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8 Things to Pack on Your Next Lake Trip

Lake life. Best life.

Summer brings good weather and good times. The best times are often near water — beaches, rivers, or lakes. 

If you didn’t grow up heading to a lake for an extended summer vacation, here are 8  things you need to plan on packing for your next trip — the essentials for having a good time.

1. Cooler

This seems like a no-brainer, but many people forget they need a cooler! You’ll use it the entire trip, not just for the drive up! You can pack your cooler so you always have refreshments when you’re down at the lake. You don’t want to ruin the perfect day because you don’t have enough water or haven’t packed a lunch. Make sure you invest in a really good cooler. You will be so happy you did!

2. Aluminum Web Chair

Your kids may not mind sitting on dirt or grass, but the older you get, the less inclined your body (and bum!) is to sit without some support. You need to find a sturdy chair that can handle the lake life. Enter: the aluminum web chair. You may recognize it from your childhood, but these lawn chairs are the BEST chairs. The webbing allows circulation so it’s not too hot to sit in the chair. It’s lightweight and compact so it’s easy to carry around with you while still being sturdy to support you all day at the lake. Your back, body and bum will all thank you at night by the campfire when they’re pain-free and you’re enjoying your s’mores with your family and friends!

3. Sunscreen & Bug Repellant

There’s always someone who forgets two essentials to the great outdoors: sunscreen and bug repellant. Sure, you could probably purchase these items at the local store, but you might be paying extra for these items. They’re small enough to pack and you and your family will ALWAYS be grateful you’re not leaving the lake as red as a lobster and with mosquito bites that itch like crazy!

4. Dry Bag

If you’re going to head out for some water activities like spending the afternoon in a canoe or raft, you should bring along a waterproof dry bag. You can put everything which shouldn’t be in water (cell phones, wallets, and cameras) inside of it. You never know if-or when-you might tip over and it’s better to be prepared than try and find rice to save your cell phone. 

5. Cards & Board Games

The beauty of any vacation is you can disconnect from life, work, and pretty much everything. It’s the perfect time to focus on your family and relationships which matter most to you. Make sure you have plenty of card and board games to play in those late evening hours. You’ll discover a love for games you haven’t played for some time, and who knows? Maybe you’ll start a new lake trip tradition. 

6. Fishing Gear

Fishing is an essential activity for the lake. Maybe you want to do catch-and-release or you might be looking to catch that night’s meal. Either way, you need to have a few essentials which are probably best to bring along. Make sure to get a state fishing license (depending on your age). You’ll need a fishing rod, reel and line and all the shiny hooks, lures and sinkers to draw your prey in and you’re good to go! If you’re unsure, be sure to stop by your local sporting goods store to get the best tips on what you need.

7. Toys

While the lake is fun, being out on the water can be draining. Your kids may be looking for something else to do. Bring a few toys or some of their favorite items they can enjoy that don’t require the lake. Kites or lawn games are great activities to try at a nearby park, clearing or even in the backyard.

8. Extra Blankets and Towels

Pack a few extra blankets and towels. You can use the blankets for a lunch picnic or to simply relax for the afternoon on the lawn. Towels are great if you do a morning or afternoon at the lake. Summer storms can be unpredictable and the wind can sometimes turn a warm day chilly. Having some blankets will keep you warm on those windy nights or when the bonfire isn’t quite warm enough. 

Lake trips are the best thing to do in the summertime because you can combine relaxing times with lots of fun water activities to make lasting memories with the people closest to you. Make sure you take time to do both and enjoy disconnecting from your worries. 

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