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So yesterday was the first day of summer (and National Seashell Day!) and if you saw my Waterside Home Tour post, you can tell we’re in full-on summer mode around here! Our favorite summer activities are heading over to the beach or doing some offshore fishing.
In either case, we’ve got a bag packed with essentials for those days ready to go. Yes the standards are in there (sunscreen, water, chairs, etc.), but there are certain items that have become unsuspecting essentials for us too. Curious what two water-obsessed, sun-loving, beach bums and fishermen have in their “go” bag? Here’s the top 10 things we always grab for a day on the water!
1. Beach Towels / Regular Towels
Ok, so this is one of the obvious standards, BUT not just for the beach! I grab at least one towel when we head out on the boat or anywhere else to fish. One of us always gets a little wet, needs to wipe their fishy hands off, clean some sunglasses, or, if you’re me, use it as a blanket when it gets chilly :)
2. Snacks (…well really, OREO THINS)
Again, totally a given to bring snacks out there, but for us, it’s all about the OREOS. They’ve always been our favorite and our go-to, and now there’s a new kid on the block. Have you seen these?! They’re the new OREO THINS! My favorite part of an OREO is the cookie so these have even more of the crispy cookie part that I love, plus they have them in original, chocolate, mint, lemon, and golden. Um, yes please! Matt was actually heading offshore last weekend so I headed to our Walmart to grab some supplies and picked up pretty much every.single.flavor there was of these.
I got some of the traditional packages to send with them, and picked up one of the 12-pack boxes for myself to throw in my beach bag (as well as take to work for a snack…). I can’t even pick a favorite flavor yet. Right now I’m slightly leaning towards the lemon which is crazy given how much of a choco-holic I am, although they all seemed to be a hit on the boat as none made it back to the dock.
3. Frozen Water Bottle & Jug of Freshwater
In addition to our drinking water, we always take a larger jug of freshwater for rinsing sand off feet, cleaning hands, or cleaning sunglasses and fill a reusable bottle full of water and freeze it so that it’ll help keep our cooler cold plus serve as some nice cold drinking water later on in the day.
4. Light Jacket
I get cold SUPER easy when we’re on the water (well, all the time really), even in the summer, so I always grab a light jacket or pullover to throw on in case it clouds over or we’re out later in the evening. Beach towels also make good blankets/jackets if needed.
5. Plastic Baggies or Waterproof Bag
You’re gonna want your phone out to get in touch with friends heading out to the beach or to phone people back on shore if you’re on the boat, plus all those pictures you need to capture, so if you don’t have a waterproof phone case, just toss your phone in a plastic baggie or one of those waterproof gear bags to keep it dry and away from sand and salt. I also put my car keys in it so that the remote fob doesn’t get damaged either. If you like to go shelling when you’re at the beach, also grab yourself a little mesh bag for your treasures so the sand will just fall right off of them.
6. SPF Clothing Accessories
Of course there’s sunscreen in our bags, but if you’re like me you HATE putting it on. I hate having it on my hands and I hate how it feels on my skin, plus on more than one occasion it has stained our clothes. Just, ew. To curb having to use it as much as possible, we’ve started wearing sun-blocking neck gaiters, arm sleeves, and even gloves. I feel like they’re even more protective than sunscreen. Bonus tip: dip that neck gaiter into the cooler ice water before putting it on on those crazy hot days!
7. Polarized Sunglasses
Any eyewear is better than nothing out on the water, but you can do even better by grabbing a pair that are polarized. They’re more protective than regular lenses, allow you to see SOOOOO much better in the water than regular, and can actually be reasonably-priced. I wore cheapies for so long but once I started graduate school and was on the water a ton, I splurged on a polarized pair and haven’t looked back. It blew my mind how much I could see through the water with them!
8. Bag Cooler
Sure load up the big guy if you’ll be out on the boat for 8 hours, but if it’s a simple trip to the beach or an afternoon boat cruise, we love to use a bag cooler instead because they’re alot easier to deal with. They’ve got handles and a strap so your hands can be free and ours has a couple of pockets on it too to stash gadgets and other accouterments.
9. Bluetooth Speaker
A day on the water is nothing without some tunes so we always toss in our rugged waterproof bluetooth speaker. We use this thing around the house all the time too and love it. It’s really nice not having to worry about keeping it super clean and it actually puts out really high quality sound.
This one is pretty straightforward…it’s beverage management 101. It’s hot out there and nobody wants a hot drink. So stash some koozies in the beach bag, in the boat compartments, in your purse, in your truck, in the cooler…anywhere. Never be without. And if you’re a crafty nerd like me, crochet your own :)
What about you guys? Do you have any great beach tips or tricks, or other must-have items for your beach bag? We’re always looking for other great things to take!