are feeling invigorated with the warm weather at our doorstep, beckoning us
to get outside and enjoy it. The summer’s sultry heat provides the ideal
backdrop for day trips, weekend getaways and family vacations and is truly
the perfect excuse to escape from our daily routines and spend more time
outside. And while time outdoors and away from home can make for an exciting
adventure, it is always much more enjoyable when you are prepared.
Knowing your limits, taking the time to plan ahead
and packing the right items will help ensure your summer road trip, camping
excursion or weekend trips to the beach go off without a hitch.
Here are some simple but key items to include on
your check list when planning any outdoor activity:
- Sun protection – Sunscreen is a must for any outdoor adventure. Look
for a broad-spectrum sunscreen (UVA and UVB coverage), be sure to apply
30 minutes before heading outside, and reapply every few hours. A good
broad-spectrum sunscreen should contain avobenzone, titanium dioxide, or
zinc oxide for significant UVA protection. Also be sure to pack a hat
and sunglasses as part of your sun safety gear.
- Hand sanitizer – When packing for any excursion, it’s a good idea to
include an instant hand sanitizer. Being outdoors often means limited
access to soap and water for proper hand-washing, so an alcohol-based
hand sanitizer like Purell is a must-have for everything from picnics to
camping trips. It fits easily in a knapsack or diaper bag and is an
effective way to kill 99.99% of harmful bacteria and common germs.
- Toilet paper – There’s nothing more uncomfortable than finding a
washroom that’s missing your number one need: toilet paper. Instead of
going without, plan ahead and pack your own travel size roll – you never
know when it might come in handy.
- Allergy medication – Your outdoor adventure should be filled with
memories, not allergic reactions. Oral antihistamines are effective not
only for controlling your seasonal allergy symptoms but also for
allergic reactions or rashes ranging from contact with poison ivy to
mosquito bites and bee stings.
- Bottled water – Clean water may not always be readily available at
campsites and beaches. Despite the urge to drink from a tap, hold off as
you never know how clean the local water is. Be sure to plan ahead and
pack plenty of bottled water. If you are unable to bring bottled water
with you on your trip, water purification tablets or filters are also
- Whistle – Whenever you venture outdoors and off the beaten track,
bring along a whistle so you can let others know your location if you
happen to lose your way, or even worse encounter any trouble or danger.
- Insulated cooler – It is important to keep foods in a cooler with
plenty of ice, which should be placed in the shade or covered with a
Perishable foods left out of the refrigerator
should be consumed within two hours. In warm, summer weather with
temperatures above 30°C (86°F) foods should be eaten within one hour. Always
pack some extra snacks – there is something about the exposure to all of
that fresh air that seems to increase our appetites!
These simple suggestions can have a huge impact on
any outdoor adventure or vacation – big or small. Smart packing and being
prepared will allow you to focus your energy on enjoying your time in the