Planning a trip to the beach soon? Let’s talk about the essentials you’ll need to pack if you want to spend the entire day in total comfort! We’ll skip talking about some of the obvious things (i.e. a swimsuit, food, water, and some sunscreen). Instead, we’ll focus on what you need to set up your site to have a great time.
The first thing you're going to need is shade. It is best not to rely on palm trees for this, however appealing that might sound. First of all, you do not know if the site you pick will have them. Secondly, even if they are available, other people may have set up underneath them already. Plus, they will only provide you with shade for part of the day. When the sun moves, there's nothing you can do about it.
To ensure that you get all the shade you need for a long day at the beach, you will need to shop for some sort of beach canopy. Protecting yourself from excessive UVA and UVB rays while at the beach is critical to keeping your skin healthy. We think a pop up beach canopy is the best way to do this at the beach. The exact features that you need will depend on what you are looking for in terms shade, wind protection, ease of setup and portability, as well as the size of your party. In some circumstances, beach umbrellas or other types of tents might also be appropriate. Check out our recent blog post on the different types of shade tents that you can use while at the shore to determine which might be best for you.
Whether you plan to go swimming or not, you will definitely want to pack some towels. Even if you do not take a dip, you might still get splashed while you are walking along the shore. Towels are also comfortable to lay down on. Choose some which are large and fluffy.
If you will be at the beach for more than a few hours, food and water are pretty much a given for your packing list. But you should also think about bringing a small cooler with you. You may think of this as a luxury rather than something that you really need, but you might feel differently about it after a long, hot day in the sun. A high-quality cooler can keep your food and beverages chilled for days.
Chairs or Hammocks
Next up, you will need to think about seating. While a towel on the sand may be sufficient for some beachgoers, others may prefer something off the sand. Consider packing some chairs. You can purchase collapsible seats which are designed to be lightweight and portable for transport in your vehicle.
If you want to save space while you are packing and you do not mind reclining, consider hammocks as an alternative. You can easily roll up a hammock and stuff it in the backseat of your car, and then carry it with you to your site on the beach. Of course, you will need somewhere to hang it, so this only really works if there are trees where you are headed.
Planning on camping on the shore? Unless you know for sure that the weather is going to be hot all night, you probably should bring sleeping bags with you. After a hot day, you might expect perfect sleeping weather, but it can get to be surprisingly cold down by the water, especially if the wind kicks up. For this reason, you should layer your clothes as well.
If you were going to be hiking in the woods, you probably wouldn’t even think before packing insect repellent. But for some reason, a lot of us forget that the beach can also be a hot spot for bugs.
Mosquitoes and sand fleas can be particularly problematic. So make sure that you are bringing repellent which is specifically formulated to deal with these pests (and any others which are prevalent at the beach in question).
Bug Screen for Hammocks
For camping, you may want to consider bringing an additional supply to help you deal with the insect population at the beach: a bug screen. This is not necessary if you are going to be sleeping in a tent, since your tent should be able to keep out the resident bugs on its own.
But if you will be sleeping in a hammock, mosquitoes, flies, and other insects can easily drive you crazy all night if you are relying solely on bug spray to keep them at bay. With a bug screen for your hammock, you can sleep restfully through the night and not wake up covered from head to toe in bites.
Materials to Help You Keep Sand Under Control
Sand getting all over every surface may seem like part of the appeal of going to the beach … but I’m guessing you will get tired of it fast, especially if you are planning on spending the night on the shore.
There are a number of supplies you can use to help control the sand at your site. To start with, if you are going to have a tent with a floor with you, you should think about bringing a mat along as well. You can wipe your shoes or feet off on the mat before entering the tent.
Some sand is probably still going to get tracked in however, so you might want to bring something with you to help you sweep it out. A small brush can work perfectly well for this.
One last supply in this category which you might not think of is baby powder. Its absorbent properties help to remove water from the sand grains, drying it out. This will help you remove it from surfaces it has caked onto. This can be a huge help when you are camping.
Now You Have What You Need for an Awesome Day at the Beach
You now are ready to set up the perfect site for a day at the beach. If you're thinking about camping overnight, you also have a start on your supply list. Take the time to pick out the very best supplies, read our posts on what to look for in a beach canopy, and you can look forward to enjoying a perfect day at the beach.