Never Leave Home for Your Summer Activities Without These Essentials

Chante LaGon

Article Posted By: Chante LaGon

There’s nothing like getting outside for your favorite summer activities. Sure, air conditioning is wonderful, but when the campsite calls or the beach beckons, a breeze is all you need.

Well, a breeze and these tips and take-alongs. We went on a warm-weather adventure recently and found that keeping a few things in mind — and on hand — can make all the difference in enjoying yourself outdoors.

A yurt at High Falls State Park in Georgia is good shelter for summer activities

First of all, secure the right location. Make sure to reserve your campsite, check with local authorities to see if beach camping is allowed, or simply arrive at your free-for-all site in plenty of time to get a good spot.

We decided to stay at a yurt in Georgia’s High Falls State Park. It’s the perfect setting for camping with a bit of glamour, aka glamping.

Next, gather up some travel basics. Here’s a collection of our favorites — everything from a flashlight to a first aid kit. That’s just the start. Let us show you some of our other must-haves below.

Travel essentials for summer activities include an LED lighter, bug spray, a first aid kit and more

Some locations have grills, but why not bring your own? A small portable one like the Weber Lil Smokey will have you ’cueing up in no time.

Weber Lil Smokey Portable Grill works well for summer activities

Once you’ve set up your cooking area — which you’ll want to place away from your main lodging or lounging area — it’s time to light the fire. Don’t waste time with matches. Let a utility lighter and quick-start fuel get you started.

Scripto lighter being used to light fuel

When it comes to pest prevention, it’s hard to go overboard. Hang a fly trap, pack an inexpensive fly swatter, and don’t forget the bug spray.

A fly trap hanging near campsite

A fly swatter hanging outside of a yurt

Bug spray being shot across a field

Gear ties are simply genius. They come in various lengths and one strength: super strong! You’ll find that gear ties have multiple uses, from tying up extension cords and gathering gear to hanging lanterns and portable stereos.

A green gear tie helps gather an extension cord

Bungee cords are gear ties’ tried-and-true siblings. You’re likely to surprise yourself with how handy bungee cords are, but we find them especially useful for bunching collapsible chairs together or securing objects in the car.

Bungee cords help gather collapsible chairs

Speaking of your car, your trip won’t be any fun if you have car trouble en route. Keep booster cables on hand, just in case.

Booster cables placed outside of campsite

So maybe sleeping on the ground isn’t your idea of comfy. We found this foldable, portable cot quite rest-worthy. Decked out with pillows, the cot is sure to make your afternoon nap outside even more enjoyable.

A Coleman cot with pillows on top sits outside of a yurt

If you plan on taking more than one trip this summer, save yourself the trouble of taking care of an easily-damaged Styrofoam cooler. A durable cooler is worth the investment. Wheels are a must, and extra storage space is a nice touch. Vintage design, bright colors and an attached bottle opener seal the deal.

Red cooler with bottle opener sits nearby campsite

What good is a drink that gets warm too fast? Once you get your beverage out of the cooler, stuff it inside one of these koozies to keep it icy cold.

Koozie with a bottle inside and a bottle opener in the pouch

Plastic storage totes will help keep everything from camping gear to nonperishables nice and dry. We love the idea of filling up totes with your camping essentials — maybe one for bedding and blankets, and another with disposable paper- and plasticware. Pack your totes at the start of the season, then replenish or refresh your items when you return from a trip so your can grab and go for the next one.

Blue plastic storage tote filled with canned beverages

A little light literally goes a long way when you’re camping. Put LED lanterns to work along stairs, or near coolers for easy access to food and beverages once the sun goes down.

LED lanterns on stairs

And last but certainly not least: If you’re taking the little ones along, keep sibling rivalry to a minimum by labeling pillows and toy packs with a piece of Duck tape. Happy trails, indeed!

Pillows labeled with orange duct tape

No matter what summer activities you’ve got planned, you’ll find everything you need for outdoor recreation online or in-store at The Home Depot. And for more ideas on camping and travel essentials, follow our Summer Activities board on Pinterest.