In one of our earlier posts I shared that last year my family has started a forest school in our area. It’s been a lot of fun and of course a lot of hard work. But we all have been really enjoying having a community of outdoor loving kids exploring together on a regular basis each week. And having my kids spend 4 to 8 hours 3 days each week year around in nature with their friends has been incredible!
Here in this post I wanted to share the outdoor gear and accessories they have been using and enjoying during their forest school time. In the past I have shared our favorite winter gear, as well as our favorites for the wet and muddy season. For summers they simply wear white shirts made from organic muslin fabric and shorts, all sewn by my mom for them. Summer hiking shoes is the only area where our search for the best gear still continues, as we are yet to find something I could recommend. We have tried Wildlings barefoot shoes for children, but sadly it has not been a positive experience (see here a review of the Wildlings Shoes in this post). I just ordered Tadeevo barefoot kids shoes and will let you know how they work out for us in later posts.
And in this post I wanted to share some of the accessories we’ve been using on our hikes. As always, the products are sustainable and ethically made and their mention here is not sponsored.
Fjallraven Re-Kanken backpacks
Lightweight, roomy and made out of used plastic bottles
This year for boys birthday they each got a backpack, and I was happy to have found this brand as the backpacks are made from recycled plastic bottles. I have more information on the backpacks here in this blog post.
Steel tiffin container
and bamboo utensils
Stackable, upright and roomy
These steel tiffin containers by To-Go Ware have been our favorite for years now. We have a 3 tire one that fits perfectly in a child’s backpack. And we also have a large 2 tire one that is great for a large meal for an entire family. Here is a blog post dedicated to these steel containers and what sets them aside from other steel containers, in my experience.
I really love that I can pack various foods for the boys and keep them separate from each other. And that it stays upright in their backpacks, so the content doesn’t turn into a mash.
I had a few of the bamboo utensil kits kindly offered to me by the To-Go Ware brand. Turns out they fit perfectly with the Fjallraven kids backpacks (see above photo). The utensils pouch has a clip that attaches to a loop at the top of the backpack, and slides right into the backpack side pocket.
Our utensils sets are regular adult size and they work great for the boys as well. They come with chopsticks, which we end up leaving out. However, that made the pouches a bit loose and we had to adjust the velcro to ensure utensils weren’t sliding out on accident. And you can also just get To-Go Ware kids utensils sets. Overall, I highly recommend this brand as in our experience their products are great quality, last for years and they have wonderful customer service.
Zero-waste sunscreen by Raw Elements
Easy to apply, non-messy, lightweight and non-toxic
I really enjoyed using the Raw Elements sunscreen stick that we purchased from Packagefree Shop (one of my go-to stores for all things plastic-free). This sunscreen stick is small and not heavy for kids to carry, easy to apply without getting onto their hands (and from there onto everything else), has pleasant non-greasy texture, doesn’t melt, has nice smell and worked really well.
And I also used Raw Elements sun cream in a tin on boys shoulders and backs when they run through sprinklers or played in the water. Also, very happy with it.
First aid bandages made with bamboo
While on the Package Free Shop’s website I once discovered plastic-free bandages. I didn’t even know such things existed. 🙂 I’m excited to see more and more companies inventing great plastic-free products for everyday uses.
The bandages come in small lightweight paper tube and are made out of bamboo. These have been another great little thing to put into kid’s backpack to do some self-administered first aid on a scratch or a scab. 🙂
For water they use medium size Life Factory water bottles, as they are glass. We like glass as unlike plastic bottles I know it doesn’t leach anything into the water, and it doesn’t have metallic taste either. But they are heavy unfortunately. So I’m still trying to think of a better version for the drinking bottles for the kids. If you have a suggestion — please share, it would be most appreciated!
The boys also carry things like little flashlights, a back up set of shorts and a shirt as they frequently get wet. And as Ale´ really loves drawing he usually brings along a drawing journal and pencils in his backpack.
And as always, if you have some great kids outdoor gear to share — I look forward to hearing from you!