21 April 2011

Summer Fun Trunk Tote

Dear Lissy,
Trunk Tote!  Get it?
Sunny weather is fast approaching, and we like to be OUTDOORS!  If I take just an hour or so to pack a small tote we keep in the trunk, it frees us up to be much more spontaneous as a family.  This isn't the emergency kit I always keep in the back, it's more of a "fun emergency" assistant.

I think about things our family might like to do:  a trip to the park with friends, a campfire & s'mores, stop by the lake, go for a short hike or fish, or maybe just go out for ice cream after church.

Bucket of Fun
Fun almost always involves water!  From drying off a playground slide to protecting car seats after a dip in the swimmin' hole, you're going to need towels. I use the thin, ratty, stringy ones for the car tote.
Garbage bag
5 Ziploc gallon bags 
These hold everything from "treasures" scavenged from the river or beach to leftover food, to fish.  A must have for us.
Disposable plastic grocery sacks (3)
Case of bottled water
This and the bag of charcoal aren't actually in the tote, just in the car.
Roll of paper towels
Dollar store roll of aluminum foil.
This can be used to make casts of objects like tree bark, cover a nasty grill, or even make pouches for cooking food over coals without a grill.  
Tub of wet wipes
Roll of t.p.
Dog tie-out, collapsible water bowl, and kibble rations for one meal.
Frisbee, balls & gloves, bubble solution, insect nets, etc.
Nothing that will melt or spoil!  Crunchy granola bars, dried fruit and nuts, graham crackers (just add marshmallows and chocolate for smores), commercially made beef jerky.  This allows us to skip or delay a meal.
Plastic picnic cloth
Public picnic tables are almost always icky, and it can double as a ground cloth at the river or park.
Bug dope and candle
5 or 6 clothespins with springs
Whether it's park fees or a trip to a roadside ice cream stand, it never hurts to carry a little cash.  
Collapsible fishing poles and small bait kit.
Folding Utility Knife
These sturdy, sharp knives will make quick work of marshmallow sticks or other small tasks.  Daddy keeps a hatchet and a Mora knife in the locked glove box for bigger jobs.

Bag of Instant Light charcoal
Because of pine borers most of the local parks and Army Corp of Engineers sites no longer allow wood to be brought in.  Charcoal works fine in a fire ring or grill.
Strike anywhere matches and a lighter
Always, always, always have three ways to make a fire!  We have a Swedish Fire steel key in the emergency kit, too.

Egg Carton fire starters
When we can have a wood fire, that's what we prefer.  Cardboard egg carton cups filled with pencil sharpener shavings and then wax make lightweight, reliable firestarters.

In addition to this tote, I keep supplies on hand in the house for s'mores and cookouts so we can go on a moment's notice without a stop at the grocery store.  These few moments spent planning give me the ability to bless our family abundantly all through the warm weather months.  They also give me the grace to say "Yes!  That would be fun!" when Dad suggests a last minute trip instead of making excuses or needing an hour's lead time and a pit stop at Wal-Mart on the way out of town. 

Wishing you many years of family fun,


  1. you never cease to amaze me Bekki! You are so orangized and prepared, even for fun things!
    great idea :)
    Oh, and did you know that Honey Maid just came out with square graham crackers, perfect for making s'mores? The box said limited edition, so I am def. stocking up for the summer.

  2. I'll have to look for those grahams.
    About the organized...Julia Morgenstern's "kindergarten model" of organization was simple enough for me to wrap my head around. All things used together are grouped together in a single container placed at the point of use. It amazed me how many times I had things I ALWAYS used together in three or four different locations. I'm still not all the way there, but that's the goal!