What Should I Pack For A Trip To The Lake

Lake trips are a great way to get family and friends together during the Summer. I’ve been to many lakes in my day and I can tell you that whatever lake you decide to go to whether that’s in your hometown (like Lake of the Ozarks or Lake Lotawana in Missouri), or you travel a little farther to a friend or family lake house on Lake Martin, Alabama.

However, no matter the destination of the Lake, the lake packing list essentials are the same.

What Should I Pack For A Trip To The Lake

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In this post, you’ll find 4 different lake trip packing lists and all lists have exactly what you need for a Lake vacation.

  1. What essential items do I need to bring to the lake?
  2. What do you wear for a day at the lake?
  3. What should I not forget to pack for the lake?
  4. What activities can you do at the lake?

Go through my lists below to find out what to take to the lake!

Lake House Packing List: Essential items to bring to the lake

Lake House Packing List_ Essential items to bring to the lake

We aren’t talking about what you should pack to wear to the lake, these items are things that you’ll need in order to have a stress-free, fun, and safe trip.

Here’s a list of necessary items you need to bring for a trip to the lake:

  • Water Bottles or a reusable water bottle like this one
  • Additional drinks (alcohol, soda, juice, beer, etc.)
    • Bring drinks in CANS, not glass bottles.
  • Sunscreen
  • Ziplock Bags
    • Can be used for a phone, wallet, keys, etc. Also, a great idea to bring gallon baggies for food like chips, crackers, grapes, etc.
  • Cooler + Ice
  • Bug Spray
  • Towels
  • Koozies
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Portable Charger with USB cord
  • Snacks/food
    • trail mix, chips, lunch meat for sandwiches, fruit, cookies, frozen pizzas, etc.
  • First Aid Kit
  • Trash Bags
  • Extra Clothes
  • Blowup Floats/Inflatables
  • Hairbrush/HairTties
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Wet Wipes
  • Toilet Paper
  • Paper Towels
  • Waterproof Speaker
  • Waterproof case for phones

Lake Outfits: What to wear to the lake

Lake Outfits_ What to wear to the lake

When you go on a lake trip, you can assume that you won’t really be dressing fancy unless you plan a nice dinner somewhere. So what clothes do you pack for the lake? Well, most of the days you’ll be wearing shorts and a t-shirt, but here are some other items you might want to consider…

Here’s a list of items you should pack to wear at the lake: 

  • Flip Flops/Water Shoes
  • Swimsuit
  • Change of clothes
  • Underwear, socks
  • Sweatshirt/Sweatpants
  • Tank Tops, T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Cute lake outfits (sundress, khaki shorts, collared camp shirt)
  • Life Jackets
  • Swim Goggles
  • Hats
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen

Lake Vacation Packing List: What should I not forget to pack for the lake?

Lake Vacation Packing List_ What should I not forget to pack for the lake_

Imagine getting to the lake that’s 5 hours away and realizing you forgot to pack a phone charger or even worse, you forgot to pack extra contacts. These items are everyday essentials that you can’t necessarily go buy at your local drug store when you are in NEED of them ASAP.

Don’t worry, I’ve got a list of items that you should not forget to pack for a Lake trip:

  • Extra pairs of contacts
  • Glasses and glasses case
  • Phone chargers, laptop chargers
  • Camera + charger
  • First aid kit
  • Cooler
  • Lake snacks, of course :)

What activities can you do at the lake?

fun lake activities What activities can you do at the lake_

There are lots of fun things to do while at the lake! You can go boating or find a close beach where you can set up games like beach volleyball, frisbee, etc. Whether you’re going to a lake that’s 2 hours away or a lake that’s 12 hours away. Either way, you’ll need some fun ideas in mind before you go.

Here’s a list of fun lake day activities and the essential items you need for each:

  • Water Sports: water skis, wakeboard, tubing, surfing, rope to tie to the boat
  • Fishing: fishing poles, fishing license, supplies
  • Rent Jetski’s/Seadoo’s
  • Go Boating: boating license, gas
  • Relax and Read: books, eBooks, magazines
  • Games: frisbee, beachball, football, etc
  • Music: waterproof speaker
  • Inflatables: rafts, lily pad, noodles, etc.
  • Have a Bonfire

family fun water sports at the lake


Whether you’re going to the lake for just a day, a weekend, or planning for a whole week trip, this packing list is essential for your time at the lake!

Now, I’m not fancy enough to have a lake house of my own, but I’m grateful that I’ve got friends that do!

With that being said, I’ve spent a fair share of my time at a couple of different lakes so I’ve got a pretty good idea of all the essentials you’ll need in order to have yourself a fun, relaxing trip.

Whether you are going with friends, family, or both, you’ll 100% need alcohol (if you’re 21+). So don’t forget to pack a cooler filled with your favorite beverages! Specifically, drinks that are in CANS. I don’t recommend bringing glass bottles to the lake…that’s just an accident waiting to happen.

Anyway, I hope these lists help you when you begin to pack for your fun lake trip!

Safe Travels!

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