This post (probably) contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links, and I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking through one. This is at no extra cost to you and allows the site to keep running! Thanks for understanding.
Everyone loves a weekend away at the lake. In this article I’m going to give you all my top tips on what to take to the lake to ensure that you have the best trip ever.
Load your luggage into a Vault Cargo Cargo Hitch Carrier, hop in your car and get ready for a relaxing weekend getaway in nature. Just don’t forget to pack the essentials!
While the climate, location and your preferred activities will largely dictate your packing choices, here are some things you may want to add to your lake packing list.
Lake Trip Packing List
1. Drinking Water
Sure, you’ll have plenty of water close to you at the lake, but you’ll also need plenty to drink if you’re camping. If you’re staying in a cabin with potable water then you don’t need to worry about this.
Supplies can be difficult to find, especially if you are heading to a more remote destination. Stop at the closest convenience store and stock up on drinking water, especially in the hotter months. Gotta keep hydrated!
2. Food and Snacks
Unless you know for sure that there are restaurants, cafes or convenience stores close to your chosen lake, be sure to pack enough food and snacks to see you through the weekend. If you’re going to be camping, ensure you have the means to cook your food too.
Staying in a self-catering cabin? Check in advance what cooking items they have available. Many a time I have been stuck without a tin opener or scissors because they didn’t provide them and I never thought to ask.
If you’re going in winter then make sure to bring all of your own supplies in case you get snowed in. Anyway, we all know that the snacks are the most important part of any lake trip packing list.
A cooler with plenty of ice helps you to keep food and drinks perfectly iced, meaning that there’s less chance of items spoiling in the heat. Also, your water and beers (or wine) will be even more enjoyable when served refreshingly chilled.
4. Clothes and Footwear
Well, of course, you’ll need clothes! But what kind?! When deciding what clothes and shoes you want to take along on your relaxing weekend getaway, consider the activities that you want to do.
If plunging into the cool waters for a swim is high on your agenda, don’t forget your bathing suit. Looking forward to long walks and hiking in the countryside? Hiking boots, runners and socks are probably needed.
Pack clothes for both hot and cold temperatures too; temperatures can fluctuate, especially at nighttime. So make sure to pack a hoodie or jacket. ESPECIALLY if you’re camping. I always end up needing like 4 layers at night in a tent.
Flip flops are ideal for pottering about at the water’s edge and a hat protects your head in the sun.
5. Toiletries and Hair Care Products
When you’re thinking about what to take to the lake toiletries are probably top of the list. Shampoo, shower gel, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion and a hairbrush/comb are equally as important at the lake as they are at home.
If you’re wild camping and bathing in the water, it’s especially important to make sure that any products you pack are eco-friendly. You don’t want to ruin all the beautiful nature that you’re enjoying.
The same applies for sun cream; make sure it’s both water resistant and not harmful to the environment. Remember to apply your sun screen at least 30 minutes before stepping into the sunshine.
If you’re staying in a catered cabin or AirBnB check the description or give them a call to check what toiletries they supply.
Even if you don’t plan to swim, you’re still likely to get at least a little wet at the lake. Plus, you’ll want to dry off when taking a shower. As well as your showering towel, take along an older towel for drying off lakeside.
You can also use an older towel to lay out on the floor to sit on if you don’t take a picnic blanket or fold-up chairs. The key to packing is packing multi-use items.
Again, this is more important if you’re camping. If you’re staying in a cabin they will usually provide towels.
7. Basic First Aid Kit
First Aid is an essential on any lake packing list. Accidents can happen anywhere, but they’re more likely to occur when you’re exploring the outdoors and doing different activities. Assistance can be difficult to find in off-the-beaten-track destinations and sprawling national parks.
Essential first-aid items include plasters and bandages, tweezers, safety pins, antiseptic, and pain killers. Insect repellent is also highly useful. You can buy pre-made first aid packs in chemists/pharmacies or you can easily make up your own, usually you’l have most items at home.
In fact, you should have one of these in your car at all times anyway, so if you’re driving to the lake you can just use that one.
8. Books, Games, and Other Leisure Items
You want your relaxing lake getaway to be just that, right? So take along items that will help you to unwind and switch off (no, I don’t just mean alcohol).
Toss a good book into your bag, pack some art supplies or select a few games for a group to enjoy. A deck of cards and Uno can be perfect at the lake. Rubber rings, inflatable boats and flotation devices can also add to the fun and relaxation.
Want to do some stargazing? Why not take a telescope? Planning to spot nature? Binoculars can be handy.
Sunglasses, garbage bags, a flashlight and spare batteries are also recommended. A map can help out with actually making your way to the lake; remember, there may be little mobile signal or GPS coverage.
Pack smartly and have a terrific time at the lake on your relaxing weekend getaway, ready to return home feeling refreshed, recharged and raring to go.
What’s the most stunning lake you’ve ever visited?
I love Lake Peyto in Banff National Park and Lake Bled in Slovenia.