You’re not always hiking and backpacking, as much as you wish you were. What’s in the bag – your day bag – the one that gets you from home to work to the trail, or from kids to soccer to weekend getaway, that makes it easy to move from here to there. This begins a series from some SBM contributors that answers that question. So what’s in your day bag?

Tell us about your survival kit. 

 Alyssa Erickson
My survival kit is actually in the form of a backpack that is compact, durable, and allows me to be “hands-free”. I’m already in need of more hands since I have with three kids, I don’t need to be hassling with ‘stuff.’
The two backpacks I use depends on what “hat” I am wearing for the day. The Teton Sports Summit 1500 is my go-to bag for skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, summiting mountains, or simple trips to the zoo with my kids. It is incredibly versatile; built like a full frame backpack, but the size of a day pack. When I have my photographer “hat” on, in addition to being a mom, the best I’ve found is the LowePro Sport 200 AW. It is so comfortable, and has a modest compartment at the bottom for my camera and two lenses. The top is enough room for all your layers, snacks, etc. This bag has served me well from park bench to fourteener.


What are your 10 essentials? 
  1. 3L Hydration Bladder (Platypus, doesn’t ever leak), not just for outdoor pursuits either. When you have an always-thirsty-band-of-kids swarming around you it is genius to just shove a hose at them. And lets face it, they need water even after an hour at the park!
  2. Camera in some shape or size (I am a mom, come on!).
  3. Extra diaper goes right in the front pocket. Now that we moved onto potty training it is a PullUp.
  4. An extra set of pants and underwear for which ever kid is going to need them. Socks too, if hiking near water.
  5. Snacks. Granola bars and gummies= instant sugar for any trail melt-downs.
  6. One warm layer per person. Some days it is a fleece, some days a rain jacket.
  7. Sunscreen
  8. Sun hats / Winter Hats
  9. If I bringing my DSLR – my most versatile lens; Tamron SP 17-50mm
  10. Extra camera battery/memory card


What are the most frequently used items in your kit? 
Definitely the Hydration bladder/water, snacks and camera. The first two for obviously reasons. And the camera is pretty obvious if you knew the quantity of photos I take. What I wished I was more faithful at using? The sunscreen!
If you could add one more thing, what would it be?
A travel pack of wipes. I ALWAYS need them. ALWAYS forget them. And ALWAYS have to borrow them. Oh and small plastic bag for the dirty wipes, snack trash and dirty clothes, should I need it.
Alyssa Erickson 2

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