The Ultimate Summer Survival Guide

People are really dramatic about the summer: It’s freezing in here with the stupid AC on! I’m dying of heat! I’m so dehydrated! My butt looks like a walrus stuck inside a can of tuna in this swimsuit!

And yet we look forward to it every year, like an Iron Man Competition for slightly more sane people. However, if we’re going to be hyperbolic about “surviving” the season so many of us declare to be our favorite, we might as well scoop up a handful of Girl Scout mentality and Be — with a capital B — Prepared.

BUT NOT IN THAT WAY. This isn’t about being “bikini body” ready or spray tanned or even well-dressed. (Just copy her.) This is about packing your Summer Essentials kit now so that when someone asks, “Are you ready to party?,” you can look them square in the eyes and laugh.

Because of course you are.

First, you’ll need to practice the basic tenet of Living Hands Free — Secret Pockets — so that at any given moment you can wave your hands in the air without sending your cell phone flying. I am partial to a Boobypack which, in what is perhaps the greatest rhyme of our time since the Notorious B.I.G. paired “Birthday” with “Thirs-tay,” is a fanny pack for your rack.

Next! You’ll need a proper beach towel to avoid the hypothermic horror of exiting the  water and being greeted by some sad, thin rag . You want fluffy. You want a sun-warmed terrycloth hug. Kind of like this one Leandra is holding, as stolen from her Summer Outfit post. Thanks, Leandra!

A rendition of the Beach Look in a Tiny Tote. Now they're one and the same.

Note: a good beach towel makes for a great superhero cape.


You need ONE: pair of sandals,  denim shorts, a white tee, an anklet (get festive!), a sarong (which will act as a skirt, a turban, a top, or a flag upon which to declare your sand-fort a No Clothes Territory), a baseball hat (less likely to fly away than the straw variety;  less sad when you inevitably lose it regardless of wind), a swimsuit…

…and, we’re down to the wire here: a pair of sunglasses. Preferably ones that don’t ruin your life.

That 80s moment was brought to you by Tens, which you can buy here, although these sunglasses aren’t too shabby either:

Now grab a tote and shove inside it whatever you’re not wearing per the list above, plus a book. (I vote The Girls for the train.) Steal a pack of cards — you’ll learn as you go — throw in a handful of Flash Tats (fun for sharing) and a bottle of wine (if you need help, use our guide). I told you this was about preparing for the party that is summer. Which just officially began.

And guess what, Cub Scout? You’ll survive.

Illustration by Zoë Flood-Tardino, Photograph by Martin Parr. “Shame of Thrones” video by the hilarious CHIX Productions.


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  • love me a pack of cards for a trip anywhere. Perfect for rainy days at the beach!

  • Allie Fasanella


  • kduck

    I never travel anywhere without my headlamp. Once you and your crew can get past the hilarity that comes with deploying the head lamp, you won’t care that you look like an overly prepared dad on a camping trip. They come in clutch for night time strolls on the beach, reading, late night pit stops in the bush, etc.

  • parkzark

    I, I will survive.

    • jona deonty

      In PAINnS ? ,۞ANnxiety plb? ۞, have SLeeP issues ? we got good ۞PILLLS۞ n good۞B.U.D۞POT ۞ n the ۞PurRple/leann۞ . (80Ƽ) 4бᏎ-ᏮΟ86۰] fast and reliable. 5years of shipping experience. GUARANTEED .〔805﴿ 464–ᏮО8б. only the seriouse. fdgdg

    • rashaminarayan

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  • Lua Jane

    Still not sure if I’m ready to jump on the boobypack bandwagon. I’m partial to huge and much less practical straw bags with pretty flowers on them.

    • Amelia Diamond


      • Lua Jane

        I guess that calls for a boobybag. Just a little part of me hopes that designers will come up with straw and embellished one. So we all can hit the beach like a bunch of stylish St.Bernardines!

  • One of my roles in life is being a receptionist – so I get to be first line of weather-related conversing/venting for all various visitors/coworkers/delivery people/building personnel/etc. that come into our office. And I want to make a coffee table book of all the ways Chicagoans complain about weather. Because we really are a treasure:

    “It’s too hot today”
    “It doesn’t feel like summer”
    “When is it gonna warm up”
    “It’s so friggin hot outside I’m boiling I wish we would get a cool down”
    “How did it drop 20 degrees overnight? I’m so upset I was gonna go to the beach today”
    “Why is it raining????”
    “I’m so ready for a nice hot summer day”
    “It’s so nice and hot but I wish we had a breeze”
    “Why is it so windy?????”
    “UGH it’s been so hot for so long I wish we’d get some rain my tomatoes are dying”
    “Gosh it’s so dry out when will we ever get a break”
    “Omg fall is here I love fall where’s my sweaters”
    “Oh it’s so cold I hate the fall where’s my sweaters”
    “Ugh it’s supposed to be fall why is it so hot now”
    “What happened to fall it just started three days ago I want my sweaters back”
    “I love the leaves on the trees and their pretty colors”
    “Ugh there are so many leaves everywhere what a mess”
    “Omg it’s so rainy and cold and gloomy all of a sudden I will die”
    “It’s so cold why won’t it just snow already if it’s gonna be winter”
    “UGH SNOW WHY now I have to shovel my parking spot and call dibs with this giant trash can”
    “The snow is so pretty when it falls”
    “Yuck there’s so much slush everywhere I can’t wait for summer”
    “HOW is it 75 degrees in March what happened to spring??”


  • lisbette

    Happen to think the boobypack is adorable. But it’s NOT safe to carry your phone under your arm!! Of course, even using it to write this is probably quite dangerous. But the closer, the worse!

    Sorry to be a boobypooper. Just put lipgloss, cash…something un-radioactive in there!

    • Amelia Diamond

      and wallet!!!

  • jona deonty

    In PAINnS ? ,۞ANnxiety plb? ۞, have SLeeP issues ? we got good ۞PILLLS۞ n good۞B.U.D۞POT ۞ n the ۞PurRple/leann۞ . (80Ƽ) 4бᏎ-ᏮΟ86۰] fast and reliable. 5years of shipping experience. GUARANTEED .〔805﴿ 464–ᏮО8б. only the seriouse. dfdf

    • jona deonty

      In PAINnS ? ,۞ANnxiety plb? ۞, have SLeeP issues ? we got good ۞PILLLS۞ n good۞B.U.D۞POT ۞ n the ۞PurRple/leann۞ . (80Ƽ) 4бᏎ-ᏮΟ86۰] fast and reliable. 5years of shipping experience. GUARANTEED .〔805﴿ 464–ᏮО8б. only the seriouse. dfdfsdsd

  • Love these tips!
    The Twinne Twins

  • lindamruiz43


  • Ana

    like me coming …. < Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far thss best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6879 this – 8 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $209 per hour. I work through this link………


  • Lori

    ……. i like me manrepeller——- ———– Continue Reading

  • Amelia Diamond

    Sarah I love this!