Lake Powell. The epitome of all things summer and all things American. Where a typical summer for college students includes a beach vacation, mine includes going to Lake Powell, which is just as good, if not better, then going to the beach.

I am by no means a Lake Powell regular, I went a couple times when I was younger, and now I have gone the past two years and it’s safe to say I’m addicted. Card games, camp fires, warm lake water, breathtaking sunsets and water sports are just a small list of why I can’t stop coming back to this place.

I am fortunate to know people with a boat, however just because you can’t find someone with a boat, doesn’t mean you have to miss out. There are camping spots on the exterior of the lake in Page and Glen Canyon. From these campsites, you can access the lake and take boat tours, kayak and swim. Hikes are also accessible from camping areas.

What I pack:
No matter the length of my trip, I pack like I won’t ever go home again, so naturally I bring as many things as I can. In the case of packing for Lake Powell, I basically bring my entire swim suit drawer. Is that necessary? No. Do I like having options? Obviously. Besides bringing way too many bathing suits, I bring a pair of ski socks (you never know), a rain coat, sweatpants, closed toe water shoes, shorts, some T-shirts and lots and lots of sunscreen.

What to do: 
There are the obvious choices like water skiing, wake boarding, tubing, surfing, SUP, etc., but did you know that it’s possible to build the craziest, fastest slip-n-slide ever? All you need to bring is a roll of thick plastic sheeting, some soap and a shovel. The steeper the better, and the bigger the drop the more fun. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Google Lake Powell slip-n-slide.

What to bring:
There are meals that are meant for camping such as pre-made breakfast burritos, burgers and hotdogs, pasta salad and tacos. Try to bring food that won’t take up a ton of space in your cooler and that won’t take three hours to prepare. Also, if you don’t keep your ice in the shade, you’re going to have a bad time. Make sure you have a cooler designated specifically for ice and make sure it’s kept out of the sun! Yes, this involves rearranging the coolers according to the position of the sun throughout the day, but believe me it’s worth your time. Do you want to have spoiled food and hot beer? Probably not. Luckily I’m not speaking from experience, but one can infer how fast your trip to Lake Powell could go downhill if you don’t properly preserve your ice.

Ultimately, Lake Powell is a sacred place where people go to get off the grid and spend quality time together without the nuisance of being attached to a cellphone, and the ability to take a well-deserved break from the busy lifestyle we all live. Whether you’re looking at the lake from the back of a boat, or from a chair at your campsite, make sure to take in the beauty of the navy colored water against the steep red walls of the canyon and appreciate the serenity that is so hard to find these days. My summer trips to Lake Powell will always hold a special place in my heart, and I’m already yearning to go back next year.