This part of our Roadtrip Essentials series is all about your safety and about some useful and helpful stuff that we store in our van or take it along to our surf trips. Of course the list is not complete, but we see these items as really “essential” must-haves, having experienced regular facepalms when we again forgot one or two or even more of them. So hopefully this post will help YOU not to forget them on your next trip!
1 – First Aid Kit and First Aid App
Whether minor wounds or major injuries – don’t go without your First Aid Kit! It should contain: gloves, survival blanket, plasters, bandages, pain killers, disinfectant, tweezers, scissors, spray-on plaster, electrolytes, antihistamines… to name the most important pieces (we will soon make a special post with ingredients for your first aid kit!). In Picture: First Aid Kit by Lifesystems.
Download the Surf First Aid App to your mobile phone – it will be useful with telephone numbers, emergency algorithms and heaps of tips and tricks to treat stuff in the wild. For free and everything available offline! Available here: Surf First Aid for Android and Surf First Aid for iPhone
2 – Sun Protection
Sunscreen with a high SPF (50), biodegradable, eco-friendly and skin-friendly – use plenty! Walnut-size for the face and neck (depending on the product, should be around 2 g). We love the sustainability and feel of Alga Maris by Laboratoires Biarritz.
Surfleggings and longsleeved Surfshirt for the brighter times of the day.
3 – Duct-tape/Ducktape and Superglue
There is (almost) nothing that cannot be fixed with some stripes of duct tape. At least as a temporary solution. It even can be of great use in emergency situations, e.g. recovering a victim on a surfboard – and there is always around who needs some tape – you will find new friends easily! Available in every hardware store.
For (almost) everything that duct-tape can’t fix, use Superglue aka CA (cyanoacrylate) adhesive. It is even great for minor cuts, but only if not to deep and after irrigating very very well. On this topic, also see Surf First Aid App. Prefer the Gel Super Glue, less of a mess.
4 – Wet Wipes
Useful always, everywhere. Even saves the dishwasher sometimes… but bare in mind they mean more waste and can contain irritating contents, even if labeled for babies. Fortunately, there are eco-wipes coming up that are biodegradable and free of harmful chemicals. They are more expensive so you will automatically use them with more consideration. We like the Burt’s Bees Wipes
5 – Binoculars
I have to admit that we mostly forget that we have them in our Van, but it is so much fun to check out surf, surfers, animals or whatever is around with binoculars! Plus, if you have the impression that someone is having troubles out in the water, the person is easier to spot. In Picture: Olympus 117860
6 – Cameras
Yes, of course! Pros go for a combination of waterproof action cams, a DSLR or system cameras like “EVILs” and some snapshot-moments from your cellphone-cam. Whatever footage – the variety makes the movie! And don’t forget a backup option like a portable hard drive or a USB-Stick.
7 – Key Lock/Key Safe
Hiding the keys somewhere around the car, in the wheel case for example or burying it the sand – it can work, but it can also go wrong. We love the convenience of a key safe that can be attached to the car (or a iron fence or on the bike). You just have to remember the code – which can be challenging enough 😃 . Lock by Surf Logic
8 – Maps and Guides
Whether digital or printed:Even if you just want to drift along and let the intuition be your guide – it ist more fun to know where to go – and if you get lost and there ist no one around – to find your way back to the track. We find the most practicable combination: offline-navigation system, a camping and caravan space guide and some surf guide apps. Not to forget a forecast app. Remember to upload everything before you leave the WiFi-Zone.
9 – Floating Rescue Device
Ideally, there is a lifebuoy on the beach and maybe even better, a lifeguard nearby. As this happens to be rather a rare thing on most surfing beaches, it is advisable to have: knowledge about water safety, a mobile phone and a floating device. This self-inflating buoy is ready to rescue within seconds. It can safe your life and also the lives of others. By Restube
10 – Time
the essence of a road trip is…. time. The more time you have the more relaxed the whole road-trip-flow will be. But as we don’t always have endless summers, maybe there is just 2 or 3 weeks, or maybe even 1 week left. That’s fine! Just choose wisely some hand-picked spots and limit your mileage to a reasonable amount. You will enjoy the few you pick way more – and a lot more intense.
Got some inspiration? What else do you think is essential for a safe and comfortable road trip? Let us know in the comments below or by email.
Note: some of the above links are affiliate-links. Some of the recommended products have been tested by us but without any promotional interest, but we want to share with you the stuff we love. We are only advertising for products that we are totally stoked about!
Picture/Collage: Copyright The Surf Edition, Van in picture: Douglas the Van