Top 5 Essential Beach Gear for this Summer

June 18, 2014

Whether you are going to the beach in the UK or abroad, here are some of our recommended essential items to take to the beach.

1. Have a little one? Take a UV Swim Suits

So we’ve all heard about the dangers of too much Ultra Violet light, especially the potential long term damage it can do to young skin.

Well sun cream and kids can be a messy business, and when they are constantly in and out of the sea, you have to keep reapplying (yes, even the waterproof ones only last so long). Now, try and put sun cream on a kid that would rather be playing, but now they are covered in salt and sand – they don’t enjoy it!

Our youngest has always had a UV swimsuit, which has avoided a lot of sunburn. Great to use in the back garden paddling pool too. (See our review of the Beach Factory UV swim suit).

For older kids, get them a cool looking UV rash vest.

2. Staying in the UK? Get Some Wetsuits

If you are spending time in the waters around Britain, a wetsuit can make it that little bit more pleasant – even in summer!

Again, look for wet suits with UV protection.

You can get full length wetsuits or ‘shorties’. If it’s hot then shorties are great for the beach, but in the UK I’ve been pleased to use my full length wetsuit as sometimes the water can be cold – especially if you have to spend a long time in the water with each of your kids in turn.

If you’ve not used a wet suit before then you might be in for a shock the first time into the water. Wetsuits don’t keep you dry (you need a Drysuit for that), and they work by using your body heat to warm the water closest your skin. That means the first time into the water and it will feel cold until the water in the suit warms up.

Keeping Wetsuits Fresh

Wash the salt out to keep them smelling fresh. Let them drip dry.

Wash the sand out so that they don’t rub the skin when putting them back on.

We’ve been using wetsuits for a few years now, and it’s meant we’ve been able to enjoy playing in the sea around the UK.

However, to make them more comfortable, wear a rash vest underneath. These can stop the suit rubbing or you getting a rash from any sand caught inside the suit.

Rash vests are also great to wear on the beach or doing watersports even without a wetsuit, and of course, many give UV protection.

3. Take a Beach Shelter

We’ve found having a beach shelter essential with a family. Our beach shelter has travelled all over with us.

They provide shelter from the sun and wind, and provide a great base on the beach for all your bags.

A beach shelter is essential if you are taking a baby, providing somewhere sheltered for sleeping, feeding, and play.

There are lots of different beach shelters available, from pop-up, to umbrellas, to more traditional tent styles.

4. You need a Beach Bag

Rucksacks are fine for hiking, but when going down to the beach you need a big beach bag for all the towels and other essentials.

We’ve got a beach bag review and buying tips here.

5. Beach Games and Activities

Everyone likes to do different things: some like to just lie in the sun and snooze, others like to splash in the sea. Guaranteed that kids will want to do something completely different, but still need to be ‘entertained’.

Here are a few things we’ve enjoyed doing on the beach…

  • Body Boarding – easier to pick up than proper surfing, and a great intro for kids. You can get kid-sized body boards.
  • Sand Sculpting – a bit more than buckets, spades, and sand castles. Try making a crocodile or a shark. (Slightly damp sand is best for this).
  • Beach Combing – you can do this whatever the weather. Collect interesting shells, stones, or different colour sea glass.
  • Have a BBQ – if you are allowed to on your beach, this is great as the sun goes down. Disposable BBQs are ideal for beaches.
  • Kite flying

Click here for more beach games and activities or view our Water Fun section.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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