Your sidekick calls you “mom,” but sometimes you feel more like a Seattle Sherpa, scaling the heights of Queen Anne after rocking a day of play at the Seattle Center. And whether you carry your essentials in a practical backpack or a stylish boho bag, Seattle moms have their own special brand of parenting survival gear that’s always at the ready. We peeked in a few hundred bags and came up with this list of what Seattle moms typically tote.

Mom bag by Janine on Flickr CC

photo: Janine via Flickr

1. Coffee Punch Card. A loyalty card to the neighborhood coffee shop is a tote-along fave for Seattle moms. Indie shops serving up bold brews are where moms in the trenches meet to debrief and refuel, while the kiddos entertain each other. And who couldn’t use a free coffee every now and again?

Coffee Cards by Nick Webb on Flicr CC

photo: Nick Webb via Flickr

2. Organic Snacks. Whether you’re toting it in the form of a fruit and veggie squeezy pouch or as cut up pieces of fresh farmers market goodness, Seattle moms love healthy, organic snacks for their Littles.

3. Seashells and Rocks. When Puget Sound’s in your backyard, beach trips happen. And seaside outings mean a kid-curated collection of shells and rocks, all painstakingly handpicked by your little oceanographer. Luckily you’ve got just the right bag to carry those precious finds until the next beach trip, when they will quickly be forgotten and replaced by a new set of the most important rocks and shells ever discovered.

rocks and shells in hand

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

4. Membership Cards. Membership definitely has it privileges for Seattle families, which is why so many moms carry membership cards to the Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Children’s Museum, Pacific Science Center or Museum of Flight wherever they go. Because you never know when your bestie’s going to text an impromptu invite to one of the Big Four playdate hot spots, you never leave home without them!

5. A “Device.” In the world of Microsoft and Amazon, sometimes down time equals device time for Seattle’s cuties. That’s why mom keeps her smartphone or tablet tucked safely in her tote, fully loaded with educational and artsy apps for kids. Plus, mom’s got to have her camera handy to catch those memorable moments with her sweet sidekick! 

6. REI Co-op Card. This is where Seattle moms gear up their families. From raincoats, to toddler skis, to baby’s bicycle carriers so everyone in the family can hit the Burke Gilman on a sunny day. And being an REI member is the best way to earn bucks to buy…you guessed it… more gear for next season’s adventures! Plus, the second-floor play space is a wicked cool free spot to hang on a rainy day.

REI card

photo: Allison Sutcliffe 

7. Wipes. Part of mom-preparedness means having wipes at the ready to take care of messy faces and busy hands that seem to attract germs with magnetic force. Cleanliness is next to mom-liness when you’re on the go with Seattle kids!

8. Crayons. Whether mom’s got the standard 4-color combo she grabbed from a favorite eatery just last week or a more varied selection she’s zipped tightly in a baggie, carry-along crayons reign supreme as an easy distraction for the tot lot. Whip them out while waiting for an oil change, or when you’re stuck in traffic on the I-90 bridge, and you’ve bought yourself some extra time plus a little peace and quiet too!

crayons and purse

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

9. Spare Socks. Along with Seattle’s notorious weather, comes soggy grass and irresistible puddles, begging for a little jumpy splashy time. For Seattle moms, that means lots and lots of unexpectedly wet feet. But a quick change of socks dries everything out, so you and your mini crew can get on with the day!

10. Discover Pass. We found this one in mom’s other tote—the glove box of her car. Between the breathtaking beach views and the unpredictable “sun breaks” Seattle gets, it’s wise to keep this state park pass at the ready, so the tykes can soak up vitamin D or take a quick romp through the great outdoors at a moment’s notice.

Discover Pass

photo: Allison Sutcliffe

11. Reusable Grocery Bags. Because remembering just one more thing as you wrangle your wiggler out of the car and into the store is just too much for a busy mom. That’s why Seattle moms keep their go-green reusable bags handy in their handbag. It makes the grocery rounds a little easier and a lot better for Mother Earth.

What are the must-haves in your purse? Tell us in the Comments below!

— Allison Sutcliffe