Time spent outdoors doesn’t have to be all about multi-day trips and long-distance hikes. A visit to your local green space can be just as relaxing and, in some cases, much more accessible.
Whether you’re taking a quick after-work getaway or spending an entire day in the sun, we’ve rounded up our favorite gear to keep you hydrated, organized, and entertained. You can make getting outdoors part of your daily routine by exploring and celebrating your neighborhood parks.
Heading off for a long afternoon at the park? The Pack-Away portable tote makes it easy to carry all the essentials. You can store games, snacks, blankets, diapers, water, sunscreen and more in this spacious 45 liter bag. The drawstring top secures your gear while traveling, whether you stow the tote in the floor of your vehicle or throw it over your shoulder. Featuring a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish, the easy-to-clean construction will last you season after season of fun in the sun. $79.95
There isn’t always an easy way to fill up on water during a day outdoors, that’s where it Stanley Quencher can be useful. This tall 30 ounce tumbler features a full lid, drinking opening and straw opening with a seal to prevent spills when sipping on the go. Although the cup holds nearly a liter of liquid, the base shrinks to fit most car cup holders. Double-walled vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold for hours, so you can stay refreshed on sweltering summer afternoons. $35
Pack cool snacks and cool drinks for the entire crew in this spacious hard-sided cooler from Igloo. With 49 liters of capacity, you can host a full-fledged outdoor happy hour. The lid features four self-draining cup holders, so the cooler doubles as a mini table for you and your friends. And you can feel good about your purchase knowing that parts of this cooler are made with post-consumer recycled resin, a material made from recycled plastic. Don’t forget to throw a ice pack in the freezer overnight and you’ll be ready to relax. $59.95
On the busiest days, maybe all you can do is take a short walk in the park. You don’t need a full bag or tote, just something big enough to carry the essentials. THE Quick mini-pack Since Topo Drawings is the perfect companion for a quick getaway outdoors. Strap it around your waist to carry keys, phone and snacks, keeping your hands free while walking the dog. Attach a bike light (not included) to an attached loop for rides after the sun goes down. It’s available in five color combinations, from classic black to funky multi-color designs. $49
On a long day in the sun, protecting your skin is non-negotiable. A water-resistant lotion with a high SPF like Mineral Sunscreen from Sunburn is our go-to for active days in the elements. This hypoallergenic, mineral-based lotion is gentle on sensitive skin while providing excellent UVA/UVB protection. Slip the 3 ounce bottle into your bag for easy reapplication throughout the day. Our only caveat: this sunscreen leaves a white coating on the skin upon application, but it should fade over time. An alternative is this mineral tinted one by Raw elements. $17.50 for Sun Bum; $18.95 for raw items
Protect your eyes and face from the sun with this lightweight, packable hat from REI Cooperative. The fabric has a UPF rating of 50+ and the design includes side ventilation holes, so you can stay cool while avoiding harmful UVA/UVB rays. When the sun hides behind the clouds, stow the hat in its own side pocket before clipping it to your backpack or stowing it in your jacket pocket. Bonus: A sweatband inside the cap keeps sweat drips at bay on those really hot days. $26.95
Join in a game of pick-up soccer or ultimate Frisbee in these sweat-wicking tops from Vuori. Both t-shirts feature a comfortable, relaxed fit and come in a variety of colors, making them great options for transitioning from an outdoor workout to happy hour in the park with friends. Did we mention we’re all about sun protection? These tops have a fabric that protects your skin from the sun’s rays. Associate them with the REI Packable Cap And Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreenand you’ll be ready for a radiant day outdoors. $58, women; $54, men
Heading out for an evening bonfire at the local beach? Stargazing in a nearby park? Don’t forget to pack an extra layer. Stay warm in Trailmade Jacket when the fun continues after the sun goes down. Zippered hand pockets easily stash a phone or snacks for a quick stroll, and the recycled polyester fleece is soft to the touch. With several fun color combinations and patterns, it’s easy to find a style you’ll love. $59.95
Stretch out on the grass with a cozy, colorful blanket of Rumpl. This puffy blanket will last season after season of outdoor adventure thanks to a durable ripstop polyester shell and DWR finish that make the fabric resistant to water, dirt, odors, stains and even pet hair. animals. And it’s over six feet long, so you can share it with all your friends on your next outdoor outing. Another advantage: the synthetic blanket is easy to wash in a front-loading washing machine. $125
Enjoy a peaceful afternoon in the park with your favorite novel and the Hex 2.0 chair Since crazy stream. You don’t have to sacrifice comfort with this lightweight lounger, which weighs 1 pound 4.8 ounces. And don’t worry about dirt stains or wet grass; the durable ripstop nylon outer shell is water resistant and easy to clean. The attached roll-up strap and hanging loop allow you to store the chair in a tote bag or attach it to a backpack while on the go. $64.95
Let the natural world inspire your artistic side with this portable watercolor kit. It includes everything but water – including a refillable brush, crayons, marker and palettes – so you can draw and paint local flora and fauna. Pack the entire kit in the included drawstring bag for easy transportation to your favorite green space. $28.95
Keep it tasty and simple with a one-ingredient snack. Whether you choose apricots, peaches or white nectarines, each 4-ounce packet contains 100% dried fruit and nothing more. If you’re wondering how this dried snack got its name: All Good morning! I am ugly products are made from imperfect fruit that would otherwise be discarded. So you can enjoy a delicious treat while helping to minimize waste. Stash them in your backpack for a quick energy boost on your next walk in the park. $5.95