Summer is traditionally a time to get outdoors with your family and 2021 is definitely no exception. If anything, this summer is going to be all about going outdoors and taking advantage of the last vestiges of work from home life. In the past few months, myself and 4 other outdoor and travel bloggers have scoured the internet seeking out some of the best of the best to share with you all to get your summer adventures going.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. This post is sponsored by Fenix and the brands within.
Best Outdoor Gear & Adventure Recreation for Summer
Along with fellow outdoor bloggers Jessica, Amelia, Nicky and Mel we have put together our biggest list of recommendations for outdoor fun. We include everything from lighting, to what to wear as well on the trails and in the pool as well as great options on what to do this summer for family fun in the great outdoors.
Fenix Outdoor Camp Lighting
Fenix outdoor lighting is the top brand in all things lighting, known for their quality and features. One of the aspects that are most appealing to our family as we move more and more green is that they are all rechargeable. This summer you have 3 amazing options to light up your campground.
Fenix USB Rechargeable Camping Lantern (CL30R)
This camping lantern is bright enough to light up your campground area for night time cooking, game playing and more. For those of us in earthquake country, this makes a great accessory for your Earthquake kit as well. The USB port allows you to charge phones and more when batteries are running low.
I’ve recently been sold over to the world of headlamps especially as the perfect aid to cooking and cleaning up camp at night. This headlamp has 3 levels of brightness making it perfect for hikes, bathroom runs or cleaning up. The lightweight headlamp makes it the perfect addition to your backpacking setup. Note, if my kid is anything to go off of, they have tendency to take your headlamp, so better get one for them too!
Last on our list of great outdoor lighting is this rechargeable flashlight. This ultra bright light has a maximum of 1500 lumens. There is a battery level indicator so you always know how much charge you have left. This is not only a great item to have in your camping box, but also in the house for emergency use.
Merino Wool Adventure Blanket by Iksplor
Merino wool is my 2021 obsession! I’ve been wearing my wool dress for over 130 days now and have extended my wool obsession to anything I can get my hands on. Iksplor’s Adventure Blanket is the perfect addition to any outdoor fun this summer. Sized generously at 48×48 inches means it can be used for everything from cuddling up around the fire to swaddling the little ones to an additional blanket in the tent. Some even say that these make great towels, but we haven’t tried that yet. All I know is these wool blankets are great for kids and parents too. The question is who gets to use it? In our house, whoever grabs it first!
Family Dude Ranch Vacation
Have you ever wanted to just get away from it all while having an adventure that fully captures the hearts and minds of everyone in the family? A Dude Ranch vacation is the perfect family vacation that needs to be on your radar.
Dude and guest ranches offer an all-inclusive vacation experience like no other destination. Heading out west on the back of a horse is the ultimate place to reconnect with family, nature and even your own personal wellness. Dude Ranch options can be found all over the country, especially from Arizona to Colorado and everywhere in between. When searching for a destination through the Dude Ranchers Association, you will be assured high quality lodging standards and genuine western hospitality.
Head over to the Dude Ranchers Association website to start your search. Choose a destination or just see what all is on offer with lodge sizes, dates ranches operate and more.
Leather Waterproof Trail Shoes for Him & Her by Oboz Footwear
You can’t begin your outdoor adventures without the proper footwear. Oboz makes versatile, trail tested footwear that is stylish enough to wear from trail to town. The Sypes Leather Waterproof hiking shoes for him and her are a great addition to any outdoor families footwear arsenal.
In our continual quest for green companies, we love that Oboz makes fibers from plastic bottles as well as uses a proprietary O FIT Insole made with Bloom Algae’s sustainable algae biomass. These waterproof shoes will keep your feet dry in the rain, while crossing creeks and more.
PepperLight 2-in-1 Flashlight Bear Spray by Sabre
One thing most of us forget in planning our adventures is safety on the trails. After several bear encounters, we are always equipped with bear protection. Sabre 2-in-1 PepperLight Bear Spray is part pepper spray, part flashlight to keep you safe no matter if you are on the trail in the day or heading to the bathrooms at night!
