Strawberries, apples, and peaches galore! Few things in life are better than fresh, in-season fruit plucked straight from the tree or vine. Picking it yourself is a great way to get outdoors, eat healthy, and make lifelong memories this summer. If you want to go on a fruit-picking adventure and don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered with recommendations on everything from clothes to collapsible wagons.
What to wear
To get started, make sure you’re dressed properly. Fruit picking can get messy, so it’s important to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. If you’re going to be walking through itchy, bug-filled bushes, we suggest long-sleeve shirts, long socks, and pants. (If you’ll be strolling through a less claustrophobic orchard, you’re probably fine to dress a bit lighter.) Baby wipes and gloves can also be helpful for staying reasonably clean. The Atlas Nitrile Garden Gloves, our top pick, can keep your hands from getting too sticky and prevent scratches and splinters. Athletic shoes are another good option for trekking through fruit farms. But you should always consider the weather and landscape of your specific location. If the farm gets a little muddy, you might want to trade out your sneakers for a pair of rain boots.
Apply bug and sun protection
Our recommended summer hats for children and adults are great for shielding your face from pesky bugs and the sun. To avoid an uncomfortable experience, you should also apply bug repellent and sunscreen before you leave home. Our experts recommend Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent, which is EPA-approved, effective, and easy to spray on. If you’re looking for sunscreen, Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70 and Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50 are good options for protecting your skin.
Sawyer Products Premium Insect Repellent
This EPA-approved picaridin formula is safe and effective, and it comes in a bottle that’s better than competitors’ bottles at spraying evenly and accurately.
Supergoop Play Everyday Lotion SPF 50
This chemical formula is designed for the face and body. It rubs in easily and appears nearly transparent once applied. It has a light, pleasant scent and comes in four sizes, including an 18-ounce jug that’s very affordable on a per-ounce basis.
Carry the essentials
If you have kids, you may want to take along some snacks to keep them from devouring all of the tasty fruit. Water bottles are a must if you want to avoid dehydration, and Wirecutter-favorite containers like the Snapware Total Solution 20-Piece Food Storage Set and the expert-approved Baggu Giant Pocket Tote are great options for carrying your fruit. Even though most farms provide bags or buckets for picking, it’s always good to have extra containers so that everyone (even your little ones) can get involved. One of our staff’s favorite collapsible wagons will do a great job of carrying everything you bring along. And your smallest kiddos can even take a rest when they’re feeling a little tired.
Takeya Actives (22 ounce)
Simpler to use than a sports cap, the spout on this bottle is easy to drink from, and the flip lid stays secure and out of your face. The bottle’s wide mouth lets you easily add ice and supplements, too.
Snapware Total Solution 20-Piece Food Storage Set
These locking plastic containers have lids that are a snap to open and close, and they won’t leak. This set offers the best range of sizes and shapes among the plastic containers we tested. Plus, they stack neatly for storage.
Baggu Giant Pocket Tote
This tote, like the magical Weasley family’s camping tent from the Harry Potter series, is far bigger than it looks. It has pockets that can stash items of all sizes, and it comes with straps and a handle, which are crucial if you need to re-situate yourself or adjust your grip.
This article was edited by Elissa Sanci and Annemarie Conte.