Baja, NorCal, San Diego, the wild coasts of the Pacific Northwest, make beach camping part of your summer and your summer will be exponentially better. It's a scientific law. Pretty sure anyway.
While you could just hump your rusty, beat up gear down the dusty road to that campsite overlooking a pesky beachbreak setup, camping is much more enjoyable with the right gear.
Which gear? Glad you asked. We had our resident backcountry expert pick five pieces of surf camp gear worth splurging on this, or any summer really.
• Otter Box Venture 45 ($300)
Sure, Yeti coolers get most of the rugged surfer guy/gal love (thanks Malloys), but Otterbox, who have been making bombproof phone cases forever, have recently waded into the prestige cooler market and they hit an immediate home run with the Venture series. Just as burly as Yeti, keeps ice just as well too, but also bear proof, and infinitely customizable with dozens of cup holders and cutting boards and dividers and bottle openers and dry boxes—you get the idea. Buy it (admittedly, painfully) once, have it for life.
• Dakine Cyclone II Wet/Dry Backpack ($149.95)
A good wet/dry backpack is essential if you're camped for enough away from the water that you'll be changing into a wetsuit or boardshorts at camp. Enter the DAkine Cyclone II. Big and roomy with 36 liters of space, it'll swallow a wetsuit, fins, wax, leashes, and keep wet things isolated from stuff you need to keep dry. Rugged too.
• Goal Zero Venture 70 Recharger ($149.95)
While disconnecting from society is great, you still want a phone or tablet for GPS-mapping apps, or photos, or, don't be ashamed, watching surf movies at camp. Nobody's judging here. Goal Zero makes a wealth of great outdoor power generationg and storing products and the Venture 70 is the rugged, sand and water resistant portable charger made for the beach. Charges a phone a bunch of times, and a tablet twice on an initial charge. Add a Goal Zero solar panel, and it'll rejuvenate itself with the sun.
• Campchef Everest 2-burner Stove ($99.95)
It's probably time to retire that old Coleman white gas stove. The Everest has two burners cranking out 20,000 BTUs (that'a a TON of power) that reliably light with piezo push-button igniters. Robust, but light, it burns propane efficiently and easily. Terrific tailgate stove.
• Nemo Helio Pressure Shower ($99.95)
A camp shower is so unbelivably refreshing after a long surf. Fill this soft-sided shower up with water, stick it in the sun for awhile, or hell, mix it heated water from your Everest stove, stand on the foot pump a few times, and you've got hot water from a pressure nozzle all day long. When it's time to head home, why the whole thing folds up nicely and tucks away wherever. Bonus — the shower comes with a little rubber mat that doubles as a wetsuit changing platform.