Organize that Adventure, Mama!

Despite my absolute best intentions of being completely organized, planning ahead and remembering everything, this family can get a bit crazy.  We are very often traveling long distances by car (because of our geographical location) and, when you have young kids (or even old kids??) “emergencies” are a given.  Food runs out, clothes get wet, accidents (yes, even the REALLY messy kind) happen and restaurants take WAY too long to deliver food.

Over the past few months, in the midst of the aforementioned craziness that keeps on getting crazier, I have been looking for ways to simplify our adventures.  I knew there HAD to be someway to avoid the “bomb” going off in the minivan that literally takes days for me to get through after a busy weekend.  Last winter, I wrote a post about how Transpack Ski Bags helped out winter gear (if you ski at all, check it out – those bags=ski season sanity.)  This fall, I am pleased to show off a couple other systems I found that have seemed to help around here (and believe me, we could use all the help we can get!)

Psssttt…make sure to read all the way to the end for a generous coupon code from SugarSNAP and a giveaway from Overland Equipment!

1. SugarSNAP Files and Go-Car System  “Hey Sugar, it’s just STUFF.  Let’s organize it. Now go. Play!” 

The brainchild of two moms of twins, Stacy and Tarah came to the conclusion that there just HAD to be a better way than the “bermuda triangle” of “normal” diaper bags.  They came out with a fabulous system that has saved my own sanity over the past few weeks again and again and again (actually, more than I care to admit!)  Their systems are not only functional, but also fashionable and multi-purpose.

Car-Go System $59

Hands down, my favorite of the two for this stage of my life.  I depend on the things that I need being in my car (and there is no way that ALL those things would fit in any diaper bag.)  Along with a matching bin, the Car-Go comes with six different “files” (AKA zippered, mesh bags) that help organize and a great check-list to help you think of everything as you fill them.

 

 

  • Toys + Trinkets: The bag that goes in with us most places, especially restaurants
  • Snacks + Supplies: The bag that needs replenishing most often
  • Lotions + Potions: Especially helpful in the summer when I just can’t manage to remember our sunscreen
  • Dipes + Wipes:  Self-explanatory, comes in SUPER handy.
  • Shirts + Socks:  For when the boys just happen to jump in a lake (this happens a lot…) and need dry clothes
  • Blank/Parent’s Choice: Dog leash, dog-poo bags, a pen, notepad, etc.

While I wish it fit better between the back captain seats of our car, it squeezes between the dog kennel and J’s seat and is accessible when needed (and out of the way when not!)  While I originally imagined the Car-Go to be my hands-off emergency stash, I have been saved numerous times from uncomfortable situations (screaming kids because I didn’t bring enough food, super wet kids thanks to major accidents or an unexpected irresistible body of water, grumpy kids who had to wait and wait and wait in doctor’s offices, etc.)  In fact, I am honestly reaching into it nearly daily.

The best part?  I have complete peace of mind knowing that when I am running super late or our day on the mountain ended up being MUCH later than we expected, I have things covered.  Once you have everything packed (and remember to re-stock) – you are set and ready to go.  Besides the filled Files, I also have room for my Patemm Pad and BobaAir.

sugarSNAP Files $44

The original idea (the Car-Go came later) – files that fit into most diaper bags (they did extensive research to be sure!) that plain and simple, keep things organized!  The five files come with similar named tabs as the Car-Go (though trade out “Toys + Trinkets” for “Me + Mine” and no “blank” 6th one).  They are slightly smaller than the Car-Go files and are also sized appropriately for what they will be holding.  A GREAT idea for new parents, we have used these more in our bike trailer.  Our “second car” the trunk easily fills up with absolutely no rhyme or reason.  SugarSNAP helps.  A lot.

Additionally, all the files can be clipped together (or not) so you can take or leave whatever combination of them suits you that day.  Genius!

 

 

2.  Overland Equipment’s Sierra Bag $8“Live Actively.  Organize Accordingly.” 

I have been a fan of Overland Equipment bags for years.  I carry their bags daily and they just don’t.wear.out.  They hold well (and put up with the abuse I demand of them), wash well, and adventure well.  My kind of bag!

