Relaxing summer days are perfect for getting out on the water. If you’re planning a day of boating, the following are some essential items you’ll definitely want to bring along.
Personal flotation device
A personal flotation device (PFD) is the most important thing you can carry on your boat, and you should have one for each passenger. Most states require this by law, so make sure you have them packed! Better yet, wear your PFD the entire time you’re on the water.
Cell phone (or radio)
A working cell phone, or some way to communicate with the outside world, is essential in case you become stranded. In a worst-case scenario, you can contact friends or the proper authorities to get you out of a bind—otherwise, you can use your phone to brag to your friends on Instagram, something only slightly less important.
Anytime you’re away from civilization, a first-aid kit is essential. Make sure to also bring bug repellent and hand sanitizer or disinfecting wipes. You’ll never regret being prepared.
On a boat, you often have direct exposure to the sun and limited shade to enjoy. Sunburns can be especially bad in these cases, so be sure to wear sunscreen and pack some sunglasses. Of course, a wide-brimmed hat and SPF lip balm definitely can’t hurt, either.
Snacks and drinks
Bring snacks and drinks along for refreshment. Throw some ice in an airtight cooler—outdoor activities will definitely make you thirsty and you’ll love an ice-cold drink. Non-perishable food, like granola and protein bars, can give you a boost of energy while you’re soaking up some rays with your friends and family. Or go big and pack sandwiches and salads. Make sure to bring plenty of water so no one ends up dehydrated.
Swimsuit, towels, and extra clothes
If you think you might want to get in the water at some point, definitely bring a swimsuit. And pack some towels in an airtight bag; no one likes drying off with a wet towel! And you just might thank yourself later for bringing a change of clothing—for instance, it’s nice to get into some clean, fresh clothes after falling overboard.
You never know when an unforgettable moment will happen. Pack a camera—or a smartphone with a good camera—that can survive taking a quick dip.