This compact high performance flashlight combined with pepper spray is perfect for camping, hiking and even walking the dog in areas with bears! The PepperLight contains 25 pepper spray bursts that sprays up to 10 feet. It also contains UV marking dye to show where it’s been sprayed – on a bear or an attacker. Once you have used all your spray or it has expired, you can refill it, which is super handy.
Unique & Luxury Outdoor Accommodation by Glamping Hub
Looking for a little more glamping and a little less camping? Glamping Hub is the place to go. This online booking platform specializes in unique and luxury outdoor accommodations. Ideal for those who can’t wait to eat s’mores around a campfire, but want the luxury of a bed to return to indoors! With over 26,000 accommodation options worldwide and more than 30 types of places to choose from, there is something for everyone. From treehouses (pictured above) to canvas tents to forest cabins, there are limitless possibilities for girlfriend retreats and family get togethers.
Visit Glamping Hub, enter your desired location, dates and get that much closer to a special adventure that will have the family begging to never leave. Glamping Hub is the perfect resource to get your outdoor summer adventures off to a great start.
Base Layer & Fleece Jacket for Kids by Shred Dog
For those that live in cold snowy climates, you already know and love Shred Dog. For those of you in more moderate climates, let me introduce you! Shred Dog products are all created to work together no matter what the weather throws at you.
Summer doesn’t always mean hot, which is why their 4-way stretch Foundation Base Layer and Mid-Layer Fleece Jacket are the perfect combination for adventures from the breezy coasts of California to the rugged mountains of Montana. Whether you are skiing in winter or hiking in the summer, your kids will find these comfortable and moisture wicking for all their adventures. We love the thumb holes which helps keep away tears while putting layers on and off!
Start off with your base layer and fleece jacket as the day starts and shed they layers as the day goes on, knowing that your kids will be dry, warm and protected from whatever gets thrown at them throughout the day adventuring.
Classic Insulated Camp Mug by Stanley
This Legendary Insulated Camp Mug is a must have essential for any camping trip. Made with Stanley’s double-wall vacuum insulation, your morning hot brew or afternoon cold brew is ready for consumption. The secure fit Tritan™ lid helps prevent spills so you can sip and go no matter whether you are at home or in the woods. This 12 oz cup will keep your cold drinks cold for 3 hours (15 hours with ice) and hot drinks hot for 1.5 hours – perfect for the mom who can’t quite get that coffee drank between kids and their questions!
Electric Hand Warmer Power Bank
I’m all about multi-use products especially in the outdoors. We are loving this nifty Electric Hand Warmer Power Bank. With 3 heat settings and up to 8 hours of heat production, this is a must have for those early summer and late night campouts when it’s still pretty chilly out! This small device heats up to 140 degrees and can charge your mobile devices too! We love the cork wrapped shell which helps retain the heat, but also gives such a stylish modern look to a highly usable product.
Equipped with a 5 volt, 2-amp USBA charging port, this little guy is powerful enough to charge a phone and other electronic devices including smart watches, tablets, lap accessories and portable speakers. You can never have enough power banks handy these days!
FirePit Rocking Camp Chair by GCI
After having a kid, my body just likes to rock, which makes this FirePit Rocking Camp chair by GCI one of my favorite camping pieces. The low to the ground fire pit chairs feature smooth rocking, padded armrests, and mesh backrests to keep you cool and comfortable all day long.
The carry handle makes this chair easy to unload from the car and it folds flat for great storage. Honestly, give it a shot and I bet you will be converted to the rockers too. Lets all get old by the fire together, what do you say?
Wet Rescue Pouch by Absorbits
Let’s face it, our electronics are our lives these days and when something happens to them, we struggle to function. Now when this happens in the outdoors, we panic and stress with limited access to bags of rice or other home grown methods. This is why the Wet Rescue Pouch by Absorbits is a must have in your outdoor kit. This dryer bag is equipped with Bone-Dri Technology that removes moisture from your mobile devices in just a matter of hours. The reusable water repair pouches can be used multiple times too. Just dry it out with a hair dryer when you get home to prepare it for your next use.
Having an Absorbits moisture remover pouch on hand can save you time, money and stress when dealing with a wet phone. The padded case also provides extra protection while drying out. A must have for any adventures at home and in the woods!
