Featured, Lake Trip, Travel Hacks

Lake Day Essentials | What to Pack For a Lake Day

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There’s something magical about spending a day at the lake. Between the serene waters, the gentle breeze, and all of the sunshine, there’s really nothing better in the summer!

That being said, a lake day can get a lot less fun when you forget these lake day essentials. Be prepared and don’t forget what you really need out on or by the water with this list – read on for our ultimate lake day essentials guide.

Sun Protection

  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
  • Hat: A wide-brimmed hat provides extra shade for your face and neck.
  • Sunglasses: Polarized sunglasses will protect your eyes from glare and UV rays.

Shade Gear

  • Canopy, Umbrella or Tent: Sunbathing is great but make sure you have an option for shade so you and your group can stay cool and protected from the sun if you’re going to be out at the lake all day long.

Comfortable Seating

  • Beach Chairs: Lightweight, foldable beach chairs are perfect for relaxing by the water.
  • Blanket or Beach Towel: A large, soft towel or blanket is great for lounging on the shore.

 Swim Gear

  • Swimsuit: Bring your favorite swimsuit for a refreshing dip in the lake.
  • Towels: Extra towels for drying off after swimming.
  • Water Shoes: Protect your feet from rocky or slippery lake bottoms.

Fun and Games

  • Inflatable Floaties: Relax on the water with a comfortable floatie or inflatable raft.
  • Water Toys: Bring along water guns, paddleboards, or kayaks for some water-based fun.
  • Frisbee or Ball: Great for some fun on the shore.

Food and Drinks

  • Cooler: A sturdy cooler will keep your food and drinks cold all day.
  • Snacks: Pack easy-to-eat snacks like fruit, chips, and granola bars.
  • Water Bottles: Stay hydrated with plenty of water. Consider insulated bottles to keep your drinks cold.

Safety Gear

  • Life Jackets: Essential for everyone, especially if you’re planning on boating or paddleboarding.
  • First Aid Kit: Be prepared for minor injuries with a basic first aid kit.


  • Books or Magazines: Perfect for some peaceful reading by the water.
  • Bluetooth Speaker: Enjoy your favorite tunes with a portable, waterproof speaker.

Miscellaneous Essentials

  • Bug Spray: Keep pesky insects at bay with a good bug spray.
  • Dry Bag: Protect your valuables like phone, wallet, and keys from water damage.
  • Trash Bags: Help keep the environment clean by packing out all your trash.

Extra Clothing

  • Cover-Up or Extra Clothes: Bring a cover-up or change of clothes for after swimming.
  • Light Jacket: Even in summer, evenings by the lake can get chilly.

Navigation and Communication

  • Map or GPS: If you’re unfamiliar with the area, having a map or GPS can be very helpful. You can also screenshot a map of the area on your phone in case you don’t have service.
  • Phone Charger: A portable charger will ensure your phone stays powered throughout the day.