The Sierra also just happens to be the perfect bag for holding kid stuff now and my own stuff later.  The Files, our water bottles, our jackets, and whatever else we need fit perfectly.  While it isn’t big enough to pack for an overnight bag (at least for me), a small laptop, tablet will fit with room left over for books, clothing, etc.  This is the bag I use now on a daily basis (along with my Overland Equipment purse) – I throw whatever sugarSNAP Files I need for the day in and am set to go.

The $85 is worth every penny when you are dealing with a bag that will hold up for years and years and years.

I reviewed the “Blackberry” color, which was actually much darker than I expected.  However, the color is great for hiding dirt so you can go longer before throwing it in the washer!  The front pocket opens up with space for keeping a cell phone, your keys (on a lanyard) and anything else you need to grab quickly.  On either side are water bottle pockets (again, easy access.)

 

 

 

 

Get your own!

1. SugarSNAP has generously offered you a 20% discount on all of their products.  Go to their site and use the code “mountainmama” at checkout.  Good until 11/1/12!

NEW! We are also now giving away a Car-Go System through Facebook!  Check out our page and see the post pinned to the top on how to enter to win!

2.  Overland Equipment has agreed to give away one of their Sierra Bags!  To enter to win, just use the Rafflecopter Widget below (if you just see the words “A Rafflecopter Giveaway”, click on it to get to the widget!)  Questions/issues?  Feel free to email me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com

a Rafflecopter giveaway

SugarSNAP and Overland Equipment generously provided me this gear for review.  However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly my own.

© 2012, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Amelia lives with her husband and three young children in Yellowstone National Park. As a family, they believe that life is precious, short and should be lived to the fullest. That includes introducing a life of adventures for their boys in the form of skiing, hiking, biking, running, camping and lots of outdoor playing. Amelia writes at Tales of a Mountain Mama in an attempt to inspire others to get outside daily too with tips and tricks, stories and lots of gear reviews.

Comments

  1. To organize winter gear, I have bins in the front closet for hats and gloves. Skis and snowshoes are grouped by kind on the wall of the garage.

  2. We always leave a large diaper bag packed with lots of pullups, wipes and a change of clothes for Baby Girl in the car and we use a small bag to take with us into restaurants and stores. The Car-Go System would really organize this better than what we are currently using. And I’m thinking that 1 of the little file bags could be are take inside bag.

  3. Chris Widlund says:

    I love love love organization. I created my own storage bags for the back of our CRV. But there is no question that the car go system would be the perfect addition to my current system.

  4. Anna Skillman says:

    I try to make a point to restock our diaper bag when we get home from being out and put it right next to the door ready to go again. We are usually too rushed to do it as we are leaving for the next adventure.

  5. I like the overland Equipment bag. I’m past the point of wanting to drag a diaper bag with me but still need something I can pack a spare set of clothing, snacks, and wipes.

  6. Christena says:

    I plan ahead to keep organized….everything in it’s place, easy to find, lists made, things prepacked (snacks, change of clothes, etc). Last minute running around doesn’t work for this mama!

  7. Jenny Phillips says:

    I use the Overland Equipment Donner bag as my daily bag. It fits my kids’ emergency meds that I have to carry everywhere we go. It has just enough room to organize my own daily necessities. I would love to win a Sierra bag for longer day trips when we need to bring along snacks, jackets, etc.

  8. To organize hat, scarfs, and hats, I simply use an over the door shoe organizer and place each set of the article of clothing in each slot.

  9. I have the over the door shoe organizer in the room housing all our “gear”. It has hats, mittens, ice grippers, neck warmers and other “little gear” that seems to get lost. This helps me be organized and not forget these little items. It also keeps these things off of the floor and getting lost!

  10. We have bins for everything. A camping kitchen bin, backpacking bin, camping crafts bin…etc. So we can throw in the car and go! http://kidproject.org/2011/11/21/tips-for-getting-out-the-door/

  11. In our coat closet we have a shoe organizer with slots for everyone’s hats, gloves, scaarves, etc. It starts out great, but I haven’t firgures out how to get teenage boys to put their things back to make it easier to find!

