Our whole family is excited that Spring is here and Summer is quickly approaching! We have already loaded up our car THREE times with our favorite things to pack on a trip to the lake!!
The sunshine and warm weather is our favorite.
We plan to take advantage of the gorgeous weather down here in Texas and spend as much time as possible at the lake and beach. When you have a large family like ours you quickly realize that there are some essentials to pack every single trip to the lake. This is a new area to us, so we are exploring new places each trip. The first lake trip ended a little abruptly after one of the girls fell and hit the back of her head. We ended up at the ER with two little stitches.
I have to say that I am pretty amazed to tell you that this is our first ER trip for stitches! Being a mom for almost 9 years and six VERY active children I am thankful we haven’t had any other accidents. And for that… I am soooooo thankful! (**knocks on wood.) The second and third trip to the lake and beach were very successful with LOTS of fun (and No ER trips!). We found a lake stocked with fish that is free to get into! It’s not a far drive into the country either. There will definitely be more trips to that lake for fishing. My husband and I are excited to teach our kids to fish this year. Even though they are young, it’s never too early to teach them outdoor skills like fishing, swimming, and gardening. Hopefully, we will be able to catch something big enough to cook! So far, Justin’s little fishing rod has been the only one to catch anything… and they were too small to keep. Our trip to the beach was amazing. It was the most gorgeous day and we were one of the first families to arrive at the park that day. So we had the beach almost to ourselves for most of the morning. If you can plan ahead and get on the road early you will beat most of the crowds! Our trip to the lake started with this gorgeous 2017 Mazda CX-9! This is the second Mazda CX-9 I have been able to drive and I still enjoy the smooth ride and gas efficiency. The trunk is spacious and the seats fold down flat for maximum storage space. The three rows are spacious and comfortable. The kids argued over who got to ride with mom, so you know this SUV is definitely “Kid Approved.” Part of the trip to the lake is the road tip. I really enjoy driving. Both as a passenger and driver. The Mazda CX-9 has a gorgeous console and easy to use navigation system. I try to gather together as much as I can the night before our trip to the lake, so I am ready first thing in the morning to load up and start an adventurous day with the family. Each time we load up it is a little easier because I know exactly what we are taking and how everything will fit.
These are my essentials to pack on a trip the Lake.
Obviously, if you are going to stay hydrated and nourished on a trip to the lake you need a cooler to store your food and keep your drinks cool. We recently invested in an RTIC Cooler and I just can’t get over how the ice didn’t melt for TWO DAYS in the cooler! It was like a refrigerator. I will never buy any other kind of cooler. It is just amazing how it kept everything cold for so long. (And it was in the sun too!)
Besides the obvious (wiping dirty bums) a package of wipes is essential! There are a hundred uses of this amazing product; wiping dirty faces, cleaning off dirt from hands, emergency bathroom trips with no toilet paper and so much more! I keep an extra package in the car at all times!
Extra blankets and towels
Even if you don’t plan on swimming, bring the towels… You never know when I child might “accidentally” jump into the lack on purpose in full clothing and shoes! I like to have the extra blankets to use as table clothes for picnic benches or tables, on the ground to sit on or if there is a sudden drop in temperature for late night trips (perfect for cuddling in!).
First Aid Kit
As we learned on our first trip to the lake… accidents happen! (Hopefully, they don’t all require a trip to ER!) Fishing hooks and rocks make for easy cuts on little fingers. Bandaids make everything better. I like to be prepared for anything!
I no longer bring a stack of regular napkins to the lake. That is one gust of wind away from running around like crazy people trying to collect them all again! (Speaking from unfortunate experience…. ) A roll of paper towels is perfect for distributing on an as needed basis without the risk of the stack blowing away. I have even used paper towels as plates for the kids for dessert!
Bug Spray & Sunscreen
Even on cloudy days you need sunscreen! Better safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your families skin. We try to reapply every couple of hours too. Bug spray is a must for our family. We seem to have blood that smells like candy! The mosquitos LOVE us.
Even though we have only caught a couple of tiny fish so far, the kids have really enjoyed fishing. Jon has been patiently instructing them on each step. They especially love grabbing the worms and baiting their hooks!
Toys for kids
Our favorite toys to bring to the lake or beach are sand toys, Kite, bubbles, and a football. There are of course, many options, but be sure to grab a few things for entertainment when everyone needs a break from fishing or swimming.
Grilling gear & folding table
There are not always picnic tables and grills available to use. Plan ahead and be prepared with your own grill set up and table for food prep and serving. We love our portable propane grill. It’s perfect for setting up on the table and grilling burgers or hot dogs.
Most of the time you have to haul everything from the car to the lake or picnic area and it isn’t a short distance. To prevent having to make multiple trips or killing your back stick a wagon in the back of the car. We love our Collapsible Wagon. We haul the girls, the cooler, towels, and backpacks! It really was the a great investment for us. I am ready to head back to the Lake or Beach NOW!!! There is just something about being near water that revives my soul. If you don’t have a plan to make a trip to the Lake this spring or summer, you really should! And now you know the essential things to pack for your trip!
Happy Lake Life,
TELL ME: What would you add to this list?
**I was given the opportunity to drive a Mazda in exchange for my honest opinion about the vehicle. This post contains affiliate links.**