For me, the summer means beach days, biking and heading out on the sailboat. In other ‘cottage country’ areas of Canada, packing and space are never such a problem. You can load up on citronella candles, Bollywood-inspired bedding and paper lanterns to round out the decor. On a sailboat, though, it’s all about the Marie Kondo methodology. No duplication, no clutter, and only the items you truly need.

With this in mind, I went out and gathered together items in order to make special kits. The items must be excellent, and the kits themselves must be beautiful. Because, well, less stuff is beautiful, and specifically chosen functional items are thrilling.

The Sun Kit

Your sun kit should include all the essentials you need to make sure you’re not turning in to a lobster, and spending most of your escape treating your sunburns! This means packing sunglasses, hats, lots of water, and of course sunscreen! If you’re heading outside, always reach for sun protection first – including your sunscreens. And while it’s important to apply 15 minutes before heading outdoors, make sure you are reapplying every two hours or 80 min in or after going in the water.

The Rainy Day Kit

On the flip side, we’re not always so lucky with our weather, but a little rain shouldn’t ruin your summer escape. Your rainy day kit should include board games, a deck of cards, and lots of pens and paper. While people will often reach for their phones and tablets during the rain, you can still enjoy some family time without the presence of electronics!

The Snack Kit

My kids would agree with this one (…and frankly, I can’t blame them!), as you’ll need a good snack kit for any trip. My kit usually includes a yummy but healthy mix including a trail mix, granola bars, a few bananas and apples, a low-sodium beef jerky, and for a treat the kids will love, everything needed for a campfire s’mores.

The Summer Medical Kit

We don’t want to get all holier than thou or preachy. Of course you know to pack disinfectants, bandaids, gauze, slings, tweezers and safety pins. But recently on the sailboat, another mom sharing dock space pulled her Epi Pen out of the cabin. I’d never seen one, let alone been given instruction on how to administer it. The device made me think about other first aid that I was rusty with. And other items that when in a remote place – I may want to carry. Water sanitizing tablets and earthquake survival gear were two thoughts that came to mind.

The Bug Kit

While a fly swatter might do the trick some, you don’t want to forget your Muskol Insect Repellent – it provides eight hours of effective protection against mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks (a growing threat here in Canada) among others.