Eight Things You Can't Beach Without

Eight Things You Can't Beach Without

I have a love hate relationship with the beach.

The sand goes everywhere, it can be uncomfortable for long periods of time. You tend to go when the weather is good - the only problem is that so does everyone else and you may find yourself closer to a noisy group of idiots than you would ever usually endure. 

The other downside to the good weather is that you can have too much sun and need a little break. The sun cream is a constant pain and it will take you an age to queue up for whatever refreshment you want from the little kiosk with a 1000 person queue.

However, the beach is also there to be loved. It doesn't get much better than the sand between your toes or the gentle splash on your ankles as you walk along where the water meets the shore. Blue sky, heat on your face, no devices, a cold beer, and a swim the way it was intended. It's a timeless tradition and the openness of that big blue sea is pretty good for the soul.

So with that in mind, I have found some ways to mitigate at least some of the problems and in doing so turn the beach into the ideal way to enjoy a hot summer's day.

1 - "Base Layer"

So the main problem is sand. I have overcome this with a series of layers that I set out in my chosen spot.

I start with a large groundsheet (about the size of 4/5 beach towels) that I peg down into the ground. I then also get some or the larger stones and dot them around the sheet to keep it in place.

Then I have a large beach blanket that I put over the top of the ground sheet to provide some nice soft fabric to sit on. Check out this one from Sunday.

On top of that I put my seat (see below) and my 2 towels. You need 2, 1 for drying (gets sandy) and 1 for comfort (not sandy).

So there you go, you now have a nice sitting area that is free for the sand (for the most part)

2 - Shade

While some sunshine is great, you may want to have some shade for a nap or to enjoy your book without the sun in your eyes.

You should get a good umbrella to provide shade. Make sure it's a nice one, mine is cream, made from canvas and has some nice tassels to give it a bit of class. Avoid plastic, they're cheaply made, are bad for the planet and certainly don't make you look suave.

Dog with Beach Umbrella

3 - Back Support

This is a big one for me. 30 minutes in to sitting on the beach and I get uncomfortable. It's almost impossible to read a book lying flat on your back and sitting up crossed legged is not a position I find relaxing after 5 minutes.

The solution: something with a bit of back support. Ideally you want a full deck chair, but failing that a small fold up beach chair or a canvas back support will do the trick.

Check out my canvas back support of choice.

4 - Games

There are 2 beach games that win for me. Bat & Ball followed by roll up backgammon.

Nothing is better than sitting on the beach playing a game with someone you love while sipping on a nice cold beer. 

5 - Swim shorts

Now it should go without saying that you need yourself some nice swim shorts. But I see too many people with something a little too "out there" - the beach is a timeless place.

The photos you take this year will stack up with photos you have of your grandparents on the beach and so too will your chosen shorts last a generation - so chose wisely, something classic. Your future self thanks you for making a good choice.

Surfing at the beach

6 - Book

Books are for the beach, you should never read fiction unless you have the sea in front of you. Leave your normal world at home and let the beach be a place of escape. Once you are comfortable, zone out and disappear down into something by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ian Fleming or Ernest Hemingway.

7 - Food & Drink

You need supplies. We recommend taking a cooler stocked for a full day of relaxing. The food and drink available at the beach is not only ridiculously expensive, but also very low quality - you deserve better so prepare and win. You want plenty to eat and as many cold refreshments as you can carry.

Top tip: freeze some big bottles of water in advance, then use them as ice packs, once they melt you can drink them.

8 - Cart 

I know what you are thinking, a cart is not cool - and you are right. It does not look good to see people hauling all their worldly possessions to the beach with them in a cart with tiny wheels that cannot possibly make it over the sand.

However, this is one exception where some short term pain leads to long term gain. Reflecting back on the list, you need quite a lot of stuff to make your day every bit as comfortable as you want it to be - you only have 2 hands. You need a cart to get it all there. Honestly trust me, it will be worth it.

Arm yourself with these items and the beach will be a great place to be. Remember to pack the sun cream - nothing looks worse than the typical tourist with skin like a lobster (not to mention the damage it does to your health).

One Last Thing to Consider - BBQ

You can beach without this, but the best time at the beach is just when everyone is going home and you are settling in for a couple more hours. Perhaps you get a nice beach jumper when the temperature drops. Light up the grill and feast like a king.

Food at the beach

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