Your Essential Beach Packing Checklist

Technically, Summer Solstice is still a month away but Memorial Day, the real beginning of summer, is just around the corner. That means camping trips, paddling adventures and days spent at the beach are closer than you think.

Those lucky enough to live on the coast are familiar with the beach packing ritual, but for the forgetful, or those a bit farther inland, we've put together a list of things you won't want to forget on your day at the beach.

#1 A large durable bag— You might want to find one that's waterproof and sandproof to protect your electronics.

#2 Towels and a blanket— It's a good idea to bring towels for everyone to dry off after swimming and either more towels or a big blanket to set on the sand.

#3 Drinking water The sun and salt will dehydrate you, make sure to replenish. Consider bringing a small cooler to keep the water cold.

#4 Sunblock— Probably the most important item on the list, sunblock is absolutely necessary. Make sure you pack and apply enough for your whole trip to avoid getting burned.

Related: 11 Myths About Sunscreen (And How to Protect Your Skin Properly)

#5 Lip balm— Often overlooked, your lips need protection from the sun too. Choose a lip balm with SPF, preferably SPF 15 or higher.

#6 Flip flops— Because there's nothing worse than sand in your sneakers.

#7 Sunglasses, a hat, or both— A good pair of sunglasses and a big hat will go a long way in protecting your skin. The ocean is more beautiful when you're not squinting.

#8 A swimsuit— Even if you don't plan on swimming, it's a good idea to bring a swimsuit just in case and if you're worried about tan lines, a swimsuit is a good solution.

There is an endless list of optional items you might want to bring. If you'll be there for the day, a packed lunch (which can go in the cooler with the water) might be a good idea. If you plan on playing sports, bring a volleyball, football or a surfboard, but check to see if the beach allows those items. A good book or some music is ideal while lying in the sun and you might want some chairs or an umbrella. Just remember to protect your electronics from the elements and your skin from the sun.

See Also:
10 Surreal Sunsets that Will Take Your Breath Away

9 Easy Ways You Can Soothe Sunburn