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How to Pack the Perfect Picnic

Family having a picnic

Fresh air, sunshine and a chance to kick back and enjoy nature: Don’t long, sunny days just beg for a leisurely picnic? Here’s a checklist to make the most of your al fresco meal. Just choose a relaxing, picturesque setting, get your essentials together and go.

Finger Foods

Think about portable, easy-to-eat foods that can be eaten cold or at room temperature. Finger foods like sandwiches, cut up fruit, strawberries, grapes, veggie sticks, cheese cubes, salami wedges and cookies hold up well. Pack food in lightweight, resealable containers to avoid spills and help foods keep their shape.

Frozen Bottles of Water

Get a two-for-one when you add frozen water bottles to your picnic basket. You will keep your cold foods nice and chilled, and then as the ice melts, you’ll have some cold water on hand to keep you refreshed throughout the day.

Corkscrew or Bottle Opener

If you’re thirsty for more than water and plan to have wine, beer or bottled beverages, don’t forget a corkscrew and bottle opener. Add some sturdy plastic cups with wide bottoms that aren’t as likely to tip over.

Wet Wipes

A container of wet wipes or baby wipes can help save the day to keep hands clean, take care of sticky messes or make end-of-picnic clean-up so much easier. A small bottle of hand sanitizer can come in handy, too.

Paper Towels

On a breezy day, a roll of paper towels won’t blow all over your picnic area like a stack of paper napkins will. Use them as makeshift plates, to sop up spills and to keep your hands clean as you chow down.

Waterproof Picnic Blanket

If you don’t snag a picnic table or if you want to set up your picnic on the ground under a shady tree, pack a waterproof picnic blanket. Use a throwaway plastic tablecloth from the dollar store, or spread out an old shower curtain liner, then throw your picnic blanket on top. If you’re eating on the ground, a small plastic tray will help keep your drinks from toppling over.

Serving Spoons

Large plastic spoons can help you dish up cut up fruit or bulk items like potato salad. If you are bringing meats and cheese to slice, pack a folding knife and a small cutting board.

Bug Spray

Keep uninvited guests away by packing the bug spray of your choice. No one wants to share their sandwich or the last chocolate chip cookie with the ants or mosquitoes.

Trash Bag

Even if you are in a park with a lot of trash cans, bringing your own trash bag will save you a few trips to dispose of everything after the picnic is over. Be sure to take all of your trash and leave your space clean for the next picnickers to enjoy.

Take some time to pack your picnic basket with essentials to ensure a carefree outing.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.