I've gotten great at packing the car for dance competitions, swim meets, family trips. But this fall one of my daughters decided that she wanted to explore some fall sports! This is a new world for me and the first few weeks I was constantly caught unprepared and looking at the other parents with envy, proud that I managed to have all the actual sports stuff, but wishing I'd thought a little deeper about how to stock the car. Last week, I think I finally nailed what to have in the car with us!

1.       Chairs and blankets.

Sometimes there's seating. Sometimes there isn't. Sometimes a blanket is perfect for multiple siblings and friends to camp out on, sometimes the ground is unexpectedly muddy and a blanket won't cut it. We ended up getting a camping chair for each of us and just storing them in my trunk, along with our old blanket. This way, we always have the chairs we need.

2.       Bug Spray and Sunscreen

The first soccer practice was in the early evening, and I was blown away by how buggy it is on those fields! The kids who were playing didn't seem to notice, but those of us hanging around definitely did. I took my sunscreen box from the summer (a plastic box with a handle) out of the pool bag and added bug spray. This way buggy nights and sunny days are both protected!

3.       Extra Water

My daughter has a big water bottle in her gear bag. However, we've quickly found out that we need backup water. And then backup for that water. The last game was in the mid-70s - perfect for fall, but somehow that sun just beat down on the players and they were guzzling water. One of the moms popped her trunk, opened a cooler, and produced extra bottles and we all loved her. Many of us vowed to do the same.

4.       Car Potty

My girls are way past being potty trained, but I've hung onto that car potty for long road trips and I'm really glad I did. Some fields have beautiful facilities, but some…not so much. Sometimes it's a questionable porta-potty. And no matter what, it's always a huge walk from the field and on busy game days has a huge line. When my pint sized player needed to make a quick pit stop after chugging all that water, and I knew she only had a few minutes before she had to go back in the game, it was a relief to pop the potty in the trunk.

5.       Cash

The ice cream truck knows a captive audience. Not to mention the concession stands that pop up in certain locations. Cash - and small bills at that - is key. I don't want to lug my purse to the sidelines when I've already got enough gear to wield, and I've been burned with money falling out of my pockets, so I put some small bills in a change purse with the rest of our gear.

Now, my mobile sports wagon is prepped and ready for a fun season!

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