The “Ready to go” Kid Backpack

We recently posted a simple infographic of a typical Forest School backpack and all it’s accessories and thought this topic deserved a little more attention.


Kleen Kanteen Thermos (1)


I don’t know about you, but my days are usually filled with running errands, getting in a run (w/ or w/out the stroller and a dog), letting my son run wild on his own, grabbing a bite to eat, heading to the in-laws, exchanging clothes, shoes, toys and other items and then of course forest school and not to forget weekend warrior trips to the beach or mountains or the occasional flight, bus ride, boat ride etc…

The ‘ready to go’ pack has become an essential not just for a day at forest school but every excursion we the adventuring parents make.

And I’m sure like me, you have gone through the stages and transitions of what items go in what bag(s). There’s the tote bag insert, the full on diaper bag, the mom/dad backpack. and the ridiculous number of other bag-like things we own that have served at one point or another as a vessel for wipes, diapers, snacks, toys, bottles, extra clothes, shoes, hats, sunscreen, bibs, did I say wipes? And don’t forget more snacks.

Once your child is ready to attend forest kindergarten they are likely ready to wear their own pack, this means it’s time to let them carry most of their stuff (and some of yours). The key to an efficient (not overloaded) kid backpack is keeping the essentials and changing out the ‘as needed’.

Obviously the lists below are here to serve as suggestions and guidelines – we and our babes are all different humans with different ideas, desires, needs, wants etc…So take a look at ours and create your own essentials list!

Essentials List:

Backpack :

Our recommendation here is that you go kid sized and outdoor oriented. Why? Well the size might be somewhat obvious – get it so it actually fits your child and they can comfortably carry it.

Avoid school backpacks and go for outdoor styles as they come designed to be work for longer period and with additions like waist and chest straps to help keep it on them. Also, outdoor style packs have well placed water bottle holders, extra pockets, and clips for all the fun stuff. You won’t regret it.

See our ‘Kids-pack’ review for a few to consider.

What’s Inside:

Reusable everything!

  • Stainless Steel food containers
  • Stainless steel water bottle
    • Why not BPA free plastic you ask? We feel it’s time to ditch the plastic for good. A stainless steel bottle will likely last a lot longer and is easier to clean with tablets.
  • Bamboo Utensils
    • Having a set of utensils clipped in your bag really does make being an enviro-hero a little easier – so don’t leave home without them!
  • Reusable Pouches / Snack Bags
    • Yes they are great for cheddar bunnies or raisins or apple slices, but they can also be great pencil cases or rock collection pouches too. These are a must!
  • Bandana
    • This is possibly the best invention of all time. Bandanas can be used for all sorts of things; impromptu bib, face towel, treasure wrapper upper, sweatband, mini placemat, spoon wiper off-er etc… It’s basically the outdoor kids hero cape.
      • United By Blue – for every item sold, 1 lb of trash is removed from our world’s oceans and waterways.
  • Hat
    • Beanie for cold weather
    • Bucket hat for warm weather
  • Mittens and/or extra socks
    • Depending on the weather; it’s always a great idea to have an extra pair of these in your sack.
  • Change of shoes
    • we recommend Crocs of Sanuks: easy to clean and lightweight to clip on the outside of your pack.
  • Mineral Sunscreen (reef safe)
    • After a good amount of research our recommendation is Blue Lizard.
    • Read more about mineral sunscreens here.
  • Bug Spray (doTerra essential oils blend)
  • Hand Sanitizer (doTerra essential oils blend)


Share your adventures with us on Instagram! @fernandfeatherforestschool


>>As a full time Forest Kindergarten we do appreciate well made gear. In no way however do we feel a need or desire to influence our families or readers to purchase any gear in particular. Rather, we aim to share our opinions and knowledge based on our years of outdoor experience, our outdoor preschool experience and our experience as parents. We do not receive sponsorship nor are we compensated in any way by any brands we post about.<<


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