There is a new program to get kids and their families to connect to nature and to the historic sites that surround them. Every Kid in a Park
is a special program that allows 4th graders and their families to enjoy the National Parks throughout the United States. This great program not only helps kids connect to nature, it helps them value the public lands that need and deserve our protection. These National Parks are living classrooms. Outdoor places and historic sites that help kids see and apply what they have only read about in books. "Every Kid in a Park" is a great way for educators and parents to introduce their 4th graders to all the wonders public lands have to offer.
If you have never taken your family hiking, it can be daunting to figure out what you really need to bring with you. The point of this program is to make nature accessible. You do not need to spend hundreds of dollars on high end gear. If your family has special medical needs and needs to use catheters
or ostomy supplies
, make sure you take that into consideration. Packing an extra backpack for your catheter or ostomy supplies is a good idea. I would pack what you would need for a normal day out and then include one extra complete set for emergencies. An ostomy or needing catheters is no reason not to enjoy the great outdoors!
What to Bring:
- Water Bottles for each person
- Healthy Snacks
- Comfortable Shoes
- Hat with a visor
- Gloves for colder weather
- Bug Spray
- Map of the park
- Emergency phone numbers (written out and not just stored on your phone in case your phone is not functioning)
- Small bag to carry out any garbage so nothing is left on the trail
Small Portable First Aid Kit:
- Adhesive waterproof tape - great for taping down gauze, waterproof will help with water and sweat
- Adhesive bandages - various sizes for scrapes and cuts
- Sterile Gauze - great for cuts that are more serious or awkwardly shaped
- Antiseptic Wipes - Povidone-Iodine is a great choice, easy to carry and stings less than alcohol prep pads
- Eye drops - lubricating eye drops can help flush out debris and ease eye pain from allergies
- Moleskin or 2nd Skin Gel Squares- great for helping with blisters and can be used preemptively to stop blisters before they start. 2nd Skin Gel Squares are the better choice but Moleskin works great and for less money
- Anti-inflammatory analgesic - recommend bringing small Ziploc bag with aspirin and non aspirin. Aspirin is not a great choice for a bleeding injury
The trick to making a first aid kit portable is repackaging. Whenever possible, take items out of the original packaging since that tends to be bulky. Use Ziploc bags to carry just a few of each item with you. You more than likely won't need 50 sterile gauze pads! Take what you will reasonably use and store it in a reusable bag or container. I use a reusable plastic container with a lid for mine and it works great. I found one that was small and rectangular, everything fits inside and because it is plastic, it doesn't get crushed. I used to use a cloth bag but found by the end of several hikes my bandages were getting worn out from being constantly bumped, crushed, and smashed. Since switching I replace them less often which saves money overall.
The most important thing about this program is to get you and your family outside and seeing for yourself what our beautiful country has to offer. Allowing familes of 4th graders free access means, take a day trip. Hike for a short time the first time out. Take your time and enjoy your family in the great outdoors! The Every Kid in a Park pass is good for the 2015-2016 school year, until August 31, 2016.