Its always tricky knowing what you’ll need to take to the beach. Especially if you’re from England – how many times do you visit a beach in England! And Brighton is a little different from the shore lines of Australia.
It took me a while to figure what was too little and what was too much. The same applies for hiking in national parks and up mountains etc. Its almost like trial and error and you have to see what works for you. But for me, I think I’ve got it down now. I know what to take depending on where I go. I usually have a bag and I keep most stuff in there just so I can grab it and I know everything Ill need is already in there.
Erin and I have made mistakes before and been unprepared. We accidentally did a 50k bike ride and had nothing useful with us – the major ones were no food, suncream or bug spray and not enough water! Wherever you visit in Australia you will need LOTS of water. We actually started to carry rehydration salts with us, they come in handy on long hikes, bike rides or mountain climbs.
So what do I take to the beach?
- first aid kit – basic kit like plasters, wipes, gauze, anti bac gel, bandages etc.
- rehydration salts – they’re useful on long hikes and bike rides. We were so thankful for them on some of our longer bike rides. We also usually carry lolly pops – like a cheap version of Chupa Chups. Obviously you may not need these at the beach. But we always carry them anyway. I always consider a Bear Grylls situation could arise.
- torch – just incase you somehow get lost somewhere and end up finding your way through national park in the dark
- change of clothes – usually something light and easy to chuck over a bikini
- towel – a beach towel is handy BUT takes forever to dry, try a travel towel if you’re set on using a towel
- sarong – so if a towel is too big and I want something that drys quick I use a sarong instead, I use it as an actual sarong, something to sit on and something to dry off. Super clever idea given to me by a friend
- beach blanket – a huge round beach blanket my brother and his girlfriend kindly got me from Spain. Its super easy to shake out, drys quickly and can fit 2 people on. It came in real handy for our road trip
- suncream – LOTS OF IT. Factor 50+, you can’t mess around with the Oz sun
- bug spray – I basically wear this as perfume these days
- bikinis – I always take two – one I wear to the beach and the other I wear on the way back. Its nice to have on a dry sand free bikini walking back to the car or wherever after the beach
- t-shirt – I usually wear an oversized t-shirt in the ocean, the waves are rough, you will be jumping waves and getting knocked about and the sun will get you without you realising. Plus Id rather not have an awkward bikini malfunction baring all to Australia
- cool box – when we make a day of it we take a cool box with some snacks and lots of water
- shoes – it sounds stupid but wear flip flops that won’t melt. I wore black rubber Havaianas and they literally started melting on the sand. Plus walking barefoot on the sand is impossible unless you like having third degree burns!
- raincoat – you never know! We’ve been caught in the rain a few times
- charging block – wherever I go I take a charging block. Lets face it, iPhones aren’t known for their battery life. One time Erin and I got separated in a national park and caught without battery on either of our phones – I thought she was dead!
- baby wipes – my new best friend, I take them everywhere
- tissues – someone always needs a tissue
- book – beach entertainment between wave jumping sessions
- headphones – its always tragic leaving those behind
- hat – I personally look like an idiot in hats but Erin never forgets to take hers to the beach
- sunglasses – A MUST, without them you will be blinded, either by the brightness of the sun or the sand blowing in your face should the wind pick up
- insecurity – leave this at home. Sometimes the beach is too much about how you look in a bikini. Forget that, go and enjoy the waves and have a blast. Australia has some of the most amazing beaches and they should be enjoyed fully!
My bag pretty much stays that way wherever I go, with the edition of sand from every beach I’ve visited in Australia! I also take majority of that stuff to national parks and on mountain climbs. You never know when you’re going to find some rock pools or a waterfall you can swim in! We’ve used the first aid kit a number of times. So definitely get a couple of the cheap mini kits and keep them in your bag!
We’ve on many occasions turned up at beaches totally unprepared, and its not the end of the world. Its just inconvenient. Its also uncomfortable! Driving home or getting the train back after a beach day in a wet bikini and sand covered clothes isn’t so much fun! The sarong idea is also genius – gone are the days of beach towels!
For national parks and mountain climbs I usually take a spare pair of socks, and start with trainers then carry flip flops in my bag!
My bag is a 45L backpack with hydration pack. Thats mostly because I ran out of room in my actual backpack and so bought the 45L as extra packing. But the 45L has become my day time bag. Its rarely full, so a smaller one would do, also the hydration pack was just a bonus that came included. My old day bag was a 20L and I found it to be a little small for the beach.
If theres anything I’ve missed or anything else you take with you on your adventures then feel free to let me know – this kind of stuff is handy to know!