I Made an “Adventure Box” for Spontaneous Summer Fun — Here’s What’s in It

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A box of items including bug spray, a bathing suit, and a beach towel
Credit: Abigail Fallon

“Where did the summer go?” I find myself asking this question nearly every fall, lamenting all the summer fun I wanted to have, but didn’t. I love the outdoors, but sometimes it’s hard to plan for swimming, hiking, rafting, picnicking, hosting bonfires, and all the other fun things there are to do when the weather is nice.

This summer, I decided to set myself up for success and assemble an “adventure box” for my car. I got the idea from TikTok user Aubrey, who recently shared a video tour of the adventure box she keeps in her car. I opted for a smaller container than the one she used because I live in an urban setting with street parking, so I won’t be leaving my adventure box in my car overnight. Still, I was able to fit in everything I need for a summer well-spent.

Here’s what I included in my adventure box.


Sport sandals are perfect for water activities, walks, and short hikes. I swear by Teva Hurricane XLT2s, which come in a variety of fun colors and patterns.

A Hydration Pack 

Hydration is paramount — especially if you live in a hot climate. I take my Camelbak Hydrobak Light Hydration Pack on all kinds of adventures, from road trips to hikes to kayaking excursions. It holds 50 ounces of water and has a convenient side pocket where you can store a few small essentials.

A Small Dry Bag 

I find it helpful to have a dry bag that’s just large enough to fit my phone and car key and has a lanyard attached, like this one. It’s perfect for water activities and rainy days, and it even allows you to take photos without getting your phone wet.

A Large Towel

You can’t go wrong with a quick-drying microfiber beach towel. This Dock & Bay one is large enough to double as a picnic blanket, and it’s super lightweight.

A Swimsuit 

Swimsuits are essential for summer fun, whether you’re headed to the pool or taking a last-minute trip to a local swimming hole. I chose this one-piece swimsuit from Target because it’s cute but stays in place when I’m active.

A Warm Layer 

It’s easy to get chilly after a swim or when you’re hanging out outdoors at night, so I included my favorite quarter-zip pullover. A cozy sweatshirt or jacket would work well, too.

Socks and Underwear

You never know when an extra pair of socks or underwear might come in handy. I love Smartwool socks because they’re comfortable and sweat-wicking, and I picked a neutral pair of underwear that can go with anything.


Sun protection is a must, which is why I included this Coppertone SPF 50 sport sunscreen. This formula is sweat-, heat-, and water-resistant, which makes it great for all kinds of activities.

Bug Spray

Being outside is fun, but going home covered in mosquito bites isn’t. I use this insect repellent because it’s effective and non-greasy.

A Mini First Aid Kit 

Accidents happen, and it’s best to be prepared when they do. This mini first aid kit contains hand wipes, gauze pads, and Band-Aids, and it’s small enough to fit in a purse or a hydration pack like the one I mentioned above.

With these items in tow, I can be ready for almost any kind of spontaneous adventure, whether it involves sun, sand, water, or land. Plus, it allows me to keep my outdoor essentials in one place, which is infinitely better than gathering them each time I head out the door.