A Cottage-Country Expert Reveals What You Need to Bring On Your Next Visit

Born and raised in Muskoka, our associate editor shares her favourite essentials for a weekend up north.

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cottage packing list
Photo Credit: House of Jude

1. Water-Wicking Towel

Necessary for drying off after a swim in the lake, this super lightweight, antibacterial towel naturally wicks water away from the body.

Oversized Turkish Towel, $45; houseofjude.ca

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Photo Credit: Coola

2. Lip Protection

This lip balm not only gives you a natural tint, but it’s formulated with SPF 30 and contains ingredients like organic cupuaci butter and mongongo oil to keep your lips protected and hydrated all day. Tip: Reapply every two hours if you’re out in the sun.

Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30, $29; thedetoxmarket.ca

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Photo Credit: Left On Friday

3. Snag-Free Suit

This one-piece swimsuit is cut from snag-resistant and fast-drying fabric, making it ideal for the cottage. What’s more, it comes in an array of colours. (Check out more Canadian swimwear brands we’re currently obsessed with.)

Sunday Suit, $200; leftonfriday.com

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Photo Credit: Beauty Counter

4. A Water-Resistant Sunscreen

Use this lightweight mineral sunscreen if you’re looking for a safer sun protection option. The best part? No white residue.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $49; beautycounter.com

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Photo Credit: Maui Jim

5. Comfortable Sunnies

From paddle boarding and boat rides to lounging with a good read on the dock, these lightweight sunglasses contain a polarized lens that completely cuts out glare.

Wiki Wiki Polarized Aviator Sunglasses, $369; mauijim.com

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Photo Credit: Waivwear

6. Lake-Approved Hoodie

Ideal for boat rides, after a wake surf set or running errands in town, this towel hoodie is essential. Plus, it boasts a personal wallet—there’s an interior zippered pocket to keep your valuables safe while out on the water.

Towel Hoodie, $99; waivwear.com and at these Canadian retailers

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Photo Credit: Tilley

7. A Hat That Fully Blocks the Sun

To keep the sun off your face, a broad-brimmed sun hat will have you covered.

Tahiti Straw Hat, $98; tilley.com

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Photo Credit: Smash + Tess

8. Weekend Romper

This lightweight, wrinkle-free, crop-legged romper is ideal for when you want to get cozy post-swim.

Thursday Romper in Copper, $119; smashtess.ca

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Photo Credit: Thursday Plantation

9. Sunburn Soother

Because this cream contains 100 percent pure tea tree oil (a natural antiseptic), it provides quick relief to gently soothe sunburns and even mosquito bites. (Here’s how to find out if you have a mosquito bite allergy.)

Tea Tree Antiseptic Cream, $10; thursdayplantationcanada.ca

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Photo Credit: Brita

10. Convenient Hydration

This water bottle filters as you drink from its easy-sip straw to provide fresh water on-the-go. (Here’s why you should aim to drink a full eight glasses a day.) Bonus: The filter only needs to be replaced once every two months.

Brita Premium Filtering Bottle in Seaglass, $25; major retailers

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Photo Credit: Hydralyte

11. Electrolyte Boost

The best way to beat sunstroke is to stay hydrated, and sometimes water just doesn’t cut it. For an electrolyte boost without the high-sugar intake, these tablets are the perfect portable option if you’re spending the day in the sun.

Effervescent Electrolyte Tablets, $13; hydralyte.ca

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Photo Credit: Merrell

12. Water Shoe With a Grip

If you’re heading out on the trails or walking on slippery surfaces in the lake, a shoe designed with fast-drying materials and dependable traction is always handy.

Choprock, $150; merrell.com

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Photo Credit: Winners

13. Mosquito Repeller

When the sun sets, that’s when the mosquitos really come out. And to keep them away, a citronella candle is one of the best natural bug repellents to have on-hand.

Scented Outdoor Candle. $15; Winners

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Photo Credit: Marc Anthony

14. Post-Sun Hair Reviver

Yes, the summer sun can inflict serious havoc on your hair. This hair mask (featuring marula oil, coconut cream and shea butter) works great for all hair types to provide an extra boost of hydration after a weekend spent exposed to the sun’s UV rays.

Marc Anthony Strictly Curls 3x Moisture, $12; available at Shoppers Drug Mart in August

Next, check out our editor-approved summer beauty picks.

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