One of my favorite things about Fall in Tennessee, besides the beautiful trees and their changing colors, is the weather. It is just cool enough that you can snuggle up in your favorite hoodie, in front of a bonfire and roast marshmallows, but not so cold that it is unbearable.
The mild fall weather lends itself perfectly to one of my very favorite family activities... adventuring. Our adventures usually don't have a specific destination, no rhyme or reason. I like to pile up the heathens in the backseat of the car and just go "exploring". The best part of our adventures, is usually the journey...Dad is captain, I am navigator (and keeper of all things important) and the poor teens are just along for the ride, stuck in the back, kind of like Statler & Waldorf, (the two guys in the balcony on The Muppet Show) heckling Dad and I as we reminisce over the "good old days"... before we were parents of two teenagers.
Our adventures are very low-key, we usually end up just driving through the nature park near our house. It's miles and miles of ups and downs and twisty, turny, narrow roads that are very heavily wooded. Often, we will get out and look at the deer, other times, we will use our geocaching app and look for hidden treasures.
Geocaching is kind of like the techy guy's version of the TV show "American Pickers", where those two guys go around looking through old people's barns and find stuff to sell. For geocaching all you need is a smart phone with the app installed and a sense of adventure. Honestly, you'd be surprised at all the crazy, cool stuff that is out there, just waiting for you to find it.
The best thing about adventuring is that there are no rules! I'll be the first to admit, I am not the most organized person in the world. I am flighty and random and I like to do things on a whim, but it works for me. So when I get the notion to strike out on an adventure, I need things to be quick and handy and the first thing I usually grab is snacks and drinks.
I usually just pick up a few random things off the counter, shove them in a bag and GO, which is all fine and good until you get about 5 miles into the park and realize all you packed, for your whole family to eat, is 2 bananas, a baggie of Cheerios and a butterscotch Snack Pack... with no spoon.
This is where you begin to pray to the Gods that you don't run into any crazy, nature park living, axe murdering, hobos who will kill you, unless you have the usual picnic fare of sammies and chips. Seriously, how bad would it be, to be known as the family that was brutally murdered because of your poor picnic packing skills.
Instead of becoming tonight's breaking story on the evening news, make a quick pit stop at your local WalMart, grab some hoagies, chips and a few Capri Sun Big Pouch drinks, at only .88 cents a piece for singles or 3.28 for a four pack, they are cheaper than soda and better for you as well and with three flavors, Maui Cooler, Fruit punch and Strawberry Kiwi, there's sure to be a flavor that even your pickiest teen will love.
I love the larger size of the new CapriSun Big Pouch and the top is amazing (and probably designed by a Mom). It is resealable and it can be attached to a carabiner or backpack, which is amazing, because we all know teenagers lose EVERYTHING!
After you've got your drinks and snacks taken care of, you'll need to make sure you have the proper tools for your trip. Every good adventurer needs the right supplies in their adventure kit. In mine, I usually keep a few basic essentials...
Maui Cooler Capri Sun Big Pouch (the boy's favorite), Gloves to protect your hands from sharp brush and whatnot, camera to snap pics of the memories and any treasures that may be too big to bring home, a flashlight, just in case your adventure leads you to dark places, a resource guide written by Mike Wolfe, creator and star of American Pickers on History and of course you'll need a sturdy bag to hold all your treasures.
I absolutely love this bag, available at Terracycle.com, it is made from recycled Capri Sun drink pouches. and one just like it, full of all these adventure essentials (minus the camera) could be yours, if you are one of the 100 lucky winners in the Capri Sun Big Pouch and American Pickers contest.
One grand prize winner and three of his or her friends will get to fly to Nashville (I'll meet you at the airport, if you want) and spend half the day doing their very own "pick" with Mike Wolfe, creator and star of American Pickers on History. See below for details and click on the pic to enter the contest.
Here's a few tips to get you started...
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