Are you getting ready for the perfect day on the lake but have no idea what to bring? Lucky for you I’m here to help with my ultimate list of essentials to pack for a day on the lake. This ultimate packing list is perfect for a day at the lake, or the beach, plus it comes with a free printable packing list.
Since moving to our lake home two summers ago, I’ve become pretty educated on lake life living and all it entails. I now find myself yearning for days spent on the boat, simply fishing off our dock, or just enjoying a glass of wine overlooking the water.
I’ve been completely transformed and am admittedly obsessed with lake life!
Being lucky enough to live on a lake is something my family and I don’t take lightly. We know that having a backyard like this is what dreams are made.
Not everyone can just jump on a pontoon on a Wednesday night to unwind after a hectic day. And believe me, I’m always ready for those impromptu outgoings with my well-equipped lake bag.
Yes, we’re spoiled, but we truly are humble people who just worked really hard to get to where we are today. This, in turn, makes us appreciate our lake life even more!
Because we actually live on a lake, it’s not a big deal if we forget to bring something on the pontoon with us before heading out on the water. The worst that will happen is we end up turning around and heading back in the house for something we forgot, no biggie!
However, this only works for when we are on our lake.
Even though we do live on a lake, we often find ourselves heading out to a different chain of lakes near our house quite often. We like visiting the beach and spending the day with our friend’s on their boat from time to time too.
The luxury of living on a lake becomes nonexistent in these situations and I too am forced to make a complete list of all the essentials I need for a fun day by the water.
If you don’t live on a lake, or the beach for that matter, packing all the essentials you need for the entire day is extremely important. Turning around and coming home isn’t always an option and you don’t want your day by the water to be ruined because of a packing disaster.
Ultimate List of Essentials to Pack for a Day on the Lake
- Dry change of clothes
- Diapers/swimming diapers
- Wet bag/plastic bag for wet bathing suits
- Water shoes/sandals
- Ziploc bag with ID, cash, credit card, cell phone and keys inside
- Emergency kit (like this one)
- Brush and hair ties
- Bug spray/bug wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Toilet paper
- Cooler with ice
- Additional drinks (soda, juice, beer, wine, etc.)
- Bottle opener/wine key
- Eating utensils (forks, spoons, knives)
- Serving utensils and tools (kitchen knife, cutting board, serving spoons, tongs, etc.)
- Clorox wipes
- Paper goods (paper towels, napkins, plates, bowls)
- Plastic cups, water bottles, Yeti’s
- Trash bags
- Ziploc bags
- Life jackets (ours stay on our boat)
- Swim masks/goggles/snorkels
- Floats/noodles/inflatable tubes
- Beach toys (pails, shovels, nets)
- Water skis, wakeboard, pullable tube
- Fishing poles and fishing supplies
- Fishing license
- Boat registration
- Games (frisbee, beachball, football)
- Portable charger with USB cord
- Waterproof speaker
Don’t forget to print a copy of my ultimate lake essentials list to keep handy while packing for your lake day. My free printable packing list does a great job of dividing this list into sections that will help you organize your essentials better. Sign up using the form at the bottom of the post.
In terms of food, I wanted to add a couple of things. My personal go-to meal for lake day outings is premade sandwiches and wraps, fresh fruit salad, and snack-sized chips. I like to make the sandwiches and wraps in the morning to avoid the bread getting soggy if at all possible. If I can’t make them ahead of time, I bring the supplies I need to make them on the boat. For picky little eaters, try making fun wraps like peanut butter and jelly with chocolate chips or peanut butter, bananas and marshmallow fluff wraps.
The above-mentioned meal is perfect, but if you want to go all out, bring a portable grill with you and have a BBQ on the lake! Caution though, I would recommend this only for the more advanced lake goer. Stick to sandwiches for the first time or two for a less stressful option.
In addition to any food items containing things like mayonnaise, remember to put any food or snacks containing chocolate inside your cooler too. If you forget (I know from experience), you’ll end up with melted chocolate EVERYWHERE. It’s a total disaster in case you’re wondering. I try my hardest to not pack any snacks with meltable items in them for this exact reason.
I have the best process for packing food to bring to the lake that’s easy, efficient, and organized. You’ve got to check it out!
And not to be the party-pooper of the bunch, but make sure to drink responsibly if you plan on operating the boat or driving to and from the lake. Being over the limit isn’t acceptable on land nor water so pace yourself and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
There you have it! I wasn’t lying when I said I had the ultimate list of essentials to bring for a day on the lake. It looks a bit overwhelming but most of these items can fit perfectly in a lake bag or two! And if you have a pontoon like us, you can even tuck most of the items underneath the seats while you’re not using them.
I hope you found this list of lake essentials helpful! Enjoy your time this summer on the water whether it’s by the lake, beach or pool. And if you think I forgot anything from my list, don’t hesitate to comment below and let me know.