Written by Active Endeavors Ambassador: Greg Belville
Packing for the perfect day-trip with a toddler can be a pain.
Like many outdoor activities, the key is balancing the amount of weight you are willing to carry and how comfortable you want to be when you get there. We carry all of these things in our Burley with no extra bike bags.
Any blanket will do.
The key is that it is big enough to accomplish what you need. The Matador travel blanket that folds up to fit in your pocket. Its big enough for two adults to sit on if they don’t mind sharing their personal space and is the perfect size to change a diaper. We often take a fleece blanket that my grandma made. It is big enough for two adults to sit on with space for a child eat/play inbetween. This blanket also works well to help cover up the kid with if the ride gets a little chilly on the way home, or if he needs a pillow. If you want a bigger size without the weight Rumple and Mountain Hardware make great large, lightweight, warm, stuffable blankets.
We like the option to take chairs if we are going to a place we are going to be sitting listening to music (ie Jasper Winery music nights). The Helinox chair from Big Agnes is a comfy, sturdy, lightweight chair that packs up to a very reasonable size. We throw them on the bikes when we don’t have the child and the Burley. If the destination and situation are conducive we will take the hammock instead of the chair.
We have yet to figure out how to get a toddler to appreciate the virtue of hammock life.
A cheap, soft wall collapsible, lunch size cooler works great to pack in food and drinks. We usually fill ours with a sippy closeable cup with milk, a block of cheese, some kind of cured meat or summer sausage, fruits (bananas, apples) and veggies (snap peas, carrots, mini sweet peppers). We also fold up a couple of paper towels to put in the bottom to use as plates because they are way lighter and take up less space.
4. Liquid Vessel
Some sort of closable, insulated liquid vessel can help to carry whatever kind of liquids the adults don’t want to put in their water bottles. This also helps save space in your cooler.
5. Plastic Grocery Bags
Bring in bring out. We bring one of these to hold the trash from the meal and the dirty diapers. We bring another one to hold dirty or wet clothes, just in case. Kids are monsters.
6. Pocket Knife
Who has time to slice cheese or apples before you go on your ride. Not us. What if you are at a park and all of the sudden an impromptu recreation of the Beat It music video breaks out.
You’ll be happy you packed it.
7. Adventure Bag
We have a medium size bag (30L-ish) that we use to carry most of these things.
It’s always filled with diapers, wipes, the aforementioned bags and knife, change of clothes, jacket and cooler. It helps to get things from the house to the Burley and back again while trying to manage a toddler. Additionally, it helps to keep things organized with the limited space the Burley provides.
8. Riding Entertainment
We like to have something for the boy to do as he watches the world roll by or for when we get to our destination. We always pack a frisbee and a small ball in the back. Up front we take one book and let the kid pick out one toy.
Other Items to Consider
- Camera – if you don’t document your trip on instagram did you even go?
- Stuff jackets – relatively warm, relatively dry, stuffs into itself to make a nice pillow
- Jambox – some sort of blue-tooth music player to provide a soundtrack for your trip.
- Small kite – yep
- Hat – to cover up helmet hair
MOST IMPORTANT THING
Helmets. Everyone participating including the small person in the Burley please wear a helmet and protect your brains. There are lots of super helpful people that work at Local Bike Shops that can help you get the right fit and a good price, or the internet, or pretty much any store that has sporting goods.
Have Fun. Safe Travels.