Help me enjoy the beach on my own...
May 23, 2009 2:51 PM   Subscribe

Help me enjoy the beach on my own...

I've always loved swimming in the ocean, and there are several beaches (at the Jersey shore) that are close enough for a public transit day trip. I want to be able to go to the beach alone.

However, every time I've gone in the past, I've wound up obsessing about my keys, phone, wallet, etc. sitting on the beach blanket while I'm swimming. Usually I wouldn't care about the money, but I know no one here and have no safety net. I have this fear of winding up standing on a street corner in a bathing suit begging strangers for busfare.

So, is there a trick to this I don't know about? Is there a beach in NJ that offers lockers or something? Is there some type of wave-proof security pocket I could attach to my swim suit for peace of mind?

Please let me know your strategies for enjoying the beach safely on my own.
posted by GraceCathedral to Travel & Transportation (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A waterproof neck lanyard. That one is fairly big but they come in different types and sizes depending on what you need to carry.
posted by fire&wings at 3:00 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Do you really need your phone or wallet? I'd leave all but the real minimum at home and pin the one key I need in my bathing suit with a safety pin, or put it on a necklace or bracelet.
posted by rokusan at 3:11 PM on May 23, 2009

If you can do it surreptitiously, perhaps bury the stuff in a plastic ziploc bag under your towel? You could even tie a string to the corner of the bag and leave the string extending out of the sand to ensure that you can find it.
posted by Rock Steady at 3:38 PM on May 23, 2009

I took something like fire&wing's "different" link on a caribbean cruise, and it worked perfectly for cards, keys, cash, and a small camera. totally waterproof, even in the surf. awesome, would buy again A++++++!

those pill bottle looking things make me look like more of a weenie.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 3:42 PM on May 23, 2009

You have to have a plan, and that's to plan to bring as little to the beach as you actually need. Think of it like going camping. Do you need to bring your entire wallet into the woods? Or just a near-indestructible credit card and a waterproof ID that can be safely tucked into a zippered pocket?

I don't even bring my car keys to the beach -- not because I think they'll be stolen, but because I think I'm a putz that will drop them in the sand and lose them. I lock my keys in my car, under the floormats, and use a magnetic hide-a-key under the bumper.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:11 PM on May 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

When I go to the beach alone, I usually put my key and a couple of bucks into a waterproof or resistant wrist pouch. Barring that, I put the key and cash into the shelf bra of my tankini top. Like going out to a club without a purse.
posted by cmgonzalez at 5:19 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

I go to the beach alone in Bermuda all the time. I simply stash my stuff ( keys & phone ) in the bushes / brush. Just pick a random spot and put your stuff there. No one is ever going to find it. If you don't have that option, which I sometimes don't, I simply leave my phone in the car, and put the keys on the inside side of the front tire of my car. Outside of that ( if your taking public transportation ) is to just stash it in the sand near my towel. I am reluctant to recommend a on-body pouch because I have seen too many watches and sunglasses get mangled by the waves and swallowed up by the ocean in a matter of seconds.
posted by jasondigitized at 6:50 PM on May 23, 2009

I go to the beach alone. Grew up on the Jersey Shore. No one has ever ever messed with my stuff. Still, to reduce anxiety, I only bring to the beach cash, ID, and keys. My keys get clipped inside my beach bag on a carabiner. The cash and ID, folded together, usually get tucked into a shoe or into the beach bag.

I just set up my whole little area. Nobody can be sure they're not being watched on the beach, so my experience is that theft is fact, in my entire life, I can't think of even hearing of anyone getting their things stolen from the beach. Sit near a lifeguard chair - the presence of an authority figure may discourage stupid behavior.

But I think the basic thing is to carry the minimum of valuable stuff, and then just relax.
posted by Miko at 7:15 PM on May 23, 2009 [1 favorite]

Get a car key made that has no logo. Lock the wallet & phone in the car. Water bottle, towel, & book are fine on the beach. The spare key will be fine too; by the time someone could try it in all the possible cars, you'd see them. Or, put the key in a swimsuit pocket. Just be careful; losing your car key at the beach is a major drag.
posted by theora55 at 7:16 PM on May 23, 2009

You could ask some cute family or couple nearby to look after your stuff?
Sidestory: I remember being 15 out in the surf and seeing some kids run away with my shoes on the shore! They dropped one and I never found the other. Bloody (other) kids!
posted by avex at 7:18 PM on May 23, 2009

I agree with Miko. I grew up on Long Island and the only things that were ever stolen were by seagulls. I bring a blanket and a bag and just make sure things are stashed out of sight. I can be a little paranoid, so I tend to look at my things every couple of minutes or so, but that also helps keep you in place when the tide tries drags you east.
posted by anthropoid at 7:19 AM on May 24, 2009

I go to the beach in Bermuda alone also, but without a car to lock stuff in. I have a few bucks, quarters for the bus or a bus pass, ID, debit card, disposable camera, and this last time I had snorkeling gear that I'd borrowed from a co-worker.

Everything was fine including the high-quality snorkel and mask.
posted by jgirl at 2:19 PM on May 24, 2009

Thanks for all of the answers. I marked as "best answer" the people who suggested some type of lanyard / wrist pouch / safety pin solution. I think I will put ~$100 or so in a wrist pouch, and leave the credit card plus keys and phone on the beach. Then if all of my other stuff is stolen, I can afford to stay in a hotel for a night until I can get new keys from my landlord. On the other hand, if the wrist pouch washes away I'll still have my keys and phone.

I don't have a car, so some of the other answers wouldn't work for me, though they might be useful for others.

Thanks again!
posted by GraceCathedral at 4:32 PM on May 25, 2009

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