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How to plan outdoor family activities this summer!

By: Zenovia Stephens + Save to a List

This article is sponsored by Natrapel



My family has always been big on spending time together. From the moment my oldest son was born, planning how we can best utilize our time has been a priority.

As the boys get older, make friends, and develop their interests, it becomes challenging to find activities that speak to everyone. We've learned to pair activities together for the best impact, which allows us to meet various interests at once.

This past Mother's Day, we had a family picnic by the river. Activities for the day included fishing, paddle boarding, and frisbee, and went over well with our entire group. Preparing for a long day of outdoor recreation comes with planning and packing for success.

Our Mother's Day picnic.



Make sure you have enough fuel to keep everyone going, fluid to ward off dehydration, and gear for activities. You also need to be ready to handle exposure to the elements. 

Bring a good sunscreen that will protect your family's skin from issues that typically arrive once the day is over. We pack insect repellent that allows us to co-exist with the bugs so we're excited to get outside instead of dreading getting bit. 

Since we'd be hanging out around water all day - a breeding ground for many bugs - it was an excellent opportunity to try Natrapel Lemon Eucalyptus Eco-Spray.

Natrapel insect repellent comes in various sizes for easy travel and at-home use.

First impressions

I first noticed that the insect repellent was easy to apply. The spray came out nice and even with a continuous mist that made the application fast. With a high-energy group of kids, I love when we can quickly take care of business and get back to what brought us out.

As I applied the repellent to each kid and myself, I couldn't help but lock in on the smell. Unless they're odorless, most repellents smell like chemicals. I found the scent of Natrapel to be fresh, light, and easy on the nose. The kids were unsure of the natural smell but didn't mind once it dried..

Natrapel sprays nice and evenly.

I was surprised to see how well the repellent dried on both our skin and clothes. The primary bug-fighting ingredient is the oil of lemon eucalyptus, so I expected to see and feel residual oil. It was great moving throughout the rest of our day without that sticky bug spray feeling.

We sprayed Natrapel on our clothes to prevent bugs from biting through the fabric. It didn't leave a residue!

How did it hold up?

Natrapel did everything the packaging said it would do and was gentle on our skin. As a family with multiple skin sensitivity issues, we seek out naturally derived products with high hopes they'll also be effective. This one hits the mark! 

It's made with CDC-recommended plant-based ingredients and provided perfect protection from mosquitos during our 5.5 hours outside. My kids also tested how well the spray could protect against ticks as they explored the tall grass along the river banks while waiting for dad to prepare fishing rods.

Paddle boarding with no mosquitos bothering us!

Success all around

Overall, we had a great day. Our strategy for pairing various activities worked well, and I noticed each kid engaged in something they wouldn't when presented as the only choice. It also meant mom, AKA me, had a chance to relax because all the boys' interests were piqued, and no one spent the day fighting off bugs.

Fishing in the river.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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