While some of us are spending the heat wave chilling in air-conditioned apartments (Oh, you have an extra A/C unit you're selling online for thousands of dollars? Nice to meet you, asshole!), others are embracing the sunshine and heading to the beach, fingers crossed that Ms. E. Coli stays away from our favourite sandy spot. Beachgoers, be prepared: here are the best beach essentials of the summer, all either made locally or available to buy in local shops. All of these, of course, come secondary to the #1 beach essential—your water bottle. Stay safe and hydrated, folks.
Herschel1. A Cooler That's All Kinds of... Well... Cool
Herschel really nailed the summer vibes with this one. The "12-pack" sized Pop quiz cooler is perfect for just that—super well-insulated, plenty of extra pockets for your bottle opener/sudoku, and a velcro door on the top for easy access. And get a load of this print. (It's also available in solid colours for basic beaches).
Hills Dry Goods2. Rose-Coloured Sunglasses
Ideal for basking in the glory of the sunshine and not thinking about how the gorgeous weather is the first of an onslaught of increasingly serious heat waves that will unquestionably lead to the end of the world because billionaires are pillaging the earth and making folks like you and me think plastic straws are going to make a difference. They're on sale, too.
OhShtKits3. A Ready-for-Anything Kit
The appropriately-named Oh Sh!t Kit has predicted nearly everything that can go wrong on a day in nature: headaches, heartburn, hair disasters, crying, etc. (And a few things that can go right—there's condoms in there, too). The full list included in this sleek little pack is intense: it's like a clown car filled with your mom friends.
Ikea4. A Bright Beach Blanket
To organized folks: when you inevitably get to the beach first because all of your friends had to work late or get emergency pad thai, this bright and sturdy beach blanket will be your beacon to them. To disorganized folks: when you inevitably get to the beach late with your emergency noodles, wave this blanket around to alert your friends that the party has arrived.
Londre5. A Sustainable Swimsuit
Londre's sleek suits made of recycled plastic bottles are the perfect fit for Vancouver beaches. This one (called The Minimalist) comes in ten different colours, including a sage green and Baywatch-worthy red. The one pictured above is called "sculpting clay."
Lululemon6. A Carefree Crossbody Bag
If you're a more easygoing beach bum and don't care for bulk, this water-repellent little bag is ideal: just enough room for your phone, wallet and keys (and maybe a compact snack or six). Who needs a towel. Air-drying is what god intended, right?
MEC7. A Floral Beach Towel
This pretty printed beach towel is so evocative of breezy summer days, it is impossible to be stressed while lying on it. Seriously, ask a scientist. (More seriously, don't bother scientists with things like this.)
Nala Care8. Coastal-Inspired Natural Deodorant
If you've read anything about natural deodorant, you know that there is a bit of a purging period when you first start using it—in other words, your pits are so used to aluminum and all the other garbage in drugstore antiperspirant that it takes a little while to get used to the #naturallife (different than the #naturalistlife, which you can also celebrate but only on select beaches). What better time to try that out than the summer, when you're always at the beach and everyone is expected to have a certain sweat threshold? This one (Coastal Waters) was practically made for sunny days in the PNW.
Patagonia9. Quick-Drying Swim Trunks
The fast-drying, extremely light fabric of these trunks make them a good choice if you're going for a swim and a beer (please do not drip your trunk water on the restaurant patio, it is a slipping hazard and everyone will wonder about your bladder control). They're made of an 87% recycled polyester and 13% spandex blend.
Sunja Link10. Sunscreen That Doesn't Clown Around
It's 2021, and not wearing sunscreen (especially on your face) is so not the vibe. This 50 SPF 'screen is fragrance free, has Rosehip seed oil to moisturize, and is made to be water and sweat resistant for 80 minutes. It also apparently leaves no white residue, so if you want to be the clown of the beach you'll have to find another way.
Wirth Hats11. A Babyish Bucket Hat
Bucket hats make everyone who wears them look like a child. But we love 'em. (And hey, look at your baby-soft skin from wearing your SPF!) This hat from Vancouver brand WIRTH helps to provide mental health counselling for folks in need—read more about them here.