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No matter what’s going on in the world, when summer comes, it’s full of wonder and the promise of new adventures. From renting a houseboat on the lake and catching a wave at California’s best surf destinations, to luxury camping with friends and planning the ultimate summer road trip, the season’s beautiful weather entices us to get outside. But before you can confidently take on your next excursion, it’s time to stock up on all the summer gear you’ll need to make it an unforgettable season.
Whether you’re seeking summer hiking gear and camping equipment or sunscreen and summer makeup essentials, here’s everything you need for your California adventures.
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The warm, sunny days make us want to spend every waking moment outside, and with so many miles of coastline to choose from in California, there's nothing we can’t do. From surfing in San Diego to windsurfing in the Delta, to stand-up paddleboarding in Lake Tahoe, the waterways beckon during the hottest months of the year.
Before heading out to the sandy shoreline, stop by Los Angeles’ hottest swimwear stores or order a couple of suits from California’s top swim brands online. Throw on your favorite blue jeans, put on some sunglasses, and bring a bottle of sunscreen with you—now you’re ready for wherever the summer takes you.
For even more summer fun, prepare for a season of surfing by stopping by the Golden State’s top surf shops to find your ideal board. Whether you’re heading out to San Francisco’s best surf spots or making your way down to Los Angeles’ swells, you’ll want to find a wetsuit or rashguard to protect against the cool morning breezes.
Grab a picnic blanket and Turkish towel from Burbank’s Laguna Beach Textile Company to throw in your beach bag, too. Then, pack your Stasher Bags with seasonal produce from your favorite CSA box for a snack that eliminates waste and lowers your carbon footprint while you lounge in the sun. Add a bkr water bottle to your shopping list—trust us, this is California’s summer product you won’t want to go without.
Camping in the Golden State is an iconic summertime activity. Whether the season takes you to California’s national parks, glampsites, or national forests, there’s nothing quite like spending a few days out in nature. While you might already have most of the California products you need for a successful camping trip, you’ll want to invest in some summer gear to ensure you’re comfortable.
If you plan to camp at the same site for a few days and go on hikes to fill your days, getting the right outdoor gear—including a Camelbak hydration pack—is a game-changer. You’ll also want to get a tent that’s big enough to fit your party, plus appropriate sleeping bags for the warm temps (like Marmot’s Always Summer 40° Sleeping Bag). Bring a yoga mat (such as Manduka’s mat) with you, too. The mat will not only help you sustain your workout habits, but also serve as an excellent makeshift sleeping pad by providing a bit of extra cushion between your sleeping bag and the ground.
You’ll also want to invest in a North Face summer rain jacket if you plan to go camping on the coast or up in Northern California. While rain is unlikely in the warmer months, the fog and coastal breezes can make the air feel damp when the sun goes down, making a waterproof exterior layer a valuable addition to your summer product wishlist.
After nabbing all the essentials, treat yourself to a MIRA tea mug so you can brew a tasty cup of tea or coffee in the morning and keep it warm as you admire your surroundings.
When it comes to summer hiking gear, it’s all about comfort and breathability. Unless you plan to hike long distances, you shouldn’t need to bring much with you aside from a hydration pack and a few protein bars or snacks, allowing you to focus on building the ultimate hiking wardrobe.
Depending on the wildlife and vegetation at the location you wish to hike, you might want to cover your legs entirely, even in the summertime, making Athleta’s range of activewear an ideal choice. If you plan to hike in a warm, less dense region instead, Patagonia’s shorts are great alternatives, keeping you cool and comfortable the whole way. Both brands also have wide selections of tops and sweaters to complete your outfit, so all that’s left are the shoes.
Finding the right hiking shoes for you can prove quite challenging, but they’re vital for having a successful trip. Make sure to try on your shoes at the end of the day (when your feet have swelled), bring appropriate socks, and notice where the shoes rub on your feet to avoid blisters and discomfort on the trail. Many of California’s shoe brands offer excellent hiking boots, sandals, and athletic shoes that can suffice for shorter hiking trails.
When it comes to California road trips, it’s hard to go wrong with your packing list—as long as you’ve packed your favorite snacks, grabbed a good camera, and remembered to bring a rockin’ playlist. But since you’ll be spending a lot of time in the car, be sure to pack your most comfortable capsule wardrobe staples, your natural summer makeup go-tos (don’t forget your favorite bold summer lipstick), and your skateboard or bicycle so you can ride from place to place once you’ve arrived at your destination.
To save money and make your road trip a bit more eco-friendly, pack an ice chest with local fruits and veggies so you won’t have to stop as frequently along the way. Bring a Klean Kanteen bottle or two and ensure you all stay hydrated while avoiding unnecessary single-use plastics.
Now that you’ve got all the California summer products you need to make this the best season yet, all that’s left to do is plan your next adventure.
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