08/10/16 2:20pm
Girls in DIY shelters have more fun. Photo via @annlodwicklove on Instagram.

Girls who build their own beach forts have more fun. Photo via @annlodwicklove on Instagram.

A beach day is made infinitely better with the addition of shade. If you don’t own an umbrella, or you don’t feel like lugging one with you, you’ve got some options. If you’re taking the NYC Beach Bus, you can reserve an umbrella for a very reasonable $10 via Rent Ride Return, which they will deliver right to the bus.

But say you’re really budgeting or prefer to get creative once you’re out on the sand, or you’re biking and can’t bring a whole set-up, all you need is a sheet and something to tether it to, which could be anything from the spokes of your bike wheels to some sturdy driftwood you find in the surf, to create (but not throw) your own shade.

We know anything DIY can be intimidating, especially for those of us who’d rather peruse PINT-erest than Pinterest (get it? like pint of beer?). While seeking examples of do it yourself beach encampments, we checked out how the crazy kids at Fort Tilden do it (they tend to be in extra need of shelter, on account of being mostly naked).

While you can ostensibly pitch your own makeshift shelter at any of NYC’s beaches, Fort Tilden is the ideal locale because it’s much less crowded, there’s never a shortage of driftwood, and we like to think the actual surrounding forts provide inspiration. Not to mention, your shelter will look real pretty against the scenic backdrop of Fort Tilden wilderness.

Here are 11 examples of the best DIY beach forts we found on the beaches of Fort Tilden — that you can make, too!  (more…)