We get asked about the gear we use to hike, camp, backpack and road trip with kids all the time so we created this page to keep our favorites all in one place.
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Car Camping Gear
Our rooftop tent from Roofnest. I can’t say enough about how comfortable this tent is and how much I love it. Read my full guide to finding the right rooftop tent here.
This power station from Aimtom keeps my devices charged on the road for weeks at a time.
This overhead car storage net helps keep our pillows and blankets contained off the floor.
We have tested a few different coolers and nothing compares to the RTIC 45L hard-sided cooler. The 20 can cooler bag is great for day trips or to keep accessible for lunches and cooled beverages.
We are slowly switching up all our camp chairs to these. They are comfortable and super compact to easily fit 4 of them in our car.
This REI fold up camping table sets up and breaks down quickly to provide a stable cooking surface at camp.
Easy access to water no matter where you are camping is crucial. A large water jug is a must!
While this Jetboil Flash stove is billed as a backpacking stove, I use it more for quick coffee and ramen on drive days or at camp Car Entertainment For Kids
A simple pair of binoculars is one of their absolute favorite adventure toys. They use them in the car and on hikes to investigate their surroundings.
They fight over the magnadoodle more than any other car toy and there is no risk of getting marker all over my car interior.
These animal identification pamphlets provide hours of educational entertainment. We usually pick up a new one at national park gift shops to study the creatures in the area we are exploring.
Water Wow water painting books never get old. We usually pick up a new one before each big trip and they use them until the pages disintegrate. Hiking Gear For Kids
This guy loves to carry his own essentials and drink water from the bladder hose. This kids Camelbak backpack is a great way for kids to get used to carrying a small amount of weight on the trail.
If you plan to do any winter hiking with kids, these miscrospikes are a must. They won’t fall off kids’ boots and will give them the traction they need to hike safely on slippery terrain.
Nothing can keep my kids engaged on the trail like a magnifying glass. They investigate bugs, plants, rocks and animal tracks.
Non-spill water bottles that the boys can drink form without help opening keep them hydrated on hikes and in the car. Pro-tip add a small amount of powdered gatorade to encourage hydration.
Iksplor merino wool base layers are great as camp pjs, chilly hikes or under snowsuits in the winter. Take 20% off your order with code myadventuregang20.
Up until my lil guy was 2 years old, I used this hard-framed kid carrier from Kelty on hikes. It has enough space to stash our hiking essentials in the pack and children 16-40 pounds. My Favorite Hiking & Outdoor Apparel
These Oboz Sawtooth low profile hiking shoes are perfect 3 season hikers for most terrain. While lots of hikers prefer trail runners, I love the support these shoes offer.
Microspikes are a must for winter hiking. These Kahtoola microspikes live in my backpack from October to May in New England.
These Clamber shorts from Title Nine are life changing. I practically live in them all spring, summer and fall. They are comfortable, easy to move in and dry super quickly.
In the winter, I love these polartec tights from Title Nine. If it is really cold or I am playing in the snow, I layer them with their Snow Slayer pants which are surprisingly lightweight and flexible given their how effective they are.
I only started using trekking poles recently but they can be so helpful to take some of the pressure off my knees on longer hikes.
Chacos have been my go to outdoor adventure sandal for the summer for over 15 years. Did you know you can get them fixed for
This Polartec hoodie from Title Nine is my favorite mid-layer for winter and all around sweatshirt for adventures.
My 3 in 1 winter jacket from Columbia works well for playing in the snow with my kids or sleeping in a fire tower in the mountains in January, a story for another time. Our Hiking & Backpacking Gear
After extensive research and asking every backpacking family I knew for recs, I finally bought this Big Agnes Tiger Wall UL3 tent. It sleeps 3 and weighs less than 3 pounds!!!!
Each member of my family has a Big Agnes air core sleeping pad. it weighs around 1 pound and is the size of a Nalgene.
I have had a Gregory backpack for over 20 years and just upgraded to the Deva 70L. It’s large enough and light enough to hold enough gear for all of us
I can’t be the only parent that never has a working flashlight because their kids use them all the time. I love these rechargeable headlamps from BioLite, we don’t churn through batteries anymore.
I decided to invest in a GPS/SOS device as I started to hike more by myself and adventure solo with my boys. This Spot X (found at Backcountry.com) is can connect to your phone or function independently for outreach to rescuers incase of emergency, sending pre-programmed messages, accessing maps and allowing family to track your progress. The Spot X is also available at REI.
Kula Cloth is a reusable antimicrobial pee cloth brought to you by some of the funniest women on Instagram (seriously, go follow them). It’s a game changer for peeing in the backcountry and just throw it in the wash when your trip is over.
Some people suggest just buying an adult bag for your kids off the bat since they last so long and will grow into them. If you are looking for a kid’s sleeping bag, these REI brand bags have served us well.
There are many ways to sterilize and filter water while hiking and backpacking. Right now, this SteriPen lives in my hiking backpack all the time so can sanitize 1L of water in 90 sec. Money Savers
If you are planning to visit three National Park sites in any 12 month period, the
America The Beautiful pass will save you money. The pass costs $80 and each National Park entrance fee is $25-$35. The pass also covers entrance fees to National Monuments like Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and parking fees at National Forest trailheads. I use it in the White Mountains all the time.
Our Favorite Gear Shops
REI.com is one of the first places I look for gear. If you are a co-op member you get dividends on all the gear you buy throughout the year. They typically run 20% sales in March when dividends come out, Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Backcountry.com usually has some of the lowest prices on outdoor gear around!
Iksplor is a women owned business out of Jackson Hole Wyoming making amazing merino wool base layers for kids and now moms too! Their adult layers have a flap for nursing moms to stay warm during feedings. Take 20% off your order with code MYADVENTUREGANG