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Great Uses for Stuff Sacks!

So much stuff! Every time we begin to think about packing up to go on a family adventure, I find myself overwhelmed by the amount of stuff and packing and trying to keep all of the kids gear organized. When my kids were babies, I started putting things into different stuff sacks – one for snacks, one for extra clothes, one for socks and underwear, one for toys…you get the idea.

My mom would always make fun of me because I had SO MANY bags but then she realized how well this method worked and started borrowing stuff sacks from me to use when she goes out of town.

As we were coming up the idea for our Lay and Play Adventure Mat, we thought, wouldn’t it be great if this play mat could fold small enough to put in a stuff sack and just toss in the stroller, diaper bag or car? Then we had the idea that other families might like some extra stuff sacks to help organize their gear.

The benefit of stuff sacks is that they are small and light and easily separate gear. When we have a full car, I love to keep a few things handy and close by in case we need them. It’s much easier to grab than digging through the whole car for what you need and is also great to keep really dirty or wet clothes separate from the rest of your stuff.

 A few of my favorite uses for stuff sacks:


Extra Clothes:
Once my kids got bigger, I tried to convince myself that we didn’t need extra clothes handy. But then I learned the hard way when they peed on their socks or fell in a mud puddle that it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have a change of clothes handy so you don’t have to unpack the whole car to get to their suitcase that is at the bottom of the pile to find new clothes.

Diapers and Wipes:
It is easy to pack a stuff sack with a few diapers, wipes and maybe an extra change of clothes for the littlest member of your family. I found I used this method a lot once we didn’t feel like we needed a full diaper bag, but still needed diapers. Remember: your Lay and Play Adventure mat can double as a changing pad too.

Adventure First Aid Kit:
Recently, I created a small first aid and medicine kit and keep it in a stuff sack, so it is easy to toss in the car for our adventures big or small. I keep this packed with the basics for cuts and scrapes and also include a pair of tweezers. I also have found it really useful to have antihistamine (for both kids and adults) and pain reliver on hand. We’ve had several times over the past year when someone needs one of these things and it makes it so easy to just grab the stuff sack. This has also made my packing to leave much easier. Since this is always packed and stocked, I know I can just grab it anytime and put in the car, then I don’t have to worry about digging through the medicine cabinet to make sure we have everything we need.

Sand/River/Dirt toys:
About a year ago, I started keeping two buckets and two shovels in a small stuff sack and just keeping that stuff sack in the car. There have been so many times when we’ve stopped for a short break and I’ve just handed the kids the stuff sack and they sit down and start digging in the dirt or playing in a river. Once we’re done, we shake them off and put them back in the stuff sack. Then the sand or dirt stays in the bag. Remember you can easily throw the stuff sack in the wash when you get home.

The ideas for using stuff sacks for adults are endless too: 

  • Organizing when packing for a trip - use them for your underwear, socks or to separate clean/dirty clothes.
  • Put your puffy jacket inside one to create an on-the-go pillow. 
  • Keep an extra pair of shoes in your luggage to keep your clothes clean. 

You can easily roll down the top of our stuff sacks to adjust to the size you need.