  12. Lately I’ve just decided to plow through the stuff I don’t really feel like doing in order to stay better organized. If that means rearranging or cleaning out or whatever I know in the end it will be worth it.

  13. LOVE the files for the truck of the Chariot… I’ve found stuff back there I thought I lost months ago. Messy cars drive me a little bit crazy, so I’ll be looking into the SugarSNAP for sure!

  14. I’m not organized! I think it’s best to put those outdoor items away each day. Otherwise they get left out too long and get rain/sun damage.

  15. We try to keep everything in pouches and a tote if we’re car camping. I have a list that I tape to the inside of the lid to remind me what needs to be re-stocked and what can be re-used each time we go out! The pouches are great because they allow me to search for things in one small area, rather than in a large heaping mess :)

  16. Ann Fischer says:

    I use Planet Earth reusable bags quite often! Not only for cloth diapers and wipes! but for snacks, wet clothes, etc. I try to keep a simple organizational system in my stylish :) Peabody “diaper bag,” but that “BOMB” in the car is inevitable! I’d love this giveaway!

  17. I try to do things as soon as the thought occurs to me or I’ll forget

  18. Laura Ellingson says:

    I really like this car-go idea. It would really come in handy with all the running for my older boys I do and help keep the babe entertained all the while. It is really necessary for me to have the essentials right at my finger tips. I have a 31 bag that was given to me and like the versatility of it however it is tall and deep not allowing me to get in and get what I need very quickly if we are packed for the day! Of course by the end of the day we have moved half of the items out and are now floating about in the van getting lost, dirty and broken!

  19. Because we like to be spontaneous, the biggest thing to get us out the door quickly is to have lists, always have the equipment clean and organized, and to use bins/bags designated for certain items.

  20. Sarah Austin says:

    Two words…plastic containers! I have been trying realy hard to keep camping gear organized so the process of packing is not stressful. Besides the benefits of keeping it all in one place, but things also stay dry even in a downpour and nosy animals are kept out. Luckily we have a huge vehicle, I use alot of containers.

  21. I try to keep things organized by having bags with lots of pockets – and usually I know where everything is – but my poor husband has to hunt through each one to find anything :(. I also try to repack and refill the diaper bag as soon as we get home from an outing, that way if I’m ever running late or anything I don’t have to worry about being without something we desperately need. These two products look fantastic for type A personalities like myself :)

  22. ooh!! I <3 awesome rugged bags with a serious passion!!

    I organize by keeping every little project in a separate bag-if they are similar projects, they each have a folder. For instance, I have my work-on-the-beach bag with meter tapes, clipboard, and pencils; my ballet class bag with all the requisite tights, hairpins, warmups and sewing kit; my have-fun-on-the-beach bag with all that jazz; and my go-to-meetings bag with laptop, planner, and a folder for each project (currently 4 but soon to be 5). I need a new one for meetings as its totally been through the grind. :)

  23. Love the Overland bag! My favorite feature is the side pockets for the water bottles – would be great for taking to soccer games on the weekends!

  24. NeKisha Rowe says:

    I am not that organized, but I am learning out of necessity. I am learning to love planners that I can throw in my bag that lets me write down lists of things to gather or prepare for before a trip. This may be an obvious one, but I think it is good for even little children to have a backpack or a tote bag they can pack with things to occupy themselves why traveling that they are responsible for. That takes some of the burden off of me and can teach them to be a real help.

  25. We are always traveling. If it is going back to Idaho or traveling for Kirk’s (spouse) job. We are always on the go. With 3 kids we never stay put very long. Traveling 5 hours for a football game these would be so handy for treats and crayons. What great ideas people have to make life easier.

  26. We have tons of very organized shelving in our garage

  27. I have somehow gotten very unorganized…too much stuff I guess. I could really use some help actually!

  28. I have all our seasonal items organized by plastic bins in our home. My daily bag which is my diaper bag, I have prepped for my youngest. But realized I should have an extra outfit packed for my oldest as well. I just don’t have the room in the back for it all. So I need to find something to organize and keep needed items in our car as well as a bigger bag.

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