Take It or Leave It: Beach Packing Quiz

Staff

Obviously, you've got to pack sunblock. But how long should you wait to go in the sun after applying it?

Harmful UV rays can be especially intense at the beach, so don't forget to bring sunblock. Your skin needs time to absorb it, so wait a half hour before heading out in the sun. Plus, this will make the sunscreen less likely to wash off if you sweat or swim.

A beach designated "free beach" means what exactly?

Don't bother packing a swimsuit if you're headed to a free beach. Be prepared to strip down to your birthday suit (or be around others who do!). There are a number of nudist and clothing-optional beaches across the U.S. When you pack, keep it simple: sunblock and something to read.

What does a sign that reads "wet beach" mean?

Everything in moderation, right? An ice-cold cerveza can please the palate and overall enhance your beach bumming experience! Feel free to carry along a cooler to chill your favorite icy beverages if you're at a wet beach. This designation means alcohol is allowed.

You pack a sandwich and snacks for the beach. How long can you leave out cheese in the sun before it goes bad?

It might sweat and look less appetizing, but cheese doesn't spoil if it's left unchilled. So, go ahead and pack your picnic basket with all the cheese you desire.

When should you start drinking water to stay hydrated at the beach?

Of course, you sweat more when you're in the sun and it's hot outside. This means you lose vital fluids faster. Start hydrating BEFORE you start feeling thirsty. That's key. Pack plenty of water before heading out for fun in the sun.

How can taking along binoculars make your beach experience safer?

Sure, binoculars make it possible to spot beautiful scenery up close (as well as colorful characters strutting the beach or lounging eye-candy). But they're also a great tool for keeping an eye on your kids playing in the surf. The percentage of drownings in natural water settings like the ocean increases with age. Even if there are lifeguards present, be aware of where your children are at all times. A pair of these babies will help you and your family stay safe.

Where on your body are you most likely to get skin cancer, and what should you do about it?

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. One in five Americans is diagnosed with it. You're most likely to get it on body parts that haven't been protected from the sun, like your ears. We know it's important to lube up our face and body with sunscreen before going out into the sun, especially at the beach. But we often forget to protect our ears. Pack a hat to wear that shades or covers them.

What time of day are the sun's UV rays the most harmful?

Be aware of how long you're out the in sun. You don't want to fall asleep for hours and go home looking like a lobster and stinging from a painful burn. Bring along a watch to help you track time. Be aware of the time of day you're getting exposure, too. The sun's rays are most intense between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Which one of these factors should NOT harm a digital camera at the beach?

Digital cameras are finicky and can get easily damaged at the beach, but who wants to leave it at home and miss out on recording fun memories? Even if you protect it in a camera case or bag, your camera can easily get tiny granules of sand stuck inside it. Also, the sun's UV rays can damage a camera's lens. While wind may kick up pesky sand bits and debris, it alone won't harm your camera.

Who invented the original swim fins?

Slip your feet into swim fins or flippers, and you'll be able to move through the open ocean with much more speed and ease. (Not to mention, it's an excellent workout!) The original swim fins were invented by Benjamin Franklin. They were shaped like lily pads and designed to be worn on the hands to help increase swimming speed, so pack a pair of your modern fins if you plan on hitting the water.

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About This Quiz

Hitting the beach is a guaranteed good time, no matter who you are or what you enjoy doing there. Whatever kind of beach bum you are, you undoubtedly always bring gear with you. Take this quiz and see which of these 10 items are worth the haul.

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