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The Ready-To-Go-Outdoors Bag

A Trick to Pave the Way for Spur-Of-The Moment Meetings with Nature

By N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

Issue: September 2020

Have you ever felt an urge to do an outdoors recreation while on the road or unexpectedly been near a natural area that caught your attention on a nonworking day, but did not make a stop to have fun along with nature because you did not have the proper wardrobe and other personal gear close by? If you responded in the affirmative to this question and you usually drive a motor vehicle and are the kind of person who is willing to spontaneously engage in nature-based activities or water sports that don’t require too much planning, you may like leaving something special in your car’s trunk: the ready-to-go-outdoors bag.

We are happy to share below a list of basic items that you may include in that bag in order to facilitate carrying out pastimes decided on the spur of the moment to be done, particularly those that may be easily reachable or that do not necessarily entail making reservations days in advance such as sightseeing, snorkeling, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and some hiking and horseback riding experiences.

Essentials for the Ready-To-Go-Outdoors Bag to Place in the Car: +

1) Appropriate footwear

If you prefer exploring natural surroundings on foot, a pair of hiking boots is key for comfort and precautionary measures. These boots can be very useful when hiking, riding a horse, or walking on uneven terrain for sightseeing. Considering the main type of activities that you like, you may choose from a variety of hiking footwear such as traditional high-cut boots, mid-ankle or low-cut booties or sneaker-like hiking shoes. Remember that you will also need socks.

If you are more inclined to seek entertainment in the ocean, lagoons, lakes or reservoirs, it may be practical to include a pair of water shoes or sport sandals with velcro strap in your ready-to-go-outdoors bag. For example, these shoes may be good to wear while kayaking or walking towards paddleboarding or snorkeling spots.

2) The right pants-and-shirt combo

Lightweight nylon or cotton long pants and a cotton or polyester t-shirt may contribute to making your day whenever you are on the road and want to suddenly satisfy a wish to hike on a trail, admire the scenery in a natural site with lots of vegetation, or ride a horse in a nearby area.

If you like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or snorkeling, it is a good idea to put a rash guard (shirt made from spandex and nylon or polyester), swimwear, and polyester shorts in your ready-to-go-outdoors bag.

3) Reusable water bottle

You may purchase cold drinking water right before the unforeseen recreation, but you will need a reusable water bottle to keep it cool during the diversion.

4) Fast-dry towel

Whether you explore nature on land or in a body of water, it is convenient to keep a quick-dry towel at hand as you may get wet or sweaty.

5) Cap or boonie hat

A cap or boonie hat is a plus as it will provide shade to your face during recreations, such as hiking, sightseeing, horseback riding and kayaking. For shade purposes, you may like better covering your head with any of those items rather than using sunglasses since it is preferable to admire the true colors of nature.

6) Particular water sport materials

If you love snorkeling, add the applicable gear to your ready-to-go-outdoors bag so that you can use the snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins that best suit you whenever you have an impulse to do this activity. It is recommendable to use your own snorkel rather than rent it for health purposes.

Kayakers, who prefer to have their cellphone while on the body of water, may like keeping a waterproof pouch for their phone handy.

7) Accessories for hair purposes

A scrunchie and comb may be put to good use by some people. Those who have medium-length or long hair may be more comfortable when using a scrunchie to hold back their hair. By the end of the recreation, a comb may be gladly used by those who like to get cleaned up a little bit before heading home.

8) Small or medium-sized drawstring bag

You may store water bottles, snacks, cellphone and other items, such as wallet and keys, in this type of bag and carry it as a backpack while hiking, walking on a sightseeing spot, riding a horse or kayaking. We suggest picking a drawstring bag made of a fabric that can stand humidity or heat to prevent its damage while in the car’s trunk. If you are going to kayak, the fabric should be water-repellent or waterproof.

Leaving a drawstring bag in your ready-to-go-outdoors bag may be better than a small traditional backpack since humidity tends to harm zippers. It will depend on your country’s climate.

The above list summarizes personal essentials to get going on the path towards unexpected amusements in natural areas. With respect to activities that require specialized gear, usually rental services are available (e.g.: kayak or paddleboard rental). Sometimes even horseback riding tours may be reserved on the same day of the adventure.

Now it is up to you to start preparing your precious ready-to-go-outdoors bag.

+ The purpose of having a ready-to-go-outdoors bag handy is to enable enjoying distractions when you did not previously plan these. Those who own smartphones have the advantage of having a camera at hand. It is not recommendable to put camera equipment in your ready-to go-outdoors bag as it may get damaged in the car’s trunk due to temperature factors. Also, if you do not occasionally use the items in this bag, you may need to clean or air them from time to time to prevent damage.

Photo by N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo

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