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Picture this: you end up making good use of your PTO or taking advantage of a free weekend to spend a beautiful summer day outside. Maybe you’re going to the beach or hanging out with your friends at the park. You leave your house in a warm sundress or your favorite pair of shorts, with a tote bag slung over one shoulder and a folding chair over the other. You go outside, relax, breathe in the fresh air… just remember that you forgot something important. Perhaps it’s a sunscreen or a beach chair that you’ve chosen, but you’re debating whether you should go back home to grab that thing you forgot or fight without it.
Speaking from experience, I know that forgetting something for a day outside can be fatal. You need to prepare it with all the necessary things outside to make the day not only fun and interesting but also healthy and comfortable. Let’s be honest, it can be hot out there, and nothing ruins a perfect summer day like sunburn, dehydration, or even run-of-the-mill food (the obvious food is important). Don’t worry though—I’ve thought of everything you’ll need to spend a day outside this summer.
Outdoor essentials will keep you cool this summer
Read on for a comprehensive list of summer outdoor essentials, and feel free to come back to this article when you’re packing so you don’t miss anything!
SPF 50 non-aerosol spray
Duh! This non-aerosol spray sunscreen is my favorite—it smells good, isn’t greasy, and feels water-friendly (AKA no toxic ingredients).
SPF 40 invisible sunscreen
To avoid the strain on your eyes that often comes with constantly slathering sunscreen on your face, opt for a face mask like this one from Supergoop. Invisible sunscreen is popular for a reason: it’s lightweight, water and sweat resistant, and goes on clean—no white cast!
Use Acai for lip balm SPF 30
Believe it or not, your lips can get sunburned too. Protect them by using a lip balm with SPF, like this one.
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Stop looking around by tossing your favorite sunscreen in your bag. Angular cat eye sunglasses are having a moment right now, and these will add a little chicness to any summer look.
A large straw hat
A wide-brimmed hat is one of the best ways to protect your face from the sun and protect your skin from sunburn. Wearing a hat will also protect the top of your head, behind your ears, and other spots that may not be covered by sunscreen!
The Transport Tote: Straw Edition
A tote bag is an essential item for any day out. This straw tote is the only bag you’ll need to go from the farmer’s market to the park to the beach.
Quencher H2.0 FlowState Tumbler
Staying hydrated in the dry season is key, so you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water on hand. The 40-ounce Stanley is big enough for a day in the sun, and it will keep your water cool.
Porter Brand Tight Glass Bowl
Nothing beats a sandwich and chips for a quick summer lunch. Packing food can make your days outside longer and more enjoyable, so bring a lunch with these cute glass containers from W&P.
Porter Starter Pack
These reusable snacks and storage bags are perfect for packing sandwiches, chips, fruit, and other munchies for your outdoor activities.
Small hand held fans
Don’t let the heat cut your day short. Toss one of these small portable wallets in your bag for those times when you’re desperate to cool off.
A small waterproof bag
If you’re going anywhere near the water, having a small waterproof wallet is great for storing things like your phone, wallet, keys, or anything else you don’t want to lose or gain water.
Taylor Jenkins Reid
Carrie Soto is back
A summer day would not be complete without a book to read. Summer is a time for easy spirits, easy reading, and if you love Daisy Jones at six or Seventh husband of Evelyn HugoMiss Taylor Jenkins Reid’s bestseller Carrie Soto is back in your tote bag.
AirPods have a charging case
Perhaps you enjoy a little music from your reading, or you just want to relax with your favorite playlist or podcast. Remember to throw your charged earbuds in your bag or better yet, put them in a small waterproof bag!
Portable Charger Power Bank
Just in case your phone or earphones die, the charger can ensure you have a full charge all day. Another good thing to throw in the water bag!
DEET golden hour non-toxic mosquito repellants
There is nothing that makes him weak in the summer hot girl just like a swollen, bug bug. Keep those critters at bay with an insect repellent that won’t leave you smelling like harsh chemicals all day.
UNO Splash Card Game
If you’re hanging out at the beach with friends or family, having a game to play can be a fun way to pass the time between dips, and these Uno cards don’t Waterproof is made for beach and pool days. They are made of plastic and work with clips, so the deck is easy to throw in your bag, and you won’t put any cards at risk.
A little bit of grass
Although we all crave those energies, the waves of the beach that come in the summer, wind and water do not have the same effect on everyone. Keep a small brush in your bag to take care of unruly strands or tangles before they leave your head. Your future self will thank you.