The stay at home dad gig is not one to approach under-equipped. A simple trip to the store can turn into an afternoon of cleaning carseats while sleepy and upset children watch. I learned quickly to be prepared for everything and anything.
In the beginning my gear was a simple diaper bag. Which was fine for the 30 minute treks out of the house, but was entirely inadequate for anything longer. For trips to the Children’s Museum, Zoo, or weekend trips to the cabin a larger set of gear was required. The diaper bag also had the “black hole” purse effect of swallowing the sought after item and not reveling it without a complete dump. I slowly transitioned from a traditional diaper to my more manly “Go-Bag.”
Stating with the bag itself. The SwissGear Ibex Computer backpack. In the past, I used it to carry stuff to and from work and hold assorted items for weekend trips. With three main compartments, three small zipper pockets, two elastic mesh sleeves, one padded computer slot, heavy duty handle, and padded shoulder straps it has excelled in its new life as my glorified diaper bag.
Shoved into the elastic sleeves on the side of the bag are the quick clean up products. The travel sized Wet Ones and kleenex are from the impulse buy section of Target, although you could get them in bulk as well. The Gold Bond hand sanitizer is my choice hand sanitizer. Kills germs AND keeps your hands from getting dried out.
Inside the middle zippered pouch lives the heart of the diaper bag. Travel diaper wipes (great for wiping everything from spilled food to dirty bottoms), pacifier wipes, changing pad from my previous bag, Arm and hammer disposable bags (for holding all sorts of foul smelling things), diaper cream, and 4 diapers in a waterproof ditty bag.
In the large zippered compartment is the expanded gear in three bags. The middle bag is another waterproof ditty bag and holds a complete change of clothes for both kids as well as a fresh shirt for mom and dad. Last for this pocket I have a thin blanket (Not Pictured).
Inside the eBags Slim Lunch Box, now referred to as “The Snack Pack”, are teddy grahams, animal crackers, granola bar, juice box, empty bottle, travel sized formula pouches, a variety of pouched baby food, and a simple bib. Its enough food to get through snack time, nothing needs to be cold, and can be ready in a matter of moments.
The last bag in the line up is the Maxpedition Beefy and serves as my First Aid bag. Sunscreen, Bandaids, alcohol wipes, sprayable Neosporin, lotion, purell, travel Advil and Tylenol (For Dad Mostly), Q-Tips, and a Tide-To-Go pen are strapped in. This is my newest addition and still needs a little work. The Q-tips haven’t served a purpose yet and the stains on my clothes laugh at the meager tide pen.
The front pocket holds a few odds and ends. A Maglite Mini, assortment of sharpies and pen, and couple reusable twist ties are always useful. I have a square reader because its free and the ability to get paid via credit card swipes is useful. The Jackery Battery ensures that my phone will never be dead in a moment on need. Although I have my eye on an Aukey Quick Charge Battery to replace it. It offers a larger battery with 2 charging ports.
(Not Pictured) Disposable Rain Poncho
In the last few pockets are charging cords, a wall charger, a spare set of headphones, various toys, nook clip, spare nook, coloring book, and markers.
Fully loaded the backpack weighs 12.5 pounds and can keep the kids and adults clean, fed, and entertained for long excursions or roadtrips. For shorter trips to the store it mostly stays in the car.
Putting the Go-Bag together also inspired me to update my everyday carry pocket gear as well.
Always in my pocket
A flowfold slim wallet holds 4 cards, fishing license, sandwich punch cards, a couple bills and one check blank. My trusty Kershaw Cryo and homemade paracord bracelet are always handy. A Field Notes pocket notebook with Parker Jotter pen for my todo and grocery lists. Moto360 for time, hands-free notifications, timers, and reminders. Finally Nexus 6, because large screen, beefy battery, and stock Android is where its at.
I also have Bluetooth Earphones but I have yet to find a durable set to recommend. These are great for taking a call while not having to drop everything in my hands.
Last, the Maxpedition Micro. It goes into a pocket on the way out the door. It has everything I’d use outside the house while not needing the Go-Bag.
The most used item are the Princess bandaids. Other items include Arm and hammer disposable bag, nail trimmer, Leatherman Juice S2, pocket screwdriver, GSX flashlight, earplugs, Bic mini, and a couple more reusable twist ties.
Thats it. The collection is constantly changing though. The toys and snacks get swapped out constantly so neither gets boring. Every month or so I reinventory and remove stuff that hasn’t seen any use.
I’ve include links to most of the items here. Be on the lookout because they are constantly going on sale. Don’t buy them at full price. Price check often.