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What to Bring to the Beach: 5 Lake Day Must-Haves

Many of Texas’ lakes feature manmade beaches for summertime enjoyment. If you’ve ever wondered what to bring to the beach to enjoy a perfect summer day, consider packing your tote bag with these must-have items.

Many of Texas’ lakes feature manmade beaches for summertime enjoyment. Some lakes in and near the DFW area boast beautiful beach and picnic areas for those looking to spend a warm summer day in the outdoors. Popular area lakes include White Rock Lake, Lake Ray Hubbard, Lake Lewisville, Grapevine Lake, and Lake Texoma. If you’ve ever wondered what to bring to the beach to enjoy a perfect summer day, consider packing your tote bag with these must-have items.

1. Shade Umbrella

If covered pavilions are unavailable, fair-skinned and heat-sensitive beachgoers may want to bring a shade umbrella to the lake. Use your umbrella to create a shady refuge for your family and friends to reapply sunscreen, enjoy a cold beverage, or eat a snack.

2. Sunscreen

If you’re going to be exposed to direct sunlight during peak hours, you’ll need to apply sunscreen to prevent sunburns. Wearing sunscreen is also important for protecting your skin from premature aging and skin cancer in the future. Consider wearing a waterproof and sweat-proof formula so that you and your beach buddies have the most protection possible. The Center for Disease Control recommends that people of all skin types and colors wear sunscreen of at least SPF 15. Even sweat-proof and waterproof formulas wear off, so be sure to reapply sunscreen every two hours. When applying sunscreen, make sure to cover all exposed skin, including hard-to-reach places like your back and easy-to-forget places like your ears and neck.

3. Cooler or Ice Chest

Staying hydrated on a hot, sunny day outside is important. Consider carrying a small cooler or ice chest with you, and stock it with bottles of cold water and beverages like soda and sports drinks to help replenish lost fluids. Avoid packing your ice chest with glass bottles, as many lakes and beaches prohibit the use of glass containers. If you plan on spending most of the day outside, you may want to pack snacks and sandwiches as well.

4. Flotation Devices

If you plan to swim, flotation devices are a necessary safety precaution for children and inexperienced swimmers — but they’re not just for novices, considering that the combination of heat and sun exposure can easily tire the most experienced swimmer. A flotation device, such as a lightweight life jacket or even a simple pool noodle, can help swimmers stay afloat. The bright colors of flotation devices also make it easy for you to identify your friends and family in the water. Before your beach trip, you may also want to familiarize yourself with the Texas Parks & Wildlife’s official guide to safe swimming.

5. Swimming Attire

In addition to bathing suits, many locals choose to wear swimming shoes when exploring lake water. This is because sharp lures, broken glass, and jagged rocks that can cut your feet may be lining the bottom of the lake. Swimming shoes, available at most sporting goods stores, can help protect feet from cuts and scrapes. You may also want to bring a change of clothes and a towel for the ride home after a long, fun day at the lake.

These suggestions for what to bring to the beach can help you have a more enjoyable experience at Dallas-Fort Worth’s many lakes.

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