Summer is still a fair bit away here in Australia. It is probably the most anticipated season where everybody lets loose and takes their clothes off.
Take a look at the list of essential beach gear and prepare a checklist for your next trip.
According to the Cancer Council, Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world. This is because we are positioned really close to the massive hole in the ozone layer near Antartica. The ozone layer filters out excessive UV rays, so the hole lets in unfiltered rays which harms our skin through prolonged exposure. Coupled with our sun-worshipping culture, no wonder the cancer rate is that high.
Using a sunscreen with a 30 SPF rating or more will help protect your skin from those harmful ultraviolet rays and prevent excessive sunburn. You should also be generous with the amount of sunscreen that you put on, with the Cancer Council recommending one teaspoon per limb, one for the front of the body, one for the back and one for the head.
However, sunscreen shouldn’t be your only form of protection against the sun. You should also pair them with protective hats, sunglasses and other forms of sun protective clothing.
It’s really important to get a pair of sunnies with proper UV protection, as you can’t slop sunscreen on your eyeballs!
Those cheap sunnies that you bought in Bali won’t do either, since you never know the actual UV protection they have and that can pose a bigger risk compared to no sunnies at all. This is because when you wear dark glasses, your pupil size increases (dilates) to let in more light. But without proper UV protection, this will increase the amount of UV that passes through and cause further problems down the road.
You also would not want to take your expensive designer shades with you, as sand and seawater will cause damage to the frames and protective coatings on the glass.
A good compromise is sunglasses that are specifically designed for beach use. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so you won’t be stuck with boring and nerdy eyewear when you’re trying to relax and look cool while sunbathing.
Some beach sunnies come with polarised glass, which will cut down glare from the sun, darken the blue sky and cuts out reflection in water. In short, it makes the view more beautiful at the beach.
A sufficiently sized beach mat will let you lie down without getting burned by the hot sand. Some people use their towels as mats, but that will just make your body more sandy later and they don’t really insulate your body from the heat of the sand.
Nowadays beach mats come in various forms of packing. Some are rolled and some are folded. Either way, they make it a lot easier to carry around and store in your vehicle. Some of them come with built in pillows and head rests, so once you’re at the beach you can just spread them out, put on your sun protection gear and snooze away.
What’s the use of going to the beach and not dipping your toes (or whole body) in the ocean? Nothing feels better than the salty cold water lapping up against you on a bright sunny day.
When you’re done, you need to dry up. But home towels aren’t really meant to be used outdoors. Beach towels are generally wider and longer, so you can wrap your whole body while walking around and you can use them to protect the seats in the vehicle if you don’t plan on changing before driving off. You can also share a towel while sitting side by side.
Beach towels also come in more vibrant and fun designs, complementing the mood of your beach getaway.