I bring baby powder every time to beach! Like to snack at the beach? Easily remove sand from your hands by "washing" them with baby powder! This works great for cleaning kids up after playing in the sand box as well!
The log cabin method is great, but it doesn't make an extremely tall fire. Also, those tiny, tiny, pine sticks that break off of the beaches are wonderful for starting fires. I've seen fires started with just a bundle of hose and a match.