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GAY ARMADA: Trip Gear
AND YACHT GEAR
When we set off for a week in the islands, we plan EXACTLY what everybody needs to bring for the boat. It seems so regimented, but (consciously or not) it's really the same thing that our guys do for a weekend FIP/Reho/Saugatuck run, a week in PV, or even just for the day in LA/SF/SD/Chicago.
But what to get? What to pick? Which is better and is that worth that?
Just like everything, it's up to YOU to choose your own adventure! But if it's any help, here are a few of OUR favorite things (tested, used, compared and picked) that work great for our guys sailing in the islands, AND at the beach back home. Always buy only what you need, want, and liuke, so hopefully these can just help spark thinking & ideas to help you live it up best.
What are YOUR favorites? Let us know! The lists always get better with age!
BEACH BASICS: SETTING UP CAMP
QUICK-DRYING, XL SIZE MICROFIBER TOWEL
Microfiber towels are the BEST new trend for beach and boats! We have been fully won over! Sand doesn't get stuck deep within them, they're easy to quickly shake off, they dry you off faster (and better) than a regular towel, only take 20% of the space, and hang dry in less time than a regular towel in the dryer. Hotels & businesses that need to mass launder & dry are unlikely to switch, but we are won over! Check out this huge, cheap & perfect one!
LOUNGE CHAIR TOWEL FITTED WITH POCKETS
If you're at a beach house, at the Ptown Inn, on a cruise ship, or anywhere with a lounge, the push towards long, fitted towels is a nice game-changer! This is double true for somewhere either a) windy, or b) needing a "claim" on that precious lounge chair real estate! Everything stays in place, pockets hold books, sunscreen, phone, etc. and it stays there while you frolic in the pool, flirt with a cutie, or find the distractions that make summer grand!
BEST BOCA CLIPS TO HOLD TOWEL ON CHAIR
Boca clips are a silly something that too many guys never caught onto! We need to better expropriate them from our grandmothers in South Florida ASAP! Clip the towel to your chair at the top and bottom to hold it there for the day. They're also surprisingly handy around the house from time to time! Now... there are zillions of them, but the O2COOL clownfish are a cut above with a tiny (but great) hinge that works perfectly clipping to tubular or flat chair parts
XL BEACH BLANKET FOR FULL GROUP
So many of us use old, repurposed sheets or blankets to keep sand out of our stuff and claim the group's spot on the beach. Companies have smartened up lately though, and keep coming out with continuously coming out with bigger, better, more easily compacted / carried, and more sand / waterproof than ever. This is a great one, though there are infinite evolving variations. Take a look, then scroll through Amazon suggestions off it's page and you'll find the perfect one for you
PROTECT THE PHONE:
WATERPROOF DRY BAG
WRAP IT UP WHEN YOU ARE SURROUNDED BY WATER !!!
At the beach and pool, your phone is in constant peril. It's even worse in the islands (and you can't replace it until back home!), and all can be solved with cheap, easy dry bags like this. Get a couple. They also keep sunscreen off the screen and from clogging the mic. Both phone and Bluetooth work fine inside
WATERPROOF DRY BAG FOR TABLET / IPAD
These are fantastic! Float in the pool with your iPad or other tablet to read / watch while you float and the device is nice and safe.
These things don't last forever, but they are cheap and disposable, so toss them out as they wear down. Have a spare in case it gets damp inside sometime
EXTRA ZIPLOC SNACK OR SANDWICH BAGS
Always immensely handy, whether in the islands on the boat or hitting the beach back home. Unless you're on it, or it's in its dry bag, keep the phone should be in one when hopping around boats and pools. They're invaluable for keeping money / ID in at pools / beach, holding charger cords, a snack to go, or anything else. There's no such thing as too many!
SUPER BRIGHT, MINI TAC FLASHLIGHT
On the boats at night, stumbling through Ptown of FIP in the wee hours of the night, or even walking through Brooklyn, it helps to have. This one is crazy bright, cheap, light, nearly indestructible, needs almost no power (1 battery lasts over a year). You need a flashlight on the sailing trip, and this awesome tactical one is perfect for the trip and will last you forever back home
A FEW EXTRA TRASH BAGS (SEMI-DURABLE)
The farther your beach is from the regular world for you, the more likely you're going to be generating trash and people rarely remember to take a real trash bag or two with them and end up with too much trash crammed in other places or finding a makeshift fix... when it's easy to wash worries away with a spare 1-2 tucked in your bag just in case.
