Beach Gear You Didn’t Know You Needed

When you head to the beach this summer, chances are you won’t forget your swimsuit, towel, and tote. But a few other gadgets could liven up your time in the sun and better protect your belongings from the elements.

A reliable cooler
Look for a cooler that keeps things cold for at least 12 hours. The ArcticZone 30 Can IceCOLD Cooler is a good choice. It comes with adjustable shoulder straps that make it easy to lug around. Plus it collapses when not in use, so it won’t take up too much room in your closet.

A high-tech tote bag
If you’re worried about your Kindle’s battery going dead just when you get to the climax of your thriller, the Juice Bag Solar Beach Tote may be the tote for you. It’s a large bag with a high-tech flexible solar panel that can charge your phone, iPhone, and other appliances while you swim. Just try to keep it away from water.

Biodegradable beach toys
Let’s face it: chances are that some day you will accidentally leave your child’s plastic bucket on the beach. Or her spade. Or her rake. So to make sure you don’t accidentally pollute the environment with toxic plastics, buy beach toys made from corn and sugar-based bioplastic. These buckets and shovels break down into organic materials within two years when immersed in soil or water. Regular plastics can take 500 years! Zoe B biodegradable beach toys are one place to start.

Underwater camera
Capture your exciting underwater encounters with a camera made for ocean photography. The Explorer Series snorkel-mask camera makes taking clear, five-megapixel photos and videos easy to do—without your hands. The camera, from Liquid Image Works, can be used up to 15 feet underwater.

Waterproof music players

Listen to your own soundtrack as you frolic in the surf with Swimman’s waterproof iPod Shuffle or the Nu Dolphin Swimmer MP3 player. You could also try clipping the Finis SwiMP3 V2 waterproof MP3 player onto your ears for total sonic immersion.

Fun footwear
The Havaiana is the hippest footwear of the season. These flip-flops to the stars come in a rainbow of colors, with thick or thin soles, and even with a back strap should you want one. Created for men and women, Havaianas also won’t break your bank account, usually costing $22 to $44 a pair.

E-book shield
If you’d rather take your electronic reader to the beach than risk getting your stack of paperbacks soggy, make sure you protect it. The new Kindle KlearKase is made from the same tough, transparent polycarbonate used in F22 fighter-jet windows and it protects your e-reader from scratches, splashes, and errant grains of sand.

A vacation vault
If you must carry valuables to the beach, make sure you keep them safe with a Vacation Vault. The 7″ x 6″ x 4″ case keeps your keys and cash secure with a three-digit combination lock. The attached cable loops around picnic tables or beach chairs to ensure no one runs off with your loot.

Liquid-free sunscreen
Avoid scenes at airport security by taking liquid-free sunscreen towelettes with you on vacation. SmartShield Towelettes provide waterproof and sweatproof SPF 30 protection that won’t alarm security personnel. The towelettes also include insect protection with chemical-free repellants such as cedar essence and lemongrass.

Waterproof playing cards
Protect your poker game from water and spilled beer by using waterproof cards. Try AquaLivin 4360 Waterproof Playing Cards or Kikkerland Invisible Cards.

Sources: Budget Travel, Good Housekeeping, MSNBC, CBS

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