Planning For The Perfect Picnic
Beyond a beautiful picnicking area and somebody to share it with there’s not much needed to enjoy dining al fresco. But if you’re planning to have a perfectly prepared picnic without any common disasters like soggy sandwiches and spoiled potato salad, a little more preparation will not harm. Here are 15 things to always pack when it comes to a picnic.
1. SUN BLOCK
Lunching out doors is a wonderful chance to take pleasure in warm breezes and sunny views, but all that outside time can catch up with your skin. Make your picnic one to remember for the fun, not the sunburns, by packing sun block. While lunching under an umbrella or tree can reduce the effect of UV rays, skin damage is still possible in the shade.
2. BABY WIPES
Even if you’re not toting kids to the park, baby wipes are an ideal as a picnic companion. While hand sanitiser likewise kills off germs, wet wipes can remove dirt and stains, cleaning up better before and after you chow down.
3. FLY/BUG SPRAY
A day in the park can help you meet a new range of pesky friends, Bugs! Lower the possibilities of insect bites by taking along and freely applying insect repellent. Repellents with DEET, lemon eucalyptus oil and picaridin normally last longer than other sprays, and work best when used after sun block.
It’s simple to opt for picnic destinations that have chairs or tables provided, but on a beautiful day, seating might be limited. Don’t forget to bring along a blanket for both seating and spreading your lunch fare. Make sure you have sufficient space for everybody.
5. BOTTLED DRINKS
Making a large pitcher of sweet tea (or sangria) seems like a simple way to share drinks, but bottled drinks are a better choice. Small bottled drinks remove the need for individual cups which is one less thing to pack and wash later on. Also chilled bottles act as extra icepacks to keep heat-sensitive foods cool, and unlike pitchers, are less likely to leak. Resealable bottles also prevent accidental spills from clumsy picnickers.
6. BOTTLE OPENER
Keep from turning to desperate measures by remembering to pack a bottle opener for those bottles with pry-off lids. The same goes for another picnic necessary: the corkscrew.
A little knife can be one of the most versatile tools in a picnic basket, used to spread mayo or pry open a bottle of wine if you forget to pack a corkscrew. Plus, slicing fruit or cutting sandwiches at your picnic destination (instead of beforehand) can help keep foods fresh through sweltering heat or sun. Small blades that fold or have a sheaths are best for storing in your basket; some cutlery manufacturers make knives with picnics and outdoor meals in mind.
8. FIRST AID KIT
Whether your picnic consists of a walking in the woods or just a day at the neighbourhood park, a first aid kit is a must. Basic supplies like bandages, aspirin, and creams can keep an eventful day fun instead of uncomfortable.
9. MINI CONDIMENTS AND SEASONINGS
Instead of lugging the entire bottle of ketchup, uses small condiment packets from restaurants or takeaways shops to contribute to your basket. The smaller packets will save you from taking much bulkier shakers and bottles.
10. KITCHEN TOWEL
While napkins or paper towels are easy to pack and dispose of, a sturdy kitchen towel offers more versatility. Towels can be used to cover foods from bugs, offer extra protection when twisted around wine glasses or bottles, and can do a much better job of absorbing spills than handfuls of paper napkins. If you’re feeling fancy, kitchen towels can also be used to wrap up picnic snacks, creating an easy to use lunch sack that folds away when finished.
11. GARBAGE BAG
You don’t have to be a scout to follow the guideline of leaving your picnic site “cleaner than you found it.” Tuck a trash bag into your basket so that every piece of garbage makes it to a garbage can or home with you. Bin bags can also double as rain ponchos in case of unanticipated summertime storms, or if sliced open, can lay under your blanket to keep damp grass from seeping through.
12. ICE PACKS
Mayonnaise-based foods like potato salad can spoil and delicate greens can wilt in the summertime heat, so if chilled water bottles aren’t enough to keep your cooler or picnic basket cold, toss in a couple of frozen ice packs.
13. EXTRA CUTLERY
Many picnic foods, like sandwiches and fruit, don’t require any silverware, which is exactly what makes them ideal for a day in the park. But common picnic salads, like potato or macaroni, can be difficult to serve and eat without a large spoon. Pack extra utensils just in case, or at least serving spoons for foods that can be scooped or dipped with chips.
Getting out on a picnic adventure is a memory for the scrapbook, so charge up your phone or bring your camera for an afternoon of pictures. (Think about packing a portable battery charger to make sure you never lack power.).
15. SOMETHING TO DO.
While picnics are often focused on food, half the fun is enjoying the outdoors. Kites, Frisbees and balls are common picnic toys, but you don’t need to move around just because it’s traditional. Hang around reading or drawing for a leisurely and relaxing experience after all, isn’t that the point of an afternoon picnic?