(Also true for boats!)
BEACH CUP FOR
DRINK / PHONE / ETC/
An easy, basic, and also brilliant idea, especially in a phone era. These are fantastic for a dozen reasons and it's hard to figure out why we haven't been using them for decades! The price is a steal when you get the bigger group, especially since you know everybody in the group will want 2 each, anyway!
EASY BEACH WIND BLOCKING BARRIER
If you don't immediately see why this thing is the best $24 ever spent, then consider yourself lucky to have never had an otherwise perfect beach day ruined by a rough wind!
If there are weirdos around, it adds a bit of welcome privacy, too, and helps stake your group's claim to your base area, all extra benefits. Don't forget the mallet! (Big help)
WIFI NETWORK AND PASSWORD SIGN
People --and our special tribe is among the worst-- will drive you bananas asking about the wifi password, especially in ultra-social gay beach towns. Having one of these solves all your problems instantly as you point the boys to the sign and stop reminding them that it's a capital "M" or whatever. For a cheaper version, make your own in an empty, old, blank small frame
SHERPA: CARRY THE ESSENTIALS
LARGE MESH BEACH TOTE WITH POCKETS
A great bag for holding the bulky stuff at the beach or pool. The mesh is perfect for keeping sand out of the car and keeping towels or swimsuits inside from making it gross inside
The outer pockets are pretty big and hold a lot. If you keep from overloading the thin mesh, it will be incredibly handy, last a while, and already super cheap
FOLDABLE BEACH TRANSPORT WAGON
A bit pricey for the periodic beach-goer, but the all-summer folks should jump on this as a great way to get your group's assorted "stuff out to the beach without hassle.
A bit rough for the Ptown beach "death march" through the tide pools or lugging up and down FIP stairs, most of our other cities would love it, and perfect for any Floridians!
These used to be all but required in order to be a DC Gay on Rehomo Beach! They'd be great in FIP, but hard to stash in a tiny NYC apt. for the off-season. Their loss!
A bit bulky for the sailing trip, but a fantastic thing to have for anybody making regular beach trips needing an easy fix you can toss over a shoulder (and use its pockets, too)
SET OF XL, STRONG BLUE IKEA BAGS
When you have to carry a bunch of stuff in an abnormal situation or way, these bags are greatest thing ever,
On the boat, they're great for getting piles of stuff together, hauling bags of groceries in and out of the boat and everything else.
At home, there's never a shortage of ways these bags help, especially when loading up the car
SUNSCREEN: LATHER UP, BABY!
TOP-RATED FACE + BODY FROM KIEHL'S
Kiehl's has made amazing products long before they got the added bonus of corporate money, so it shouldn't be a surprise that Consumer Reports raved about their sunscreen with much higher ratings than the better-known, sunscreen-focused brands. OVERPRICED ON AMAZON: JUST BUY THIS TYPE FROM KIEHL'S IN-PERSON
HAWAIIAN TROPIC ISLAND SPORT LINE
Among well-known sun brands, Hawaiian Tropic's Island Sport was among the highest-rated major brands. Comes in SPF 15 / 30 / 50. It's well-priced and available pretty much everywhere. A good go-to, especially when you need one quickly and can only pick from local beach town markets or resort stores
#1-RATED? WALMART STORE BRAND SFP 50
Believe it or not, the highest-rated, best-testing sunscreen from Consumer Reports was Walmart's store brand! Kudos to that buying team and white-label maker! Specifically, for about $3, get the #1 performing sunscreen at any Walmart Store. Note specifically that it is the Equate Sport SPF 50 Broad Spectrum Sunscreen (see details from website HERE)
MOST LOVED? ARMADA SAILORS ALWAYS LOVE THAT BB DRY OIL
While Consumer Reports celebrates Walmart's big win, so many of the tannest boys of the Gay Armada over the years have often sworn their love for Banana Boat's Dry Oil Tan Enhancing Spray. Comes in SPF 8 / 16 / 25 and is MUCH less greasy or stinky than most of its pro-tan competitors. Prices fly everywhere, but probably cheapest in person at any Walmart
SPF 15 + 30
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