The thermometer reads 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Triple. Digits. The sun is beaming, the day is longer, shorts and tanks are out, the beaches are crowded — it looks like summer has finally arrived! It’s time to put away your winter items and whip out your summer essentials. Thankfully, we have compiled a list to help you! Here are Tinycaravan’s 10 summer essentials for your everyday summer outing:
1. Sunblock. This magical potion in a bottle is your key to preventing sunburn, aging, and skin cancer. Not all sunblocks were created equally; it’s important to read the bottle for ingredients with the most effective coverage. Look for sunblock with the words “broad spectrum” and/or “UVA and UVB” and ingredients that include zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. No need to have an SPF (sun protection factor) higher than 30 — a higher SPF does not guarantee better protection. Avoid chemicals such as oxybenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. They react to the sun rays and are harmful to the body and environment. If you like aerosol-like cans, look for ones with words such as “No CFCs,” “CFC free,” or “non-propellant aerosol” to avoid releasing harmful chemicals into the environment. Most importantly, don’t forget to reapply, reapply, and… reapply!
Brands We Love: Coola, Supergoop, Bare Republic, Shiseido, The Honest Company, Kiss My Face, Sunology, All Good, Badger, Josie Maran, and Yes To
2. Aloe Vera. One of the best ways to hydrate the skin is to use aloe vera, a cooling gel that feels amazing — especially in the summer heat. It can be applied on both the face and body. Aloe vera can be used for many things. It treats sunburns, cuts and acne, acts as moisturizer, is packed with vitamins and minerals, has antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and helps with digestion. What’s not to love about this plant?! When choosing an aloe vera product, look for the International Aloe Science Council Seal of Approval for authenticity, “Aloe Vera” as the first ingredient, not water or a sugary filler, and/or “juice or gel” which indicates that it is 95% Aloe Vera.
Brands We Love: Nature Republic, Key West Aloe, Fruit of the Earth, Mill Creek Botanicals, and Aubrey Organics
3. Bug Spray. Hello summer, hello bugs! If your skin is exposed and you know you will be going into bug country, remember to protect your skin with bug spray. Look for bug sprays that contain 20 to 30% DEET and is certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (look for the EPA registration number on the back of the label) — these are less harmful to the environment. Most importantly, apply it properly! Using more spray does not mean it’s more effective. Read the instructions carefully. Click here to look for EPA-approved bug sprays.
Brands We Love: Off!, Repel, and Cutter
4. Facial Mist. A great way to rejuvenate your face after being out in the summer heat is to use a facial mist. Not only is it refreshing, but it also contains many antioxidants, minerals, and/or vitamins to help hydrate, replenish, and soothe your skin. Just spritz it on your face every couple of hours and feel the coolness of the mist as it settles onto your face. How relaxing! We suggest avoiding mists with oils since that can clog your pores and cause breakouts.
Brands We Love: Mario Badescu, Herbivore, Caudalie, First Aid Beauty, Peach & Lily, La Roche-Posay, and Avene
5. Reusable Water Bottle. Whether it is summer or winter, you should always stay hydrated. During the summer, it’s especially important to replenish your body as you sweat under the hot, golden sun. The amount of water you drink depends on many factors such as your height, weight, and physical activity. Click here for an estimate on how much water you should drink. Opt for a reusable water bottle that is BPA-free or stainless steel to reduce the amount of plastic pollution in the environment. You don’t want to be the one that is contributing to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — a collection of marine debris in the central North Pacific Ocean — that is twice the size of Texas!
Brands We Love: Hydro Flask, Nalgene, Klean Kanteen, Thermos, Stanley, Vivid Roots, and S’well
6. Wide-brimmed Hat. Don’t let the sun toast your face and neck! If you’re going to be in the sun for the majority of the day, wear a wide-brimmed hat to get full coverage. This hat has saved my face many times when hiking in the burning sun.
Brands We Love: Columbia, Coolibar, UV Skinz, and Mountain Hardwear
7. Sunglasses. Not only would you look super cool in them, but sunglasses also protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays, eye dryness, and eye aging. Shop for a good pair of sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UVA and UVB light.
Brands We Love: MILK Eyewear, Oakley, Ray-Ban, Woodwear, Drift, ICU eyewear, and Panda
8. Comfortable Sandals. With the sun not setting until 8pm (or later), you’re likely to be out all day to take advantage of it. Make sure you wear comfortable sandals so you can walk around all day without a pinch of soreness or aches.
Brands We Love: Teva, Chaco, ECCO, Birkenstock, The Walking Company, Clarks, Aerosoles, and Keen
9. Portable Charger. Does this item look familiar? It was also mentioned in our car camping article. Make sure your phone is never without battery life. Just don’t forget your charging wire!
Brands We Love: Carved, Omaker, Goal Zero, EasyAcc, and Anker
10. Camera. Some of the best memories are created during the summer. You don’t want to regret not capturing those moments and not being able to look back and laugh at them. Bring your camera with you — whether it is on your phone, a nice, slick DSLR, or a Polaroid camera. Snap away like there’s no tomorrow, but also remember to live in the moment too.
Brands We Love: Canon, Nikon, Olympus, and Fujifilm