Packing for a Family Surf Adventure on the Coast

Many thanks to our partners at evo for sharing these surfing prep tips with us!

As some Oregon coastal towns are opening back up, we’re dreaming of a family surf adventure. It’s easy to paint an idyllic picture, working your way up the coast, camping at a different beach every night, exploring the coastline, surfing clean swells and relaxing together around the fire at night. It’s an opportunity to unwind, connect, and detox a little from the constant barrage of screens, but the line between reconnecting with nature, and getting too close to it for comfort is a fine one. So, we’ve partnered with evo to put together this handy list ensuring you have everything you need to make your family surf adventure one for the memory books.

It’s a good idea to run through this list with every member of your family, before you leave the driveway. There’s nothing like missing prime swells because someone forgot their toothbrush and you have to stop for a new one.

Surfing Gear

This might seem obvious, but you’re going to need your surf gear. If you’re going on an extended trip, you might as well bring all of your family surf gear. That means boards, wetsuits, and easier to forget gear like spare fins, board wax, a wax comb, a multitool to swap out fins, and a few jugs of water to make getting into your wetsuit a little easier. It’s also a good idea to figure out where the nearest surf shop will be. That way, if you forget something or need surfboard repairs, you can get it taken care of quickly.

Don’t forget:

  • Surfboard
  • Wetsuit
  • Booties
  • Gloves
  • Spare fins
  • Spare leash
  • Multitool
  • Wax
  • Water jugs

Camping Gear

You could always take the easy way out and get a hotel, but this is a surf trip, what’s the point if you don’t get to camp near the beach at least one night? So make sure all your camping gear is good to go before heading out. You’ll need a tent, your usual sleep system (sleeping bag, pad, and pillow) along with a stove to boil water, any pots and pans you’ll need to cook, silverware, a knife, firestarter, firewood, and a hatchet to split it. Finally, don’t forget your toothbrush, glasses, and any medication you may need.

Don’t forget:

Miscellaneous Essentials

This is the really important stuff, the gear that doesn’t fall into any one category and thus is really easy to forget. The stuff like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, camping chairs, a medical kit, spare batteries for your phone, and more. A solar shower is a great investment for anyone surfing. It’s really nice to have a warm shower of fresh water ready when you get out of the water at the end of a long day surfing. Similarly, bring more towels than you think you’ll need. It never hurts to have a clean, dry one available.

Finally, always have a Plan B. If you get stormed out, you don’t want your kids sitting in the car grumpy. It can be as simple as a puzzle, or a board game, or even a portable DVD player or iPad, but it’s always a good idea to have something to keep everyone entertained if they can’t be surfing. It’s also a good way to buy yourself some extra time to catch some more waves once the kids are tired out.

Don’t forget:

  • Solar shower
  • Camp chairs
  • Toilet Paper
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Medical kit
  • Phone battery bank
  • Extra fresh water
  • Extra towels
  • Thermos
  • Fingernail clippers
  • Some kind of alternative activity


Beyond your wetsuit, you’ll want clothing that’s comfortable when you’re not in the water. Like a pair of boardshorts that dry quickly and stay comfortable. Beyond that, remember that inclement weather at the coast is usually worse than inland. When it rains, it rains really hard and it can be difficult to dry things out. A good rain coat, and rain pants can make hanging out at camp a lot better. Make sure you bring enough warm clothing that dries quickly. Avoid cotton clothing, since it gets wet and loses all of its warmth immediately. Instead wear wool and synthetics. Always keep at least one decent change of clothes in reserve, just in case you end up going to a nice restaurant or somewhere else that you don’t want to look like a surf bum. 

Don’t forget:

  • Wool Socks
  • Rain Coat
  • Rain pants
  • Puffy Coat
  • Spare sweater
  • Spare outfit
  • Board shorts
  • Plenty of clean underwear

Most of all have fun connecting with nature and your family! What are your family surf trip must haves? Leave a comment below.



We are evo Portland –  a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, skate, camp, and lifestyle retailer.

evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, and wakeboarding. Our aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space. Whether it is on the website, on the phone or in our stores, our aim is to make all who come into contact with evo feel welcome and excited about their experience.