I’ve forgotten something. Sometimes small non essentials, other times “IMPORTANT CAN NOT LIVE WITHOUT THINGS.”

In both of these occasions I kick myself and say: “If only I have a list of key things I should pack.” other than relying on my feeble memory.

Well fret no more, below you’ll find my key items for a variety of outings, along with packing guidelines. At the bottom there’ll be links to downloadable PDF’s if you’re interested in printing these suckers out.


The Beach:

A ┬ábeach bag, when you have kids, comprises of a lot of parts, a lot of things that you just can’t get by without and some items that just make the trip a bit better. Something that can make the world of difference is how you pack the bag, this will ultimately dictate how you access your stuff when covered with sand and water while acting as a jungle gym for your wet sandy kids.

  1. Towels
  2. Suncream
  3. Water
  4. Food
  5. Hats
  6. Shoes
  7. Day nappies (if you have a baby)
  8. Bum wipes
  9. Swimming nappies (if your pool or beach requires them)
  10. Change of clothes for everyone.
  11. Emergency pack (for the car trip)


I always find the best way to pack any bag is to do it in order you’d want to take stuff out, think about the most likely thing you want to access first, second, third, etc. right down to the last thing, and make them accessible in that order.

Inevitably you will stuff this up a little, you’ll find yourself grappling for a towel around a million other essentials. That’s to be expected, but do the best you can to negate the frustration by packing to an order.

The shops:

I don’t know about you but a visit to the shops with kids can really be a nightmare, one of those in and out affairs, lets face it shops chew up time and money at an alarming rate when kids are present. You can make this ordeal a little more manageable by being a little more prepared.

Heres a quick list of must have when visiting the shops, I’ve added links to PDF files for you to download at the bottom of this page.

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shoes
  4. Day nappies (if you have a baby)
  5. Bum wipes
  6. Small entertaining toy/s
  7. Schedule
  8. Emergency pack (for the car trip)

Random venue:


The random venue; is it wet, dry, cold, hot, are we going for a long time, who else will be there, is it going to cost anything including my sanity? All magnificent questions, in a way thats the beauty of a random venue, it’s an adventure, and like any great adventure the more prepared you are the smoother it’ll be.

As above a short list of items follows, it might be important to note that some of these things are always on me in a bag or in the car, as the scout motto dictates “Be prepared”

  1. Water
  2. Food
  3. Shoes
  4. Suncream
  5. Day nappies (if you have a baby)
  6. Bum wipes
  7. Small entertaining toy/s
  8. Change of clothes
  9. Towel/s
  10. Emergency pack (for the trip)

The aftermath

By no means am I saying this will negate the drama totally from your outings, hell stuff happens right? But by being prepared and on the front foot you automatically set yourself in a great position to succeed.

There will be times you’ll forget stuff and it’ll be these times that you wish you’d packed something important like a clean nappy, I was there just the other day, our youngest loved free ranging it that day.



PDF’s for your printing pleasure.

dadrule beach list

dadrule shopping list

dadrule random venue



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