So summer is finally here and even though we’ve had snow in the month of June, it’s starting to finally feel like summer here in Colorado.
No summer is complete without hiking, camping, enjoying the sunshine and just being outdoors. Add in the beautiful green landscapes, BBQs, the occasional day on the water and the longer days and it’s an ideal time for family, friends and fun. I love getting out to kayak, hike and camp and even though my first camping trip of the year was foiled by snow, I’m looking forward to the rest of what the warm season has to offer.
Of course the summer also brings out many things that I can’t live without. So here are 10 of my Summer Must-Haves.
Who doesn’t love fresh fruit? Strawberries are my favorite and in the summer there’s plenty of different recipes to try. I enjoy homemade granola, honey yogurt and sliced strawberries. My favorite homemade granola recipe is actually my college best friend’s recipe which you can find here. Strawberry Shortcake is also a summer favorite with fresh whipped cream. Strawberry banana smoothies? Definitely a morning must.
Popsicles and Ice Cream
If popsicles and ice cream aren’t a highlight of your summer, you’re doing something wrong. The hotter weather and icy treat go hand-in-hand. I really like Outshine Fruit Bars because they’re made with real ingredients and taste delicious. The creamy coconut flavor is one of my favorites followed closely by the pomegranate one. For ice cream, I’m pretty happy with anything that has chocolate. If I’m looking for a pint just for me to devour in one sitting then it’s Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food hands down.
HydroFlask Water Bottle
You definitely need a good water bottle in the summer time. You have to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer sun and Hydroflask water bottles are ideal because of there insulation technology. I’ll fill my bottle with ice in the morning and still have over half at the end of the day. Even after filling it with more water at lunch it stays cool. I like the 21oz narrow mouth bottle with the sport cap because it’s the perfect size for a small hike, kayaking or just sitting at the office.
Sunscreen is vital for summertime. Nobody likes to look like a lobster and it’s just plain uncomfortable to deal with sun burnt skin. I prefer Neutrogena because it’s lightweight and not oily. I tend to have oily skin and putting sunscreen on was always gross feeling but with Neutrogena’s Ultra Sheer Dry Touch formula it feels clean. I’m also conscious about the products I put on my face and I know I can trust Neutrogena to not cause a breakout.
I love my Osprey packs. I have a few bags from Osprey that come in handy a lot during the summer. I have a 65 liter Aura AG backpacking pack that I am hoping to use at least once this summer. It’s been a while since I’ve done an overnight hiking trip but I know I’m prepared with the Aura pack. For day hikes I have the Manta AG 24 liter. It’s the perfect size for a day out on the trail and the hydration component is the best element. In addition to my hiking packs I also have a simple lifestyle pack that I used for school and a carry-on luggage piece that is perfect for a short trip.
I practically live in Chacos during the summer and I’m not ashamed to say I strive for that summer #ChacoTan. I got my first pair of Chacos when I was in middle school and have continued wearing them ever since. The quality of Chaco products are well worth the price and they have styles that fit everyone. I’m a classic ZX or ZX/2 gal but I’ve also purchased sneakers and casual leather sandals as well. I love the products, love the quality and highly recommend them to anyone that needs a good summer sandal they can wear out on the water or on the trail.
Repel Natural Bug Repellent
The only unfortunate thing about summer is all the nasty little bugs that come with it. The area I live in is inundated with mosquitoes and in order to survive you have to use bug repellent. I prefer to use natural bug repellent instead of DEET based products only because DEET can be harmful not only to your skin, but to your clothing as well. Did you know it can actually melt certain plastics? If it can damage plastic why would you want it on your body? My product of choice is Repel’s Natural Bug Repellent that is made with lemon and eucalyptus. Though the plant-based formula isn’t as powerful as a DEET-based formula, it’s a lot better for you and it smells amazing. You just might have to apply it more often.
It doesn’t matter where you live, summer is hot and those that don’t have a fan are just crazy. In the mountains a lot of places don’t have AC so opening windows and getting a fan going is the only way to keep the indoors cool. It sounds like such a random must-have, but it is a must for me. I don’t personally have a preference of fan brands, but something of better quality that will last more than one summer is preferred. I like the tower style that oscillates just because it gets air moving around the room the best and they’re more stylish that the classic stand fan.
If you haven’t caught on that I’m an avid reader, I’m here to tell you I’m an avid reader and having a library card, especially in the summer is a must. Snuggling up with a book on the deck or in my hammock is one of my favorite relaxing activities. With this year’s COVID-19 regulations, I’ve taken on reading some of my own books instead of borrowing from the library. I like being able to physically browse the library and I’m sad I can’t do that this year. But, I normally hit up the library a few times a month during the summer to borrow a book or audio book.
Being able to set up a hammock wherever is really nice. ENO Hammocks are ideal for any type of adventure. They’re super lightweight, small and packable and they come in great color combinations. I typically use my hammock at home on a stand, but I have the ENO Atlas straps that work great when I’m out camping. Reading, taking a nap or just relaxing wrapped up in a hammock is truly one of my favorite summer pass times.
These ten items aren’t the only ones I would consider must-haves for the summer but they are my top picks. What are your summer must-haves?