Son of a Beach

Spring is officially here! And that means that warmer weather and hot summer days are just around the corner. If you are in the South or Hawaii, you are probably already experiencing beach-worthy weather.

Here is Jacksonville, we are enjoying delightfully warm 80-something days with still-frigid ocean water.

Last week was our first beach trip of the season. It was a warm and gorgeous day, but whilst reading Philippa Gregory novels from a beach chair I was struck with how much I didn’t want to make the walk back to the car.

Although there were only two of us enjoying the beach day (along with all of the FSU beach bros on Spring Break, debating the merits of various protein powders while they played beach beer pong, sipping *lemonade* out of neon yellow Solo cups), we were rocking the beach equipment of a family of six:

  • One tent
  • Two beach chairs
  • Three beach towels
  • Three novels (just in case)
  • One cooler with provisions to last the weekend
  • Four bottles of sunscreen
  • One speaker
  • Two Frisbees
  • Beach paddles and a paddle ball

Just a lot of stuff. And we used all of the stuff. One of these days we are going to master the art of the beach trip so that we don’t kill ourselves trying to carry all of the stuff between us.

As you 810ers get ready for your spring break or plan your first beach vacay of summer, please learn from our folly and follow these tips to rock your next ocean trip.

Beach Season, Baby.png


Don’t bring what you won’t use

Last year I would play the worst game with myself every time we headed to the beach.

I would pack some dreaded beach item that I never used but would try to convince myself that this would be the trip I finally did.

I’m really going to wear this sunhat this time. I’ll pack it.

I’m really going to play soccer on the beach. Let’s bring the soccer ball!

I’m really going to use sport sunscreen even though I already have my favorite sunscreen in my beach bag. Pack it!

Be honest with yourself.

When I go to the beach, all I want to do is eat grapes and read novels. Such a diva princess.

It is fun to pretend I am going to be chic and classy and sporty on the beach but that is not what I actually want to do, so why bring the stuff?

I love being outside, but I also love words. When I’m outside, I’m almost always reading.

Sink into it.

This will save you carrying unnecessary things to the beach that you will never actually use.


Hydrate (but forreal)

Pack your favorite drinks for the beach.

Bring that hard cider. Enjoy that wine cooler. Sip slowly on that mixed drink.

But water up.


There is nothing more miserable than getting drunk on the beach, burning all of your skin in the sun, and then making the dreaded walk back through the soft sand to the car while you are toting all of your belongings on your back.

Don’t let your body get dehydrated in the sun. Pack ridiculously large water bottles for each person in your party and make sure everyone drinks up. It will make such a big difference on the walk back.


Eat all the things

The key to a wonderful walk back to the car is for this trip to weigh less than what it took to get everything down to the water.

This last week, we were weighed down to the max with stuff. But, luckily, we packed a lot of stuff we weren’t going to come back with.

Mainly, beers and food and ice.

If you are going to pack a cooler, make sure that you take the effort to put ice in the thing. Keep your drinks cool while you are torching your body in the sun.

Enjoy all of your snacks at the beach. Feed your body and enjoy the weather.

Then, before you go home, dump the ice and throw away all of your garbage in a beach trashcan.

There you are! Your walk back to the car will be lighter than the first trip.

This is essentially because, after a day of playing (or reading) in the hot sun, the last thing you want to do is serve as your own pack mule back to a hot car.


Be safe and enjoy!


Written by Shelby Dorsey,

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