A couple weeks ago, I talked with you about dating my daughter. Pretty much every time that we go out, we have a blast and come home happy and worn out. If we are going to Cabelas, church, or just to walk at the park, I’ve got my bag strapped on my back and ready to solve any problem that may arise. This is no accident. I wasn’t in the Boy Scouts for very long, but it was long enough to burn the motto into my soul: Be Prepared. I like to have every situation planned out before diving into a trip with the kiddo, but I always get surprised by something new that I need. My bag contents is always evolving, but here are a few things that I will have on me if you see me in public with Adeline.
Diapers and Wipes: Of course I will have these in my diaper bag, but we have to take this a little step further. Not only do I have baby wipes, but I have Purell wipes (as taken from Chick-Fil-A) and some wipes for me (One Wipe Charlies). Why would I trust some random gas station single ply when I could take all the comforts of home with me?
Extra Clothes: Adeline has a tendency of finding dirt and getting covered in it. I love watching her run and play in a field but she has to be spotless before getting back into my truck or else she is riding in the bed.
Snack Bar: My family has pretty major problem with hunger grumps. I always have some sort of granola or snack bar in my bag and they never last more than a week. One of us will always raid the food pocket, at some point, to make it through to the next meal. I recently got hooked on blueberry RXBars and one will last me at least a couple hours.
A Few Dollars: Some days, a snack bar won’t cut it. When we’re driving home and just can’t quite make it, we can stop into QT for a drink and spicy chicken taquito. Since we are a cash based family, or at least try hard to be, it doesn’t make sense to put $2.84 on the card anytime we need a little snack. The way we fund this is by saving every $1 bill that we get in a jar which I call our ‘Sonic Savings’ for when I need a chicken strip sandwich or Sarah needs a Reese’s Blast with extra fudge.
Power Bank with Cables for Each Device: I made it pretty far without something nerdy, but this thing saves lives. I always carry an external battery that can charge my phone 4 times before needing recharging. Along with the power bank, I carry a lightning cable, micro USB, and USB-C which covers every device we own. Never run out of juice while you’re on the run with the added benefit of being a saint for the person whose phone is dying and there is no where to plug in.
Sewing Kit: Every time that I stay in a hotel, I steal their sewing kit. Get a small tear in your jeans? Sew the edges so it doesn’t get worse, this will buy you time to get back to a machine. Your wife’s purse strap breaks? 5 minutes stitching it back together and you’re good to go. This is something that you don’t think you need until you can’t live without it.
Bandaids/First Aid: Any time Adeline gets a boo boo, even if there is no skin broken, she needs a bandaid. I always keep some sort of fun bandaid in the bag for her, but also some real ones for actual cuts. I also have a couple doses of ibuprofen and allergy medicine.
Deck of Cards: This is my downtime killer. If Sarah runs off with Adeline or even if we’re just having a picnic, we can bust out a deck of cards and play a game, or work on our counting…until Adeline thinks that Jack is the number that comes after 10. This deck in particular is one of my favorites; the Sons of Liberty by Art of Play.
My Phone: I don’t think anyone would forget their phone without it being in their bag, but this is in there for more than just calls and texts. I have a Samsung Galaxy Note 8 which has a built in stylus and a great painting app. Adeline begs to paint on Daddy’s phone and I feel better about screen time at a restaurant if she is engaged in a static image rather than watching a show (which she also does, I’m not judging).
The Bag Itself: I spent a lot of time researching Dad Bags and there is not a massive pool to pull from. If you have followed for a while, you know that my choice since Adeline was born is the Iconoclast Dad Bag. It is incredibly comfortable and functional when the time comes to pull something out our change a diaper. Everything that I carry fits in it perfectly and I still look like a man while carrying it. You can read more about this bag in this previous post.
My bag is always evolving and I have a few different bags for different situations, but this is just the contents of my bag at the moment and it has helped me survive where the less prepared would crash and burn.
What’s your favorite kind of bag? What can you not leave home without? Is there anything that I should add?