What's In My Bag?

What we bring on water adventures!

Today I’m sharing what we bring on any adventure involving water – splash pad, rivers, wading spots, etc. 

This is different from my regular pool bag or for what I pack when we are staying at the beach. This is for day trips – like Patapsco State Park, Matapeake Beach, splash pads etc. Where it’s just me and the girls for a couple of hours near the water. 

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First – my backpack! I always use a backpack for these types of trips because they often involve some walking first, and I don’t want to be lugging a baby and a tote bag wherever I’m going – backpack makes it much easier to carry. I LOVE this backpack for several reasons: 

  1. It’s inexpensive
  2. It holds a TON!
  3. Comes in several cute colors/patterns
  4. Its lightweight and folds into a small pouch so its great for travel.
  5. Most importantly – it has a built-in wet bag! The wet bag is sewn into the back of the bag. Whenever we are done playing, I stuff the girls wet clothes/bathing suits into that section and it keeps it separate from the rest of the bag and everything else stays dry! You can buy wet bags separately, but I love not having to remember to pack one with this bag.

I have a different diaper bag for every day use, but this backpack is perfect for our bigger outings.

Venture Pal Lightweight Backpack

Microfiber Beach Towels

My friend recommended these to me and they are by far one of my most favorite pandemic discoveries. These are very different from regular beach towels but are SUCH a space saver in my bag that I don’t know if I’ll ever go back! They are the same dimensions as traditional beach towels, but they super thin, absorbent, and lightweight. 4 of these towels take up less space than one beach towel. Check out this comparison – 2 microfiber towels vs 2 standard beach towels!

My girls love them and they work great for drying off. Cannot recommend them enough! We have 3 different brands and like them all equally so I’ll link each below!

Great Bay Home Striped Print

CHARS Leaf Print (size Large)

QIK Labs Solid Blue (Size XL)

Water Shoes:

My girls wear Keens, Natives and Crocs. Keens we love for outings where there is going to be more walking or climbing (like if we are playing on a playground then hitting a splash pad, or hiking at Patapsco before wading in the river.)

Natives and Crocs we prefer for the pool and beach because they are easy to clean/rinse off and easier to slip on and off. My girls get blisters if they do a lot of walking in these so we use these when we know there isn’t much walking involved.


Native Jeffersons

Croc-style shoes

Sunscreen/Bug Spray

We never leave the house without sunscreen and bug spray, and this is especially important with any outing involving water. These are our preferred brands.

Banana Boat Simply Protect

Cutter Skinsations

Baby Powder 

Baby powder is an absolute MUST for removing sand from your kids after beach outings. I brush the bulk of the sand off and then use the baby powder to get the rest it dries the skin and the sand falls right off. 

Baby Powder (also available at the dollar store 🙂

Sun hat for baby

For any water adventure I always make sure I have a sun hat for the baby (my twins won’t keep their hats on anymore). Not only does it protect her from the sun, but I also find it great for the splash pad because any water that lands on her head doesn’t run right onto her face! This one from Ruffle Butts is by far our favorite one that we’ve owned. Its lightweight, waterproof material, dries quickly and stays put due to the adjustable drawstring. 

Ruffle Butts Sun Hat – $16

Swim Diapers:

While we own reusable swim diapers, I definitely prefer to use the disposable. I keep a few in the bag so we can change before the girls get wet. 

Huggies Little Swimmers

Bathing Suits:

We usually wear out bathing suits and I have the girls wear shorts or something over top if we are playing at a playground or walking before hitting the water. If you don’t wear them, don’t forget to pack them!

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