Author Topic: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?  (Read 4717 times)

iwasjustwondering

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 436
What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« on: July 16, 2014, 06:14:16 AM »
I spent the first seven years of my life as a mother living about a mile from the beach, so we would go all the time.  I kept a bag with bathing suits, sunscreen, and a towel (yes, one towel for all of us) in the trunk of the car for the kids and me.  We'd stop off at the beach for an hour in the middle of our daily errands when we could.  It was lovely, and it got me into a very minimalist beach habit.

We live an hour or so from the beach now, but I still can't stand to bring too much.  When my kids were younger, we'd go with their nanny, and she would bring a giant cooler with I kid you not about six different bags of chips/pretzels/popcorn, and enough soda to feed a dozen people.  It was *heavy* and it made the trips less fun.  I see people now with tons of toys for the kids, coolers full of food, blankets, towels, a chair for every person, umbrellas, etc., and it just looks like they're going away for a month, not a few hours. 

What is the optimal amount of stuff to bring to the beach?  What do you need? 

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 10583
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 06:48:00 AM »
personally -
one towel per person, mostly to lie down on (a very large beach towel can be split between two people)
water
a good paperback book
sunscreen
a frisbee or soccer ball or other simple, easy-to-carry game
fruit, if we were staying longer than 2 hours.

that's about all my family ever took, and it's among my favorite memories

pipercat

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 283
  • Location: Central VA
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 06:56:08 AM »
It depends on how long I plan to stay there.  If I'm going for the whole day, I bring a chair or blanket for everyone to sit on, sunscreen, reading material, a cooler, and at least some snacks (more likely lunch if I'm going to be there all day).  I also prefer shade, so I would bring an umbrella or tent of some sort.  If headed to the pool, there are umbrellas already available there. 

If, like you, I were just stopping off for a mid-day swim, a towel and sunscreen would suffice.

It would also depend on the age of my kids.  When my kids were younger, I brought a bucket and shovel, but that's no longer needed.



nordlead

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 146
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 07:45:17 AM »
When we go to the ocean it is for most of the day (maybe 10-4 or longer), so we typically bring (family of 2 adults, 3 small children)

* 4 chairs
* one medium sized cooler with a sandwich and drink for everyone\
* One large water container
* sunscreen
* towels (3-4)
* diaper bag
* beach umbrella
* one large blanket to lay on
* one bag of kids toys
* boogie board

I can transport almost all of that myself actually. Then again, the house we rented last year came with a small metal cart thing (sort of like a hand truck) for the beach.

If I'm going to the local lake beach then it is probably just a couple towels and toys for the kids.

MayDay

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4003
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 08:01:10 AM »
One bag for us. Carrying a load of Crap ruins the fun.

Towels, sunscreen, water, goggles, a few pool toys (buckets or diving sticks) and maybe a container of fruit or veggies. We share towels.

avonlea

  • Guest
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 08:20:17 AM »
Towels, sunscreen, water, goggles, a few pool toys (buckets or diving sticks) and maybe a container of fruit or veggies. We share towels.

Pretty much the same same list for us, but I also like to bring along a picnic blanket. 

We often only stay for 2-3 hours, so I don't usually need to pack more than a snack, but sometimes I'll bring along some sandwiches and a side dish if our water fun coincides with mealtime.

CommonCents

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2386
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 09:01:25 AM »
personally -
one towel per person, mostly to lie down on (a very large beach towel can be split between two people)
water
a good paperback book
sunscreen
a frisbee or soccer ball or other simple, easy-to-carry game
fruit, if we were staying longer than 2 hours.

that's about all my family ever took, and it's among my favorite memories

+1 as an adult, although often no frisbee, book could be on kindle these days, and change fruit to snack

As kids, we used to spend 2 weeks at the Jersey shore each summer.  To this list, we'd also bring for the day (and leave at lunch time, when we'd return to the bungalow):
1 Umbrella
Chairs for the adults
A few toys (like shovel+pail)

soccerluvof4

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5167
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2014, 09:53:46 AM »
personally -
one towel per person, mostly to lie down on (a very large beach towel can be split between two people)
water
a good paperback book
sunscreen
a frisbee or soccer ball or other simple, easy-to-carry game
fruit, if we were staying longer than 2 hours.

that's about all my family ever took, and it's among my favorite memories

+1 as an adult, although often no frisbee, book could be on kindle these days, and change fruit to snack

As kids, we used to spend 2 weeks at the Jersey shore each summer.  To this list, we'd also bring for the day (and leave at lunch time, when we'd return to the bungalow):
1 Umbrella
Chairs for the adults
A few toys (like shovel+pail)


+2 soccer ball or Football no Frisbee and BEER!

