The Winter Toy You'll Want On Hand For Your Next Beach Trip

The beach is wonderful and for many of us, only really accessible during the summer. Naturally, we want to get out there as much as possible to swim, surf, play in the sand, and hang out with our friends and family in the sunshine. We're often staying there for a large portion of the day and have to cart along a lot of valuable stuff. There are coolers, backpacks, tents, boogie boards, sunscreen, beach toys, food, picnic baskets, umbrellas, and so much more. 

There's one more thing to add to your beach day packing list ... but this item will make it easier to get everything you're lugging from your car to the perfect spot on the sand. Even better? You probably already have this item in your home, especially if you have kids and live in a place that gets snow in the winter. The hack comes to us from The Krazy Coupon Lady, and it's about to streamline your beach trips. That item is a simple snow sled. 

How the hack works

Sleds are usually used during the winter months when we're all bundled up and heading out to a snowy hill. You don't have to reserve it only for the cold, though. The hack is simple: Stack your items on the sled and easily slide everything across the sand in one go. A traditional sled is ideal, as round sleds (called flying saucers) might not slide that well if you have heavy items on it, like a cooler. 

Instead, we suggest a more bucket-style rectangular sled with a flat bottom and sides. Those are a little more sturdy than the discs. You might have to attach a rope or strap to your sled, but many of them already have one. Don't bother with sleds with metal rails, which will sink right into the sand. 

You can also look into buying an actual sand sled. Yes, those exist for things like sand sledding down the Great Sand Dunes at the Great Sand Dune National Park in Colorado. Sand sleds have an extra slippery bottom, which will slide on sand better than a winter sled.

While sand sledding might sound fun to do at the beach, be aware that many beach dunes are protected to help preserve wildlife, plants, and to protect nearby buildings against damage during storm surges. Please make sure there aren't any restrictions before you head up a dune.

Other items to bring to the beach

So, what are you going to pack on that sled for your beach day? Maybe an empty peanut butter jar to protect your valuables. Or how about an inflatable kiddie pool if you have very small children. You can blow it up and fill it with seawater when you're there, and it will be easier to keep an eye on your little swimmer. (Of course, they still need to be monitored constantly.) However, don't bother trying to use an inflated kiddie pool instead of a sled to slide across the sand. The bottom can rip on a sharp shell or stone, which defeats the purpose and will ruin your pool.

Another item that could potentially be used to drag a few lightweight items is a yoga mat, which is a great alternative to a beach towel that some people use. Maybe you don't want to get your towel sandy, and yoga mats are usually waterproof. If you have a dedicated yoga mat for the beach, dragging it on the sand won't be a big deal at all.