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A Day At The Beach - How To Pre-pack A Bag For Those Impromptu Trips | Whateven
A Day At The Beach - How To Pre-pack A Bag For Those Impromptu Trips

By: @JuliaHendon


The unseasonably warm weather we experienced in February sent many of us into a spin looking for summer dresses, sandals and swimming kit. Alas, normal service has been resumed, but if you want to get ahead and be prepared for the next heatwave, a great idea is to keep your beach bag packed and ready to go. All you need to do is throw in some snacks and drinks (or pick some up en route), and you’re sorted!

The Bag
Whether you’re a fan of big bags or small bags, it’s a good idea to choose one that’s roomy enough for the essentials with space to spare for any additions you want on the day. Dirtbags are a practical choice, being easy to stuff and water-resistant, but for a cost-effective option a supermarket “bag for life” will do the job. Other good choices are holdalls and rucksacks (useful if you need to walk over dunes). Pop a carrier bag or reusable wet bag in to keep wet kit separated from dry.

A Towel
Douglas Adams wrote in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” that “A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.” This sentiment also applies to day-trippers to the beach, whether to sunbathe, surf or just build sandcastles and paddle in the shallows. A towel will act as an impromptu picnic rug and is very useful for removing sand before putting your shoes back on at the end of the day. An ordinary towel can also be used as a temporary changing room, although for maximum privacy a beach changing towel is perfectly designed to allow you to strip off without flashing your unmentionables to other beach users.

Beach Shoes
Dedicated beach shoes may be seen as a luxury, but many British beaches have weaver fish and jellyfish – neither of which you want to step on in your bare feet. You would also be best avoiding stepping on rocks, pebbles and sharp shells. Good beach shoes let water in and out without filling up with sand or floating off as soon as you lift your foot up.

Chances are if you’re heading to the beach on a whim it’s because the sun has suddenly decided to shine and in those circumstances, you’re most likely to forget your sunscreen. Lobster red may be the official color of the start of a UK Heatwave, but it’s not a great look and can be painful so stick a bottle in your bag.

If you’re going into the water, you’re going to want your swimming kit if you intend to spend longer periods in the water or to go on less than blisteringly hot days you probably want to keep your wetsuit handy too.

Change of Clothes
How many times have you left your sweltering suburban semi to head to the coast only to realize when you get there that coastal conditions are colder and windier than the muggy warmth you left behind? Keeping a pair of trousers or leggings and a jumper in your bag means you can layer up for extra warmth and you’re also ready-prepared in case you manage to get your original outfit wet, perhaps by over-enthusiastic waves as the tide rushes in or slipping on a rock looking in rock pools.

Keep your bag well-stocked, and don’t forget to check tide times before you head off. There’s nothing as dispiriting as turning up and finding the sea in the wrong state to let you enjoy your beach time.


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