Take Your Own Gear to the Beach

If you are hitting the beach, take your own gear to the beach to save money and stay safe!

Until COVID-19, I never used hand sanitizer.  I taught public school for 15 years.  I still work in pubic schools providing professional development services and am around lots of people and germs weekly.  So, my fear of germs is minimal at best.  I just wash my hands a lot, get a flu shot, and move about my business.  Now, insert the current coronavirus, and I'm in a whole new phase of life.  

Take your own gear to the beach and set up where you are not in a crowded area to keep a safe distance.

Before I go any further, I am not a medical professional and am not trying to give medical advice.  Our son was a micro-preemie baby that has a heart condition and asthma, so I feel like we are a little more guarded.  But, we are also practical and just trying to follow the protocols by his doctors and CDC guidelines.  

My mother and I have talked a lot lately about healthy fear versus paralyzing fear.  I feel like I'm seeing a lot of the later in ways that are increasingly a concern.  No judgment here.  I have some very specific thoughts on the current health crisis and prefer not to debate them.  Nor is that the point of this post.  With all of that being said, we are going to the beach this summer.  And I think that there are some things that you can do to increase the health and safety of your family if you choose to do this.
  1. If you rent a condo or house, take items to clean everything when you arrive. 
  2. You could even take your own sheets if this makes you feel better.  It's not crazy if it gives you peace of mind.  And don't pool your friends as to whether you should do this.  Do what is right for you and your family not everyone you know.  Those people are not on vacation with you!
  3. Cook your meals and eat in, get curbside service, or take out.  It is fine to support local business, but you might not want to dine it.  We won't be doing that.  But, we don't normally anyway.  So this isn't a change for us.
  4. Plan activities that distance you away from others.  You don't have to be in a crowd to have a good time!  Plan to visit the beach at times when it is less crowded - early mornings or late evenings.
  5. Have your groceries and/or supplies delivered to your place or arrange for a curbside grocery pick up and avoid the crowded stores.  You could even take everything with you.  Let's face it everything is a compromise these days.  
  6. Take your own gear to the beach!
While we have always rented chairs in the past, I think it is wise to take your chairs and umbrella set up to the beach this year just for safety and sanitary reasons!

Number 6 is where I will pick up.  We have always rented a beach chair and umbrella set up for us.  This is one less thing that we have to do.  However, with the current health situation, I know that beach chair rentals can be risky.  And that is not in my comfort zone right now.  

Taking your own gear to the beach is one way that you can control who has access to your items, where you are sitting and everything being sanitary.  I have struggled with this decision not just because of convenience, but I know rental companies depend on this very tourist season to survive!  

Rio brands make several backpack style chairs.  You can carry these on your back or pack them into a beach wagon to take easily to the beach.  These are sturdy and well made!

However, you can purchase a nice setup of backpack chairs and an umbrella and hit the beach easily. You will be able to choose where to sit and how far or close to people on the beach.  Beach chair rentals are set up and taken down at a certain time each day.  With you taking your set up to the beach, you are in control of the times and access to your gear.   

This umbrella from Rio Brand will ancho into the ground and provide a nice wide break from the sun!

We like Rio Brands Gear.  We have their expandable table that I have written about several times.  It is a great little table and well made.  

This summer, we are taking Rio Brands backpack-style beach chairs and their umbrella to the beach.  If you go this route, you also need to get a good wagon to haul everything down to the beach.  Even though you can put your chairs on your back, a wagon will take your toys, cooler, umbrella, and everything else.  Yes, it is an initial investment, but you will have these items for years to come.  And, if you are at least an annual beach goer, this will save you money over the long haul.  We spend a lot of time outdoors.  We also take more than one trip a year that involves sandy beaches, so this investment makes sense to us.

Pick a wagon that has nice wide tires.  A traditional wagon won't do the job in the sand.

Plus, what price tag are you putting on your health and safety?  I'm not operating out of fear here.  I'm just trying to put good common sense to use and make the best decisions for our family.  

Maybe you are staying home this summer.  That is okay.  We wanted to take our RV to the beach, but there are no campsites to be had!  So, we are doing our thing the safest way possible.  And I'm sure there is enough judgment to go around about those decisions.  I'm on social media enough to know what that looks like.  

I just hope that when all of this is over that we all still have friends that are safe, healthy, and well enough to enjoy fun activities together again.  Choose wisely in the coming months.  Choose your words, activities, and actions wisely.  Be kind.  Give grace to those that are harsh and unkind to you about your choices.  But, most of all, enjoy the life that you have.  It is short and we don't get second chances to redo it all when it is over.  And finally, remember that you can only make decisions for you and your immediate family and not the entire population.  Take care of you and yours and let the rest go.  Its a variable you can't control, and it is pointless to think you can.

Until next time...

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