Family Exploring Gear: Items to Keep the Family Engaged & Entertained While Off-Roading
Whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush or just want to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, hitting the trails and venturing into the wilderness is something most 4x4 and off-road enthusiasts like to do as much as possible.
As with most hobbies, though, family commitments and obligations can often be an obstacle to getting out there and having fun. Fortunately, off-roading can actually be very family-friendly, and heading out with the kids in tow can end up being more rewarding than just going by yourself or with buddies.
And whether you're rocking a decked-out Rubicon, the family CUV or anything in between, there are a few pieces of gear that can come in very handy when venturing off-road with the family in tow.
Here are a few of our suggestions and why these items should be part of your setup.
Extra Batteries and Chargers
This is something that should really be part of your kit whether going with the family or going solo. Chances are everyone in your rig is going to have a device of some sort, and if you are spending a good amount of time away from home, they are gonna need some juice.
Depending on your vehicle, you might be pretty well set with charging setups for multiple passengers, but if not, we highly suggest adding that ability. And a good external battery source is also highly recommended as a backup whether off-roading solo or with the family.
“Are we there yet?” Off-roading may be more about the journey than the destination, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear that question while out on the trail.
Something like the OnX Off-Road app is a great solution that can not only be a tool for driving and route-planning but to help share the fun with the family. And if your kids are old enough, they can even lend a hand as a navigator while you to the wheeling.
Food and Drink Storage
If you have kids or have any experience with them, you’ll know they consume snacks and drinks at an insane rate. Frankly, kids spill enough stuff already on typical, flat city streets. Hitting bumpy trails have the potential to wreak havoc with spilled juice and dropped snacks.
That’s why we highly recommend proper storage for these items whether it's rear cupholders and vehicles not factory equipped or just durable, re-sealable containers for drinks and snacks.
“Rugged” Trash Bin
That brings us to our next recommendation, a proper waste bag. Whether it's the aforementioned snacks or dirt, mud and other types of waste, you’ll probably dealing with some garbage on your family off-road trip.
That’s why we recommend something like a “Caddycan” where trash can be cleanly and easily be stored before you throw it out. You certainly don’t want anyone littering, and you also don’t want pieces of trash to bounce around your interior, so something like this can be very valuable.
Kids Toys & Ride-Ons
Whenever I’m out exploring with my son, he enjoys the trip but eventually wants to get out and stretch and take in the sights. And rather than just arriving at the end of the trail and standing around for a little bit, why not pack some fun gear?
All-terrain bicycles, balance bikes and other outdoor toys are great things to include in your kit when out with the family, and a lot of these are so small that you can throw them in the back without needing external racks.
Rather than a burden, taking the family with you out on the trail can be one of the best things you can do—especially when everyone is looking for more bonding time and more time out in the “real world.”
And if you are looking to minimize stress and make the most of your family off-roading time, the above items could end up being worth their weight in gold.
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