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The Best Gear to Take to a Drive-In Movie Theater

Instead of enjoying a blockbuster at a multiplex this summer, moviegoers are turning to a retro outdoor classic: the drive-in theater. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, drive-ins offer fresh air, ample room for social distancing, and a fun, family-friendly activity. (Be sure to check your theater’s protocols before you go.)

I recently drove 75 miles from my home in the suburbs of Washington, DC, to Stephens City, Virginia, to take in a double feature (Jurassic Park and Jaws) at the Family Drive-In Theatre—the only permanent drive-in theater open in the northern part of the state. It was a picturesque evening with clear skies, warm (not humid) weather, and families enjoying a rare outing. For a moment, life felt normal again.

My night at the drive-in was one of the nicest I’ve spent during quarantine. The key to a similar experience? Preparation. Here are a few essentials (and some fun extras) to help you make the most of your movie night under the stars.

From comfy seating to Sawyer Picaridin, check out Justin Redman's Drive-In essentials here.

LAST UPDATED

December 3, 2023

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Effective against a wide range of insects: Sawyer Permethrin is known to be effective against mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers, mites, and more than 55 other kinds of insects.

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Sawyer Products SP5432 Picaridin insect repellent spray is also very small and compact. You can easily take this insect repellent anywhere you want. This makes it an ideal option for any traveler and adventurer who wants to have a safe journey.

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Depending on where you travel, you may want to pack bug spray, too. In places like Florida and North Carolina, summers get buggy, and you’ll be happy to have packed a spray on nights when you want to sit on the porch or dine outdoors.

Madison Flager and Meaghan Kenny