10 Essential Items for Northern California Living

Welcome to life in NorCal, where the climate is quick to change, and you can easily straddle the line between being active in nature while still enjoying all the benefits of the culture and sites of city life. You’ll want to be prepared for everything, and you’ll want to look good doing it! Here is a list of ten items we think will help make your years here in Northern California that much better.

(Note: The links provided below are not affiliate links. We do not receive a commission if you purchase a product through any of these links. These are just our recommendations!)

A Good Coat

Perhaps the most essential item on this list, it’s imperative that you have a good coat to help get you through the winter months in Northern California. You should consider investing in a waterproof jacket too, for those rainy or misty days.

Staff Pick: The quality of North Face is simply unbeatable.

The Right Pair of Shoes

Having the right shoes is so important since you’re on your feet a lot, walking to class, around town, in the city, or out in nature. Whether it be a great sandal, cool sneakers, classic running shoes, or boots for various weather, remember comfort is key. If you know you’re going to be on your feet a lot (like if you’re a nursing student!), consider getting Dr. Scholl’s insoles for your shoes.

Staff Pick: For both guys and gals, Converse are great for everyday wear, and Reef sandals are a perfect on-the-go sandal option.

A Thick Beanie

While scientists have debunked the old wives’ tale that 50% of your body heat is lost through your head, you can still lose heat by having your head uncovered. It’s a good idea to have a nice, thick beanie you can grab when Karl the Fog starts rolling in.

Staff Pick: North Face also makes great beanies, or you can pick up a cheap one from Target.

A Nice Pair of Sunglasses

Whether you’re mountain biking in PUC’s forested Back 40 or sight-seeing in the city, you’ll want to have a pair of sunglasses nearby. Make sure you’re buying a pair that will block 100 percent of UV rays to keep your eyes protected.

Staff Pick: Ray-Bans are a great investment (they’re unisex too!).

Good Quality Sunscreen

Even if it’s an overcast day, remember to put on sunscreen! Up to 87 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds, fog, and even mist, so sunscreen is something you’ll want to have on hand constantly.

Staff Pick: Anything from Sun Bum Sunscreen (trust us, it’s worth it!).

A Durable Backpack You Can Carry All Day

These days, a backpack is for so much more than carrying your textbooks around. You can pack one for the beach, for a museum day in the city, or for a concert on Treasure Island.

Staff Pick: A bag from either Herschel Supply Co. or Fjallraven are both great options.

A Reusable Water Bottle

Northern Californians are all about being green and being as environmentally friendly as possible, which is why many of us have reusable water bottles. Carrying one around can also help you reach your daily water intake needs!

Staff Pick: If you can swing it, a Hydro Flask is a great investment; otherwise consider something from Klean Kanteen or Sip.

A Rechargeable External Battery

Never be disconnected unless you want to be! There are plenty of reasons people love their cell phones: Talking to loved ones, browsing the internet, and keeping up-to-date on social media. You don’t need to worry about your battery percentage if you have a portable charger with you, so Instagram away and remember to tag @PUCNow in your campus photos for a chance to be reposted!  

Staff Pick: They’re a bit pricey, but Anker portable chargers are awesome.

A Blanket You Don’t Mind Getting Dirty

Keep a big blanket in the trunk of your car for unexpected beach trips and impromptu picnics at the park. You never know when you’ll end up at Goat Rock for a Sabbath afternoon or simply reading your biology textbook at Crane Park.

Staff Pick: Anything from Tribe & True.

A Hammock

Hammocking is all the rage, and at any given time you’ll see students relaxing in hammocks all over campus here, even back in the PUC forest. If all the school hammocks are rented out, don’t miss outbring your own! Then you’ll be set for relaxation anytime, anywhere!

Staff Pick: ENO hammocks are portable and affordable.

We love living in Northern California, and we know you’re going to love living here too. Get ready for your best year yet!

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