Kids Camp Cot & Duvet
The Kid-O-Bunk is one of the coolest products out there for families on the go. It can be used as a bunk bed, 2 single cots, or even a bench. The Kid-O-Bunk is quick and easy to assemble with no tools, packing away into two easy to carry bags. This really is the ideal for camping with kids, sleepovers, soccer games at the park and so much more. This sleep solution is best for kids aged 7-12 years old.
In addition to the bunk, you can also add on the Duvalay, which is the company’s luxury sleeping bag that works perfectly with the bunks. The Duvalay includes a memory foam sleeping pad with attached duvet that will have your kids begging for sleepaway opportunities. Parents will love the 3 sizes, while kids will have a hard time choosing between the 4 fun patterns.
Multi-Tool by Tactica Gear
One of the best gifts for outdoors families is this awesome toolkit. The Tactica M.250 is ideal for around the home, out camping or even the RV. It packs all your screwdriver needs with 12 unique hex bits and a 2″ extender, all in an ultra compact size. The M.250 also comes with a integrated magnetic holster, perfect for the belt, pocket or garage. This is the perfect tool to keep all your gear in top shape, letting you focus on enjoying your next adventure.
Anyone thinking what I am thinking? Father’s Day is just around the corner and this would be the perfect gift!
Eco-Friendly Kids Swimwear by Reima
Do you get the sense that we love companies that work to protect the environment and produce quality goods? It’s true, those are our favorite brands to support and recommend. Reima is a fantastic company offering a line of kids swim gear that is sunproof up to 50 UPF and is made from recycled plastic bottles. These adorable bikinis are a great option for the mini fashionistas in your life. I know my nature loving kiddo would happily wear this great swim short with matching rash guard, while also knowing he was in a small way helping support cleaner waters.
Lightweight Sneakers & Sandals for Kids by Reima
Do you have kids who are terribly slow getting out of the door? Well, this might be the product for them! Reima’s most comfortable and light sneakers are easy to pull on, breathable and machine washable. As an alternative, consider the Rhombus Hiking and Outdoor Sandals with velcro closure. These are also lightweight, but offer sturdy toe protection while exploring the trails.
Sounds like the perfect combination for getting the kids out of the door a little more quickly! As a bonus for families looking to cut out leather from their wardrobe, these are completely vegan!
Sustainable Belt for the Whole Family by Jelt
Another favorite in my focus of being more sustainable is this fun belt by Jelt, made in Montana, and created from recycled plastic bottles. This classic belt has no metal parts making it an ideal travel companion. This 100% vegan belt is designed with durability in mind while also helping lower your carbon footprint. We love that Jelt is a woman owned, certified B Corp that also gives a portion of every belt sold to organizations supporting veterans, kids and the environment.
The uber cool styles are available for men, women and kids! Trust me, your kids will love this easy to snap design that makes getting in and out of pants a breeze.
Hot Dog/ Marshmallow Roasting Sticks by Wolf’em
One of my son’s favorite things to do while camping is making food over the fire on sticks. The problem is when we can’t find sticks that are suitable for roasting bread or hot dogs on, what to do? Introducing the Wolf’em Stick which has been voted the best camping accessory. We agree, this is a game changer for anyone who loves making bread on a stick or hot dogs over the fire! If you want to add a little something new to your camping experience, bring biscuit dough and wrap it around the wooden end to then fill with your favorite treats – anything from eggs to berry fillings.
Product includes rotary handle, detachable hot dog/marshmallow roaster PLUS biscuit cup attachment.
Kids Wetsuit by Mountain Warehouse
If you are heading to California for your summer vacation, an often not spoken about must have item is a wetsuit for your kids. Our waters are chilly year round, which makes this a must for ocean water play any time of year. This full kids wetsuit is made of 2.5mm neoprene fabric for full flexibility whether you are body boarding or surfing. It includes flat seams and a close fit making it ideal for kids no matter their age or experience in wetsuits. An added bonus of having a wetsuit for your kids is that you don’t have to apply as much sunscreen as this suit offers UPF protection too!
