PACKING LIST: MUSKOKA

It is cottage season in Canada... and I'm sure many other places I'm less familiar with... and that means time for me to take a trip home for some lake time! There is little I find more nostalgic and relaxing than being up at a cabin on the lake.  The crisp air and incredible scenery is the ideal environment for that first cup of coffee, AKA the highlight of every day.  You get dirty and cozy and eat comfort food and BBQ and play in the water and veg out... what's not to love? (Other than the bug bites, of course.)  Here are a list of my must-haves for a trip up north... excluding mosquito repellent and something to help with the itching when you inevitably get bitten because no repellent actually works well enough to stop that from happening.

1. Bathing Suit - I'm not a fan of getting in the ocean but I LOVE a lake.  Swimming, kayaking, canoeing, jet skiing, tubing, water skiing... the water activities are endless and you can have all that fun without the fear of big, bad sea creatures roaming beneath the surface.  The scariest thing in the small lakes up north are snapping turtles, which are actually pretty scary but they usually don't leave the dock.

2. Polaroid Camera - I'm not sure if it's because my earliest memories are from my parent's cottage in the early 90s or what but I feel like the best pictures you can take at a cottage are with a polaroid.  Something very down home and rich about the quality of the photos and warm cottage memories should be captured exactly as they are, no editing or filters needed to enhance this environment's beauty!

3. Sunnies - If you're lucky enough for sunshine up north, sunnies are a must because of the constant glare from the beautiful water you're surrounded by!

4. Citronella Candle - It's so nice to sit outside and take in the stars during the evening up north but it is the buggiest time of day so you need as much help as you can get keep those pesky mosquitoes away!

5. Backpack - The cottage is a grab and go kind of environment, convenience and the ability to climb on and off boats and navigate forest terrain is a must so the handier your luggage, the better.

6. Blanket - I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to use this amazing Pendleton blanket and carrier my husband bought for me for my birthday and bonfires at the cottage? Doesn't get more perfect than that!

7. Birkenstocks - The ultimate cottage footwear.  Easy to slip on, comfy to walk in on any terrain and just plain woodsy.  Paired with the next item takes the Birks from day to night in true cottage-goer fashion.

8. Camp Socks - Nothing says Canadian like wearing Birkenstocks with wool socks.  With a couple pairs of these socks in tow, you can save room in your backpack and wear the only pair of shoes you'll need the whole trip!

9. Big Ol' Sweater - Nothing like a giant grandpa sweater to get ya cozy at a cottage... and this one is the ultimate Canadian cottage-appropriate sweat because it's inspired by camp socks and made by Roots.  Bam!  That right there is national pride summed up in one article of clothing, folks!