We have been taking children to the Outer Banks beaches for more sixteen years. Before that, I was going there as a teen and later as a single adult. We have our daily beach trips down to a science, knowing exactly what to pack for those “what if” beach moments.
Here is a packing list for the perfect Outer Banks beach excursion. You may need to add or subtract items, depending on your particular needs.
- Fill water bottles 2/3 full. Freeze the bottles overnight. In the morning, fill the remaining 1/3 with water. This will give you cold water to drink during the day, as well as something to keep your food cold before lunch.
- If you collect shells, don’t forget a bucket.
- We bring a plastic grocery bag in case we have trash to bring back, either from us for from people who left their junk on the beach.
- The Outer Banks does not have lots of flies on the beach, so not to worry. However, ever so often the wind will turn in a particular direction and bring a few small biting flies to the beach. These flies LOVE ankles. We always keep bug spray with us, just in case.
- Suntan lotion, suntan lotion, suntan lotion!
- White vinegar or Jellyfish After Sting® for possible jellyfish stings.
- If you have young children, bring a small blowup pool to the beach. Fill it with sea water and let your little one play in his or her own pool!
- Always bring a snack – especially if you have children. Nothing can ruin a beach trip like, “I’m HUNGRYYYYYY!”
- Blanket or chair.
- For extra hot and sunny days, it is always nice to have a small umbrella and umbrella sand anchor.
- Bring a cell phone for potential 911 calls. I have seen far too many almost pulled out to sea, with lifeguards a house section over.
- If you have children, bring a Frisbee, shovel, bucket, plastic cars, water pistols, balls or other toys that will keep them occupied. And remember, digging holes deeper than a child’s knees is extremely dangerous and has proven fatal on Outer Banks beaches. There is far too much of a chance for cave-ins.
- Don’t forget your towel and flip flops!
- Body boards, skim boards and surf boards.