Gear Girl: Spring Break Survival Gear

If you're getting ready for a spring break adventure now, you don't have a lot of time left for shopping. Here's a quick packing list that will allow you to maximize fun and minimize hot-weather maladies.
--Stephanie Pearson writes the Gear Girl column for Outsideonline.com

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1.    Patagonia Sun Shelter Dress ($79; Patagonia.com): Made from polyester-nylon fabric with UPF 40 coating, this silky dress is ideal on days when the sun has turned you  more red lobster than bronze goddess. Long-sleeved and lightweight, the Sun Shelter dries almost instantly and has a comfortable drawstring waist with deep pockets. When the fun’s over, it doubles as a tunic with leggings for the plane ride home.

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2.    Simple Take-On Ribbon Suede Sneakers ($55; simpleshoes.com): Flip-flops are fine for the beach, but if you’re pounding concrete or visiting a 17th-century cathedral, cover up your sand-scoured pedicure with Simple’s Take-On Ribbon Suede Sneaker. These kicks are comfortable and take up very little space in your bag. Plus, they’re almost fully organic—even the ribbon is made from recycled soda bottles.

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3.    Merrell Lidia Capri ($55; merrell.com): Traveling can turn clothes into shapeless blobs. That’s why the Lidia’s elastic cinchable waistline is a godsend: Keep scrunching it in until you have time to wash and reshape. Plus, the 50+ UPF, ultra-wicking fabric keeps sun and smells away.

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4.    All Terrain Natural Herbal Armor Insect Repellent ($8; allterrainco.com): That scary chemical DEET is the miracle four-letter word when it comes to beating back malarial mosquitoes, but this Deet-free spray promises the same results using much kinder, gentler oils of citronella, soybean, peppermint, cedar, lemongrass, and geranium. Just be sure to give yourself a generous coating once every 1.5 hours.

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5.    Neova’s TI-SILC GT SPF 60 sunscreen ($32; nextderm.com): For maximal sun protection while wearing a teeny bikini, slather on this high-performance “photo protectant,” which uses an interesting combination of titanium dioxide and Japanese green tea to ward off free-radical damage from the sun. Even water won’t wear it off, unless you stay in for more than 80 minutes. To protect your face try Neova’s Day Therapy SPF 30 ($85) followed by DNA Total Repair treatment ($95).

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6.    Nuun Electrolyte Enhanced Drink Tabs ($24, per 4-pack of lemon-lime, tri-berry, citrus fruit, and orange): Here’s a secret: These sugar-free electrolyte tablets not only keep you hydrated while biking, surfing, running, hiking, and sunbathing, they’ll also minimize a hangover if you accidentally go overboard on rum-infused Macúas.

Filed To: Adventure / Nutrition / Footwear / Gear
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