Road Trip Survival Book for Families
One of my all time favorite family adventurers Rob Taylor from 2TravelDads has just published his second book and it is the must have for the 2021 road trip season! Releasing on May 25th, the Road Trip Survival Guide includes road trip planning tips and tools, road trip themes, packing suggestions, roadside safety, snack recipes, easy on-the-road meal prep/planning, and even 18 road trip itineraries in the US, Canada and Mexico to get your summer adventures started.
This book is a great addition to your bedside table to fuel your summer road trip wanderlust, while also providing useful, practical information to actually get you on the road! Don’t miss the foreword by the ultimate travel guru, Samantha Brown of Samantha Brown’s Places to Love!
Get Road Trip Ready with Pep Boys
One of the biggest factors for fun in the summer is making sure your ride is up to par. Whenever you are getting ready to set out on a road trip, whether it is long or short, you should make sure you have the basics on your car taken care of. This always includes for me an oil change, checking my wipers, lights, brakes and fluids. In an effort to save funds, we try to do as much of this on our own as we can. If you are into DIY as well, head over to Pep Boys and save 25% on DIY car parts.
Saris Swing Away Accessory for Saris Bike Racks
If you travel with your bicycles you will understand the importance of this item on our list. The Saris Swing Away Accessory turns your favorite Saris hitch rack into a swing away. What this means is you don’t have to unload the bikes and bike rack every time you want to get into the back of your vehicle. The 90° pivot swing allows you to get in and out of the car quick and easy even with the bikes on the back!
Compatible with some of the most popular Saris hitch racks, the Swing Away Accessory is the best way to add a family-friendly feature without needing to buy a new hitch rack.
Summer Sun Protection Gear from Stonz
Looking for supercharged sun protection for your little ones this summer? Stonz has a great offering of items developed to keep your kids free from the harmful rays of the summer sun. One of the coolest is their sun suit, which is chemical free and provides 50 UPF UV protection. These full body suits won’t fade from sun or chlorine. This is the way to go if you don’t want to lather your kids in sunscreen constantly, but want to be sure they are keeping safe.
Last but not least for your summer sun protection are sunglasses for both babies and kids. The polarized lenses, unbreakable frames and 100% UVA/UVB 400 protection fully keeps babies eyes protected from the harmful sun rays.
Load it up all up in their stylish Diaper Backpack which is highly functional with a wet pocket, change pad, insulated pockets, zippered pockets and bottle pockets to keep you organized no matter where you roll this summer.
Wanderwild Kids Backpack
One of the things I have always tried to do with my son is create independence in our adventures. The first step in doing this was to have him carry his own backpack even if all it contained were a few little items. Over time he’s increased his ability to carry all of his day trip belongings as well as pack his bag before we go out.
What better way to create this independence than starting kids off with their Wanderwild backpack! Fun prints for the kids and great features for the parents make these the perfect packs for on the trail, at school and even weekends at grandmas!
K-Pak Folding Kayak by Folding Boat Co
Do you love kayaking but don’t have space to store one? We have you covered with this super cool folding kayak by Folding Boat Co. This versatile kayak folds down and can be stored and transported in an included backpack. It has a collapsible rigid frame with inflatable bottom (pump included) makes this safe and comfortable. It’s also super lightweight for a kayak, clocking in at only 21 lbs. This is an ideal family adventure item that is easy to use and works great. Setting up in 5 minutes, you will be on the lake or floating down the river in no time.
Jacket & Accessory Holder by BindBuddy
Ever had your hands so full trudging through the airport or train station, not sure if you have everything? BindBuddy is a simple device that easily attaches to any bag strap and helps you hold on to your jackets (or yoga mats!) without stress. This is a great addition to any family that is constantly on the go, whether it is in the outdoors, the airports or commuting day to day.
The BindBuddy can be attached to a wide range of everyday gear including backpacks, purses, luggage, beach bags, strollers, and more. The strong adjustable system can hold up to 2.5 lbs which is great for jackets, yoga mats, beach towels, kids toys and anything else you are trying to lug around without extra hands!
Do you have other outdoor gear that you love? Let us know in the comments!
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