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2014, 10:27:33 AM »
Hahaha, I'm so glad you posted this.  I was just on a beach vacation and was having to educate the spouse and friends on the "correct" way to go to the beach.

I was getting so judgey when I saw these families with a huge freaking cartload of stuff coming to the beach each day.  Like, you don't need 5 different sets of toys to keep your children occupied *at the beach*.  The beach is the thing that's supposed to be entertaining them!  And I see 2 year olds with beach chairs.  Children do not need beach chairs.  In my family, you got a beach chair when you were old enough to carry it.  You want your boogie board?  Well, you're not big enough to carry the board and a chair, so you have to pick one.  I see these parents lugging the cart while their children follow behind them eating icecream, carrying nothing.  What is this thing with some parents acting like a servant to their children?  Aside from that, it means there's no reward for growing up and being capable of more.

</rant>  Phew, that felt good.

For going to the beach all day, I'll have:
Tote bag with one towel and book per person and all the sunscreens.
Beach blanket (optional)
Chair for each person
Cooler with drinking water, sandwiches, some fruit and cookies.

You don't need really good food at the beach.  You're hungry from swimming and your mouth is filled with the taste of salt water, so pretty much anything tastes amazing.  Also, like, you're having a nice day at the beach, that's the nice treat.  You don't need treat food in addition to that.  It's not like you need junk food to console yourself for having to spend a day at the beach.  Ugh, this also gets into my feelings about people eating out all the time while they're on vacation, I won't start.  Oh, or people feeling like they should buy a new outfit "for vacation."  Like, vacation is when no one cares how you're dressed, so you can comfortably wear all your old clothes!

Our rental this time came with some beach chairs, one of which had wheels and my spouse honest to god strapped everything he wanted to bring onto the chair with wheels and used it as a cart.  I'm like, how is dragging this thing behind you any easier than just carrying it?  He didn't have anything that wasn't in the above list although he'd chosen a tri-fold chair he thought was heavy.  And I'm like, well this is why people usually choose lighter chairs.

I feel like such a puritan sometimes.

BuzzardsBay

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 81
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2014, 11:07:46 AM »
If it doesn't fit in the backpack, it doesn't go. 

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2949
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2014, 11:32:44 AM »
We're in the PNW and the best beaches are a 500m-1km hike in from the road. Any beach close to the road is packed with people. It's always uphill to get back to the car, so packing light and making the kids carry their own crap is a must.

We take, water bottles, a blanket for everyone to sit on, kid towels that double as blankets when they're chilled from swimming in freezing cold water, sweaters (if it's on the cool side of the island), a couple buckets and shovels (these are still heavily used), a book or knitting project for me and food. The amount of food depends on how long we're staying and how far we are from civilization. The kids also usually carry their own boogie boards.

FTR last weekend's trip was heavenly. We had our own private wading pool formed by a creek that runs through the rain forest into the ocean. Hardly anyone there, 10 C cooler than the sweltering city, bald eagles overhead and a view to die for.

gimp

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2348
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2014, 11:38:52 AM »
By myself: A towel.

With friends: Towels, water, clandestine beer or wine. Or less clandestine, depending.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2014, 11:44:59 AM »
I'm an overpacker.  Chairs, bed sheet (in place of towel(s) or blanket), small cooler, bag with books, magazines, sunscreen, & snacks.  And not yet mentioned, I like to bring my kite if it's windy enough.  I don't really mind lugging it all from car to beach.  It's a good workout.

Iron Mike Sharpe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 397
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2014, 11:45:16 AM »
Rum ham

sheepstache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2424
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2014, 12:35:23 PM »
You don't, for example, need a $300 dollar cooler with a built-in blender and speakers.
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ryangrepper/coolest-cooler-21st-century-cooler-thats-actually
Which has garnered 5 million so far on kickstarter.

tmac

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 472
Re: What do you bring to the beach (or pool or lake)?
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2014, 06:12:23 PM »
We go several times a week for short periods of time -- usually no more than two hours. We have one large tote stuffed with towels, suits, goggles, sunscreen, bug spray, hair elastics and barrettes, and a big water bottle (if we're not going to the pool with the water fountain). If you want to eat, read a book, or sit in a chair, that's the signal that it's time to go home. :)