Cape Fear Botanical Garden

Discovery Backpacks

What better way to enhance your visit at the Garden by checking out one of our themed backpacks! Pick a topic you want to learn more about during your visit, and get all the tools you need to uncover the secrets and treasures already out there in our natural world.

Discovery Backpacks are included with regular membership or admission. There is no fee to check out a
backpack. Backpacks are limited to 2 per family and are not available for use during special events.

2024 Backpack Themes

Little Naturalists
Ages 4-6
Explore the wonders of nature with a magnifying glass, look for animal tracks, watch birds with easy to
use kids’ binoculars, or get an up close look at insects with a bug jar.

Rocks & Minerals
Geared for ages 7+
Learn to identify rocks and minerals, explore the floodplain geology for the Garden, and take your own
soil cores.

Wilderness Skills
Geared for ages 7+
Are you an explorer? Challenge yourself with wilderness exploration skills like compass navigation, knot
tying, and survival knowledge.

Animal Detectives
Geared for ages 7+
Become an Animal Detective and learn to tell who’s been nearby! With this backpack you can learn to
identify animal tracks, spot animal signs in the woods, and make rubbings of animal tracks.

Walk Through Time
Geared for ages 7+
Take a journey through prehistoric time where each step is thousands of years. With this backpack you’ll
learn about fossils, dinosaurs, and the history of life itself.

Bird Watchers
Geared for ages 7+
Learn all about the science of ornithology! With this backpack, you can search for birds in the Garden,
learn to identify common birds, and create your own bird calls.

Forest Explorers
Geared for ages 7+
Curious about the trees in the Garden? We have many species, both native and non-native. Investigate
them and learn how to tell the difference with the provided tools. Learn to measure the tallest trees and
tell the age of a tree.

Check Out Procedure


  1. Let visitor services know which backpack you would like to check out.
  2. All backpacks must be signed out on the provided sheet.
  3. All visitors that check out backpacks are required to leave a valid driver’s license that will be given back upon the return/check of the backpacks.
  4. Backpacks must be checked out by an adult. (ages 18+)
  5. Backpacks will not be available to check out during events.


  1. Please release any insects captured before returning backpack
  2. All backpacks must be returned 30 mins before Garden closes.
  3. Upon return, backpacks will be checked to make sure all items are accounted for.
  4. Once the backpack is checked, your ID card will be returned to you.
  5. Persons will be financially responsible for items that are broken or lost. Please treat equipment with care.

Happy Exploring!