A tent and chairs sit near a fire at a campsite.

Essential Packing Items for the Lake

Getting all your essential items together for a lake home can feel like an uphill battle that you’ll never win. You have enough trouble outfitting your everyday home, but now you have to ensure your lake house has the basics such as towels, clothes, furniture, etc. The issue lies with the uncommon items you may not usually have in your regular home.

Our guide will walk you through those specialty lake items that will make your weekend getaway spot more enjoyable and prevent constant trips to town for items you need. As you spend your summer at the lake, these items will make your life easier.

Outdoor Essentials

A generator sits on a table outside an RV.

The majority of your time will be spent outdoors, so outfit yourself with all the tools to make your lake home the best it can be. Focus on all aspects so you’re prepared for any contingency you may run into.


Storms are inevitable at the lake, so it’s best to be prepared for when they happen. A generator is an invaluable tool for keeping appliances running, bringing light, and keeping your summer home warm or cold during blackouts. Be sure to have gas on hand as well so your generator can keep running for several days if needed. It is a perfect solution, especially if your lake house is in a remote location. While you watch flashlights dancing around the lake, sit back and enjoy the wonders of light.


There isn’t always enough room in your lake house, and a tent is a cheap alternative to building on or renting a camper. They’re also great for kids to get that rustic camping experience while at the lake. When it heats up outside, a tent can also provide temporary shade that blocks direct sunlight, allowing guests to enjoy good times outdoors.


Incorporating a grill into the outdoor kitchen is a great way to enhance a summer cookout. Everyone loves cooked meat, and a grill can do much more than just cook meat. A grill will be able to provide tasty meals for the entire family while you celebrate any event.

Fire Pit

One of the oldest past times of the lake is lighting a fire and relaxing during a summer evening. There is no better way to create a focal point for outdoor gatherings than incorporating a fire pit. In addition, fire pits help create a cozy atmosphere outdoors, light up the night, and help your guests relax and unwind.


An inflator plays a vital role in inflating and deflating items like hammocks, mattresses, paddling pools, tires, etc. Having them in your summer home gives your guests the freedom and convenience they need to enjoy their vacation anywhere.

Cabinets and tool boxes keep tools organized.

Storage (tool boxes, cabinets, etc.)

To offer the best experience, your summer house should provide ample storage solutions such as tool boxes and cabinets to allow your guests to stay organized throughout their stay in your facility.

Hand Tools

With the proper hand tools in place, your guests can engage in any manual project anytime. The hand tool kit should include tools like a hammer, screwdrivers, file, pliers, wrench, a saw, and more.

Lawn Games

You’re at the lake so take advantage of the free time by playing a few games. Popular lawn games include ladder-ball golf, cornhole, giant Jenga, and more. Lawn games are a great way to create hours of fun for the entire family while staying outdoors.

Indoor Essentials

Although you may be spending the majority of time outdoors, there are still moments when you’ll be inside. Some of these items have an indoor and outdoor function, but some are inside-only tools that will make your stay much cozier.


Providing the proper lake supplies can help your guests enjoy their stay in your summer home. When it comes to summer apparel, the goal is to offer clothing that provides physical protection and allows for air circulation to prevent unpleasant odors. Be sure to bring both light apparel, such as t-shirts and shorts, as well as warmer clothing, such as sweatshirts and jeans, as the lake can get a little chilly at night.

A bluetooth speaker sits on a table on a beach.

Bluetooth Speaker

Everyone enjoys a little music in their life, especially at the lake. It’s a great background for while you’re sitting around the fire or playing games in the yard. Ensure your speakers are ultra-portable, waterproof, and easy to handle to enable guests to use them anywhere.

Portable Charger (for electronics)

When guests check into your lake home, you want them to have the best experience possible. Proving a simple thing such as a portable charger can create a lasting impression on your guests. Besides, it provides a continuous power source for their electronics.

AC Unit

An air conditioning unit is a crucial requirement in your summer home as it helps regulate the temperature by removing heat from indoors, making the indoor space a good reprieve from the higher temperatures outdoors.

Two chairs on a deck overlooking a lake.


Chairs are a must at the lake; everyone wants to relax, and the quality of your chairs will be a difference maker. Find a set that is both comfortable and can be easily cleaned if they get dirty. Your chairs for both indoor and outdoor purposes should not only be beautiful but also made of durable material to withstand all seasons.

Hydration (Tumblers)

Does anyone travel without a tumbler these days? They’re a great solution for keeping your drink cold for hours while you’re basking in the sun while out on the boat. Travel tumblers are important lake essentials that can help your guests stay hydrated as they can be used for nearly any drink, warm or cold.

Water Essentials

You’re at the lake so spending time on the water is a guarantee. Be sure to have plenty of items to ensure your time on the boat or beach is both safe and fun.

A cooler is fully stocked with food.


Your lake cabin needs plenty of coolers to help guests keep their food and beverages cold while camping or out on the beach. The majority of coolers can keep items cold for many hours, even in the warmest conditions.

Flip-Flops or Sandals

While roaming around on the beach or out on the water, it’s easier to enjoy yourself with flip-flops. They’re easy to take on and off, and you don’t have to worry about sand getting inside your sneaker and being a huge pain.

A family lays on a beach towel.

Beach Towels

A towel is one of the simplest items you’ll bring but serves so many functions. It can provide a comfortable spot to sit on the beach instead of getting covered in sand. A towel also is needed if you go for a swim in the lake.


An umbrella is great for on the deck, on the beach, or out on the boat. Shade isn’t always in plentiful supply, so an umbrella is an excellent solution to produce shade anywhere you are.


Always practice safety while out on the boat. Accidents can happen, and even the most seasoned swimmer can get pulled under in certain situations. Also, many states legally require life jackets for all occupants on a boat.

Insect Repellant/Sunscreen

Insect repellants and sunscreen are part of the most vital lake essentials that help protect your guests from sunburns and disease-causing insects, such as mosquitoes, ticks, and other biting bugs.

A layout of all the essentials you need for your lake home.

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