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!
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.