Naturally, we wanted to go on a nice day, meaning sunny weather without thunderstorms. Checking the weather in Miami, Florida will drive you crazier than the stock market with wild swings from hot and sunny to dangerous lightening storms and high winds.
I’ve had an entire canopy totaled by a powerful 15 minute thunderstorm that blew in and rolled my $100 10x10 like a beach umbrella. There are two paths to happiness, I choose to be prepared. Click to read more ==>
Very rarely is it sunny all day without rain nor rainey all day without sun. So to have a good day at the beach you can either enjoy being both hot and wet or you can be prepared.
At least here when a big storm approaches, you do get a warning. You feel a little relief from the sun as the first clouds appear, then a cool refreshing breeze picks up. It's tempting to think this will last. In reality, its a 10-minute warning before a big storm is about to hit.
If you are not prepared, time to bug out and get back to your car or seek shelter.
If you are going to stay, you have to be able to batten down the hatches. Which is as simple as a one gallon ziplock bag. It will keep sand and water off your cell phone, wallet, keys and tablets.
When I take friends out on the ocean boating the first time I give them a simple rule, “Don’t bring anything you don’t want to get soaked by seawater.”
Being prepared can be just that simple and easy if you think about the worst case scenario and choose the simplest, lightest item to solve the problem. When you don’t know what to do, play with it. Get some stuff and just try something.
Once you do something, you will have the knowledge and feedback to improve much faster than if you just sit and think about it over and over. I have found the more problems I solve, the more tools I have to solve more and bigger problems later.
Often you can just buy pre-packaged solutions, but they rob you of the joy and happiness of doing it for yourself. It make not look as polished, but it is usually better because every situation is unique.
As my beach cabana gets more complex, I still work to keep my solutions light and simple.
- Bungee cords are great to hang bags and gear from the canopy to keep it weight down and keep your gear out of the sand. http://amzn.to/1iuE25R
- Ikea bags are great, cheap portable weight. Just fill them with sand at the beach and connect your canopy guy lines. They are $.50 at Ikea or you can get a 6 pack here if you live too far from a store. http://amzn.to/1JRxGGG
- 10x8 Poly Tarp with grommets every few feet. This tarp can add a lot of shade and usable space to your canopy. It can be a floor if you don’t want to lie on the sand. It can be a wall to block rising and setting sun. A wall is also great for blocking high winds or driving rain when a storm blows in. http://amzn.to/1PZbhbT
- Ball Bungees are specifically made for attaching tarps to objects. Get a pack of 25 as they are incredibly useful! If you have group with two 10x10 canopies, use the ball bungees to connect the tarp between the canopies for a lot of shade very easily. http://amzn.to/1JRwQtB
- Two tent poles can turn the 10x10 tarp into twice as much shade space. http://amzn.to/1ERKfmp
- Guylines hold everything down in high winds. Some canopies have them pre-installed. Having some extra always helps. You will need at least two more for the tent poles if you want to use the 10x10 tarp as additional shade. http://amzn.to/1PZelET
- Here’s a good 10x10 if you don’t already have one. http://amzn.to/1ERIANy