Backpack essentials for road trips and outdoor adventures

After over a year of staying home, people are eager to start exploring places both near and far again. Mother Nature offers ample opportunity for adventure, with outdoor recreation activities to suit every personality. Whether you’re planning a road trip across the country or opting for a local day trip, you can ensure you’re ready for a memorable experience outside by packing wisely.

Be proactive about sun protection

Few things are better than the smell of fresh air and the warm feeling of the sun on your skin. However, too much sun can cause sunburn, heat exhaustion or worse. No matter the outdoor activity, it’s important to take proper sun protection steps.

Start by dressing in light layers, which can not only help you stay comfortable as temperatures change throughout the day, but also serve as protection from the sun. Clothing made from cotton is a good option because it is lightweight and breathable. A hat that protects the eyes and face is a must-have, as well as UV-blocking sunglasses.

Of course, make sure to add sunscreen to your travel bag and reapply regularly throughout the day. The American Cancer Society recommends using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 and reapplying it every two hours, or more frequently when swimming or sweating.

Stay fueled and hydrated

From the beach to the mountains and beyond, having wholesome snacks and drinks on hand helps maintain energy levels so you can fully enjoy any outdoor activity. Pack a reusable water bottle and make sure you have enough to stay hydrated in the summer sun. As for snacks, the best backpack options are easily portable, don’t require refrigeration and are full of protein and nutrients to keep you satisfied for long periods of time.

A good example is new Nature’s Heart Crunch nut cluster snacks, a delicious, no-sugar-added snack option featuring protein-rich nuts, seeds and beans, with three varieties offering 6 grams or more of protein per serving; bold spices bursting with flavor and health benefits; and functional superfoods, all slow-baked together in a sugar-free glaze. Each bag is easily packable and resealable, making them the ideal companion for outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to rock climbing and mountain biking. All flavors are non-GMO, Keto certified, certified vegan and gluten-free. Learn more at us.naturesheart.com.

“These superfood and nut cluster snacks feature a range of globally-inspired flavors to satisfy every craving,” said Nature’s Heart Co-Founder, David Bermeo. “For warm and spicy with a touch of sweet, try Golden Chai Pecan Crunch. For a fresh, bright and fruity flavor with a touch of Himalayan Pink Salt, the Blueberry Lemon Chia Crunch is sure to please. The Everything Bagel Cashew Crunch is a guilt-free way to enjoy the savory bagel taste you crave.”

Get the gear

Comfort is key to enjoying the great outdoors. If your exploration will get you up close to Mother Nature, pack clothing and accessories that are easy to wash if they get dirty. You’ll also need the right apparel, like proper footwear for all day play. Feet may get wet or sweaty, so consider socks made with moisture-wicking wool to avoid blisters.

Finally, the flora and fauna are some of the best parts of exploring the world around you, but keep in mind that includes bugs. Avoid wearing strong perfumes or heavily scented deodorants that may attract insects on adventure day and bring your preferred bug repellent in your bag to ward off bites.

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