Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top 10 Things Needed To Create Your Own Nature Exploration Backpack

Top Ten Tuesday at Many Little Blessings

As you know we love the outdoors and we try to do several nature walks a month. Last week we visited our nature center for the monthly homeschool class. A few of the families went on nature walks afterwards and checked out the fabulous "Wildlife Watchers Packs" that the nature center provides for free if you are a member or for a small fee if you are not. Last year I decided to create our own "Nature Exploration Backpack." It is always ready to go (waiting in our coat closet) so I never need to worry about prepping for an outdoor adventure.  A few of the homeschool moms were interested in knowing what I put in our backpack which is where the idea for this post came from. So here are the Top 10 Things Needed To Create Your Nature Exploration Backpack.

1) A durable back pack with lots of pockets, a place to store a water bottle. I love our Quick Silver bag with the built in cooler. It has tons of pockets, it's durable and it's comfortable. Our is similar to this one.
2) A first aid kit. If you have kids you know why you must have a first aid kit. Many a times we have needed to do some triage on a nature walk.
3) Various field guides. I do carry a few books and guides with us but I must confess my phone ALWAYS goes with us on our nature walks for a few reasons...pictures, field guides and GPS. My favorite field guide apps are from Audubon. They go on sale for 99 cents quite often so make sure you keep checking back if you don't want to pay full price.
4) A nature journal is a must have. Along with your favorite writing utensils (colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc). We also carry a glue stick too for affixing special items in our journals. We love our journals from Miller Pads and Paper.
5) Binoculars.
6) Maps of the area you are hiking. If you are at a nature center or State/National park then make sure you grab a map when you arrive. I actually have laminated maps for the places we frequent often and keep them in the bag so we don't need to worry about grabbing maps each time (plus it helps save paper). Oh that reminds you make sure you always have a compass too just in case!
7) Bug catchers and plastic ziplock bags. Both of these items are great to have in your bag so your young explorers can find specimens to examine up close or takes special treasures home.
8) Whistles for everyone going. Yes we always wear our whistles and both children know they are not toys. the whistles are to be used only if you are lost or need to get someone attention quickly.
9) Various tools like a small tape measure, box cutter, fish net and a multi tool. These items are great for exploring various things you may come across while out on your walk.
10) A camera. Now my camera is not always in my bag ready to go but we do have an old cell phone that takes pictures still that the kids keep handy in the bag.

Most of these items you may already have laying around the house. I spent only a few dollars (mostly at Dollar Tree) to create our  backpack.

Be sure to browse through all of our other Top 10 Posts!

Thanks for stopping by and have fun exploring nature!

*Disclaimer - Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. Please note that prices indicated in the post are subject to change. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.

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Maureen Sklaroff said...

This is a great post. We're fairly new to nature exploration, so this is very helpful. I'd never thought of bringing things like a tape measure. Do you keep a bag in your car at all times? Right now, I carry everything in my diaper bag, but it is getting heavy. The problem is, that if I don't we end up finding nature at places that we weren't expecting, like the back of the grocery store, and don't have what we need to study it. I'm not joking about the back of the grocery store, they have a preserve right behind it. I never knew, despite having lived here for 7+ years, until I started looking for nature everywhere I went.

Kathy Balman said...

Maureen, we use our tape measure for measuring things like insects, leaves etc. (I love sneaking in math without the kids realizing it). I do often keep the bag in the car because yes as you stated you NEVER know when you may find a fun place to explore.

Savannah said...

I just wanted to thank you again for linking up to the November Look What We Did. I am pinning this on my science board.

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