The Indiana summer we’ve been waiting for has finally arrived! With a 10-day wet spell last month and continued stormy, temperamental weather, our old friend “Summer” didn’t seem to arrive until after the Fourth of July. The sun-less weeks are certainly over now, though, and the sun is compensating for its June days spent behind the clouds. Before heading outside to enjoy the rays, here are five things to include in your Summer Survival Kit:

1. Sunscreen

Though pausing to put on UV protection amidst your co-ed kickball final may seem uncool, the sunburn you won’t receive later is cooler. The Indiana sun can be brutal, and with proper protection against UVA and UVB rays, you’ll prevent yourself from buying bottles of aloe vera and ibuprofen later.

2. A good book

Summer reading programs aren’t just for the kids. Even if you haven’t picked up a book since The Scarlet Letter, this summer is as good as any to begin reading. With books capable of being transferred to our fingertips in a matter of seconds, there’s no excuse not to check out the The New York Times Best Sellers List and start flipping pages.

3. A reusable bottle

The Indiana summer heat is no joke. By always having a reusable bottle in tow, you’re not only saving the environment, but keeping yourself hydrated and healthy as well.

4. Bug spray

Despite continued hopes and prayers, the Indiana mosquito population did not migrate this summer. Late nights spent roasting s’mores are oftentimes the highlight of the summer, so long as you pack the bug spray along with the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers. 

5. A picnic blanket

Whether you pack an old blanket or splurge to buy a new one, keeping a spare in the trunk isn’t a bad idea. Impromptu picnics are not only fun for the kids, but cozying up under a tree and reading your new book doesn’t sound too bad, either. 

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