I often take my toddler somewhere by myself. I have been caught in a few jams without being properly prepared. We all know to have diapers, snacks, Butt Paste, sunscreen and whatnot. This post is for those random situations that you don’t always see coming. The dad every day carry, if you will. If you are not a dad, some of these will come in handy. If you´re looking for gifts for a dad or soon-to-be dad, this is a great list for you as well.
To support this website, this post contains Amazon products through their affiliate program at no added cost or markup to you. Read our disclaimer to find out more information.
Baby wipes/wet wipes:
I know that I said that this post isn’t about diapers and stuff, but these are a must no matter how old your kids are. I hate sticky! My two-year-old hates being sticky as well. But he is still a two-year-old and gets sticky or dirty all of the time. I make sure to always have these on hand. At just over $10, you can get 480 wipes. Check it out here for the current price.
A small ¨pocket organizer¨ (small case) will fit way more items than you think if you organize it properly. I can´t fit everything on this list in there. But, it is super easy to plop it into the baby bag when I take the toddler out, center console when driving, and I can put it in my jacket pocket if we´re out and about. The Maxpedition is the one that you see in the photo
I am a bit of a knife nut. Not to the crazy level that some nuts are, but I have enough knives that I don’t show visitors my collection. Now, everyone needs knives for different reasons and the laws vary in every area. So I´m going to show a few options, so that you can decide for yourself what you need.
I personally carry my Victorinox Deluxe Tinker and love it. I love the pliers and use all of the tools frequently. I have used the awl to poke a hole in a dog collar, my belt, and to pick items that are stuck in holes. The Philips head screwdriver is great and has never bent. The can opener actually works, and works well. The pliers are small enough and precise enough to pull out slivers, but strong enough to grip small items. The scissors are sharp and can cut things that are really tough. The bottle opener seconds as a great little prybar and can be used as a flathead screwdriver. The knife takes an edge easily but holds its edge well. Please, don´t cheapen out and get a swiss army knife from a different company. Victorinox has a ton of options if you don’t want something so bulky or a bit cheaper. They even have a tiny $20 one. But, when it comes to swiss army knives, they may be the only good company out there.
I also carry an American Lawman by Cold Steel or their Tuff Llite, depending on where I am going. The Lawman is a bit expensive, But the Tuff Light is usually under $25. Click the links above to check out their current price. Honestly, It´s hard to go wrong with Cold Steel. As of right now, it´s pretty much the only company that I buy from. They have pretty good steel for their blades. But, what I really like is their patented tri-ad lock. Most of their locks hold well over 200 lbs. My friend and I just did a test on a Kershaw liner lock and it folded up with a light tap. Cold Steel has great test videos for most of their knives, so check those out before you buy them.
If you want a different option, the Gerber Multi-Tool is a solid, cheap pick. Unlike the Victorinox, they have big pliers. What I like a lot is that it´s like a Leatherman, but way cheaper. The only reason that I don’t carry it is because it is heavy and bulky.
A flashlight is great to have in your pocket at all times. I´m not sure that I need to go into detail on why a flashlight is advantageous to have. If your kids are like mine, dropping things in dark and tight areas (like behind the couch) is a common occurrence. Plus it´s needed at night, power outages, car trouble, looking in their mouth, etc. I carried one before I had a son and used it a lot. I use it even more now. I actually have a Mini lantern in my case and a regular flashlight in my pocket. Check out the kind of flashlight I have here and get it for under $10.
Now, this isn´t actually an everyday carry for me, but I do have one in my car at all times. Every freakin´ toy needs something screwed in. I´m a general contractor by day, so I already have a million screwdriver bits in every room of the house. You may think I´m kidding, but I´m being completely honest – every room! In my pocket organizer, I have a small Philips and flat head (Amazon link here). But if that´s all you have, it´s not enough and the one in the link is overpriced. I scoured Amazon to find one that I think will be enough for most tasks, without having a giant thing to carry around. As of right now, It is really small and only $10. It´s actually pretty cool. Check it out on Amazon here.
As a millennial, I sometimes forget that things need to actually be written down. And as old as it makes me feel, I am actually starting to prefer a pad and pen to my phone. Plus, it´s so much easier to draw a quick picture or diagram when I´m trying to explain something. For sure the Fisher Space Pen is the best in my opinion. I sadly don’t have mine to show you a picture of because I lost it a few days ago. But, I will defiantly be ordering a new one. It´s small (about the length of a lighter) when closed, comfortable and writes at any angle.
First aid kit:
It doesn’t have to be an epic kit, just one for minor emergencies. I recommend the minor things in your pocket organizer; such as Band-Aids, alcohol wipes and antibiotic cream. Then keep a big first aid kit in the car for when a big issue happens.
Because duh! Kids are super gross sometimes. When my son was 17 months old, I saw him playing with something on the ground while we were waiting for my wife to come out of a store. Yeah, he was playing with a dead mouse. My wife came out to me holding his hands in the air while he was screaming because I wouldn’t let him touch anything. I was yelling ¨Hurry, get the hand sanitizer!¨
I bought the cheapest Bluetooth earbuds that I could find with decent reviews. I can´t believe how much I use them! One of the best $30 investments that I have ever made. If I´m waiting somewhere, I listen to music. If I´m watching the little guy at the park, I can pop it in. I put one into my ear while driving and listen to YouTube. If I´m going to admit that, I might as well admit that a week ago, he was throwing such a temper tantrum, I just drowned him out with my earbuds. Plus, because they are not connected to each other like normal headphones, I can distract Eli with one earbud in his ear and one in my ear. Don´t judge me, he stays calm and I kind of like Curious George.
This thing looks so cool and has great ratings on Amazon. I don’t have it yet, but it´s on its way as we speak. Tile Pro is a little tracker that goes in your wallet, on your key ring, etc. If you lose whatever you have put your Tile Pro on, you use your phone to make it beep. If you lose your phone, you use the Tile pro to find your phone. Check the current pricing here.
This is an obvious choice for any phone addict on the go. They are pretty cheap and will get you out of a jam. Until cellphone technology gets to a place where I don’t have to charge my phone for a few days of use, this big beast is staying with me. I use the Jackery Giant. It has a 4.5 rating with 10,770 reviews! Plus, it´s only $29.99 at the moment.
Mini Pry Bar:
I know this seems strange and it is. But my son has a habit of shoving things that don’t fit into places that they´re not supposed to go. His spatial reasoning isn´t great yet and he still confuses tries to jam the triangle into the square hole. The lesson from those blocks is supposed to teach him that the triangle goes into the triangle hole. What it actually has taught him is that if you just shove and smack it hard enough, the triangle will go into the square hole. I will say, if you buy the Victorinox, the bottle opener will be an OK substitute. But it is not as good as the actual pry bar. You have got to check it out here, it´s only $8 for two pry bars and one extra mini multi-tool.
If you are wondering about the other things that I didn’t put on the list because they aren´t really dad related but are in my kit, here it is:
A few feet of duct tape folded over on itself to keep it flat. A few feet of electrical tape around a small nail (only to get it to wrap around something. 30 feet of twine, three paper clips, a small jigsaw blade, lighter and a pill holder.