'Beyond perfect': The long weekend cottage packing essentials you need this Canada Day

Kate Mendonca
·Shopping Editor
Two Muskoka chairs on a wooden dock facing a lake. Paddles and life jackets are visible on the dock. Across the calm water there is a brown cottage.
Image via Getty.

With Canada Day long weekend just around the corner, many of us will be heading up to cottage country to relax for a few days with friends and family. It’s a time-honoured Canadian tradition that despite the traffic, every long weekend deserves some time in the great outdoors.

Whether you’re planning to spend the weekend barbecuing, fishing, or boating, there are a few packing essentials that you’ll want to have on hand to make the most of your cottage weekend.

From the best bug repellent to fun accessories that will keep the party going, take a look at these top-rated products that you’ll want to pack for your weekend getaway.

SEALEN Mosquito Repellent Patches

Image via Amazon.
Image via Amazon.

Keep mosquitoes at bay with these stickers that use a blend of essential oils to repel bugs. A mix of lemon, lemongrass, geraniol, and citronella naturally repel mosquitoes and other insects for up to twelve hours without any harmful chemicals.

Customer review: “These stickers are the best! I usually wear four stickers at a time (one front and one on the back on the shirt and pants). I also open a new package every 12 hours to put fresh stickers on. Have recommended to family and they love it. Will be buying more.”

SHOP IT: Amazon, $14

The North Face Base Camp Duffel (S)

Image via Altitude Sports.
Image via Altitude Sports.

For the past four years, I’ve been using this duffel/backpack hybrid for my weekend getaways and camping trips. It has plenty of room to store all your clothes and toiletries, and multiple handles that make it easy to pick up when you’re packing and unpacking the car.

Customer review: “Very roomy, opening makes for easy access, superior weatherproofing and overall ruggedness are what I love about these duffels. Oh, and the backpack strap option is pretty handy too. This size is perfect for an all-day outing or even weekend trip.”

SHOP IT: Altitude Sports, $140

Shacke Pak 4 Set Packing Cubes

Image via Amazon.
Image via Amazon.

Pack for your weekend away like a pro with this set of four packing cubes to keep all your belongings neatly stowed. This set has nearly 7,000 5-star reviews on Amazon’s U.S. website, and thousands of happy customers.

Customer review: “I've been waiting for a product like this and so happy I finally found it! It made packing and unpacking a cinch and my clothes were not wrinkled. Great time saver too!”

SHOP IT: Amazon, $33

Yeti Tundra 65 Hard Cooler

Image via Yeti.
Image via Yeti.

While on the pricier side, this top-rated cooler has more than 2,800 reviews with a 4.9-star average rating. Its large capacity can hold more than 40 standard sized drink cans, so you’ll have all the space you need to keep food and drinks cold during a long day by the dock or out on the water.

Customer review: “I bought the Tundra 65 to help store raw meat for my dog while we travel, and I'm so glad I did. The cooler was full of Frozen meat with only 3 pre Frozen ice packs and everything stayed frozen for over 4 days. Thanks yeti.”

SHOP IT: Yeti, $480

COOLA SPF 30 Mineral Face Matte Cucumber Sunscreen

Image via Sephora.
Image via Sephora.

SPF is essential if you’re planning on spending time outdoors this weekend, but finding one that keeps your face feeling fresh isn’t always easy. This mattifying sunscreen by Coola has a refreshing cucumber scent and manages to protect skin without leaving a greasy feeling.

Customer review: “This product is beyond perfect. It feels like a primer on your skin and there is zero white cast. No greasiness whatsoever and great under makeup. I’ve trying every type of SPF and this is by far the best.”

SHOP IT: Sephora, $48

JBL Flip 4 Blue Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Image via Walmart.
Image via Walmart.

A compact yet powerful speaker makes all the difference when hanging out on the water or around the cottage. This one by JBL offers 12 hours of battery life and a durable, waterproof construction for worry-free outdoor listening.

Customer review: “They say dynamite comes in small packages and this speaker packs a bang! The sound is crisp and clear and the size makes it easy to take it with you. Great buy for the price!”

SHOP IT: Walmart, $140

Bopika Water Socks

Image via Amazon.
Image via Amazon.

Perfect for any activity that requires time on both land and water, these affordable water shoes come in sizes for the whole family. Their non-slip grip makes them ideal for staying safe while boating, or while playing on rocky and sandy beaches.

Customer review: “Used these for our trip to Mexico for the beach and swimming in the cenotes. Worked great! These have a thin sole so they are best for using strictly on the water as opposed to some water shoes that have a sole more like a running shoe. They came with a waterproof phone case that we used for snorkelling and it worked great!”

SHOP IT: Amazon, $19

Whetstone 20 Piece Stainless Steel BBQ Grill Set

Image via Wayfair.
Image via Wayfair.

Fire up the barbecue and get cooking wth this 20-piece set stainless steel grill kit. These dishwasher-safe tools come packed in a travel friendly carrying case so you can bring your grilling expertise wherever you go.

Customer review: “This is a nice grill set. All of the pieces are heavy duty. This is a good quality set at a very affordable price!”

SHOP IT: Wayfair, $79 (originally $106)

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