It’s a glorious Melbourne morning and the whisper of new adventure is tapping on the window, and there’s a buzz of curiosity in the air.
Your family is heading off on an outdoor adventure… but what do you pack from your magic explorer box to keep the excitement building?
Three Minute Read
The 3 essential items for your Outdoor Explorer Kit
Here are a few items we recommend using with our Gumnut Trail’s Adventure Guides. Having the right accessories on hand can often save the day for little ones and keep the fun times rolling. (We don’t receive sponsorship for these tips)
ONE: Magnifying Glass - for up close explorations
‘LOOK!’ A slater just ambled across a leaf before rolling up in fright.
Of course, your kids saw it way before you did. Use your magnifying glass to make this mini-beast as big as your thumb and see how amazing it really is.Buying tips:
Invest in a magnifying glass that will last the test of time. That means a good area to grip, is a decent size and with proper magnification. The tiny ones in explorer kits don’t really cut it for us.
TWO: Kids Binoculars - give them eagle eyes
‘BIIRD!!’ There’s something peeping out from a hollow high above you.
Do you have a budding bird watcher or intrepid explorer who loves to discover what no-one else can see? Exploring with binoculars gives kids a sense of purpose on their outdoor adventures.
Binoculars should be age appropriate as fiddling with magnification is not easy! For under fives the bird watching experts suggest focus-free and oversized lenses, with a lightweight and durable design. Keep it simple, colourful and don’t over-spend! Search for My first binoculars by Fandex to find stockists.
THREE: Field Guides - to help them ID what they see!
Is that a frog leaping or a water boatman rowing for safety?
Your kids have just spotted the coolest critter ever – but what is it? That discovery is always a little bit more special when it has a name, it goes from being a stranger to a friend.
Our Adventure Guides include picture galleries for each trail. Here’s a sample for rockpooling identification.
This is also a lovely book for ages 5 - 7 – Leaf litter by Rachel Tonkin
Handy tips: Download free apps such as iNaturalist to see what other people have spotted and identified nearby.
Other Great items to include:
- Fishing net and viewing trays to see what’s wriggling in the waterways
- Nature journal or notebook to record and sketch what you see
- Torch, for spotlighting at night!
- Compass, for a spot of orienteering
- Snorkel gear for your beach trip
- Camera to capture the moment.
- Bug catcher - however you always need to let them go!
What should you wear when exploring In the great outdoors?
It’s always best to cover up - sunhat, long pants, closed shoes, and long-sleeve top - even if it’s a hot day (just make it breathable fabrics). This helps protect your kids from the sun, insects, and even snakes (remember to stay on the trails and stamp the ground so they know you’re coming).
If you’re rock-pooling or heading out for a bush-walk, wear good walking shoes to prevent being cut on sharp rocks – plus you can explore further with the right shoes!
Wear sunscreen and insect repellent, especially if it’s a warm day and near water (we’ve been caught out before). Always take plenty of water and consider packing a basic first aid kit just in case.