What To Bring To A Picnic

what to bring to a picnic

Deciding what to bring for a picnic can be a daunting task. Under time pressure, option paralysis creeps in and the picnic turns into a panic. Keep calm and organize yourself with these handy excursion must-haves.

RELATED: Camping Made Easy: Camping Hacks

15 Ultimate Picnic Picks You Can’t Do Without

For carrying and sitting

1. Collapsible picnic basket cooler

This basket is designed to hold more items than your typical outdoor compartment. When you’ve got all of the goodies out, hide this spacious container with a flap of a double snap-action housing.

Or you can use it to hold and cool beer cans for later refreshments. Cool box and picnic basket in one, this item is without a doubt a must have.

2. Water-resistant blanketPicnic basket-products-bottle-wine-on |  what should you bring to the picnic

Instead of the usual picnic towel, opt for a water-repellent and insulated one. This way, you can sit anywhere you want without worrying about your buttocks getting wet.

A water-repellent blanket is designed to protect against moisture and has a special underside with insulated inserts that prevent moisture from penetrating.

3. Portable tables and chairsPortable collapsible picnic table and chairs - what to bring to a picnic

A portable table and chair set is another must-have item on your list. This is perfect if you want to keep the kitchen chaos away from the picnic blanket.

Choose light picnic tables and chairs for outdoor activities.

For cooking and eating

4. Portable grillSummer Weekend Picnic Conceptual Scene on the Lawn with BBQ and Grill.  Basket, blanket and hat in the background - what you should bring to a picnic

With this device you can prepare delicious meals outdoors without having to take the whole kitchen with you. It cooks like a real grill, but it folds up and travels like a cooler.

Note: Portable grills are usually made of a cast iron alloy with aluminum insulation. Most types work on Profan, but there are also models that can be operated with an in-car cigarette lighter.

5. Environmentally friendly dishesEco paper utensils on green grass.  Sunny summer day with disposable tableware for a picnic-What to bring to the picnic

Disposable items are convenient to use. It’s cheap and you can throw it away after you use it. However, the environmental impact is costly.

Enjoy a carefree alfresco meal with eco-friendly dishes, which can include biodegradable paper plates, wooden spoons, or bamboo porks.

Durable, yet lightweight, this type of tableware is less likely to break than plastic spoons and forks. Environmentally friendly yet convenient to use, the use of environmentally friendly tableware is a sustainable alternative to conventional cutlery.

6. Utility knifeClose up of Victorinox Swiss Army red jackknife-what to bring to a picnic

Instead of the traditional bottle opener, bring a utility knife. It’s a versatile tool that you can even use for self-defense.

Note: Utility knives are either foldable or retractable for user safety. Some even come with multiple types and sizes of blades that are suitable for a variety of tasks.

7. Food, beverages and spicesSmall summer picnic with lemonade and hamburgers in the park - bring something to the picnic

The life of a picnic is in good company and, of course, in the food you prepare. There is no picnic without good food, refreshing drinks and hearty spices.

Here are some suggestions to help you prepare:

  • Food – sandwiches, fries, pizza, fried chicken, burritos, lettuce, and burgers.
  • Drinks – fruit soda, ginger beer, homemade lemonade, sparkling wine and champagne.
  • Spices – mustard, ketchup, relish, mayonnaise, dips, chili sauce, salad dressing, sugar and salt.

RELATED: Start Cooking Outdoors in Preparation for Off Grid America

To clean up:

8. Reusable napkinsPile of natural linen towels, napkins on white wooden background-what to bring to picnic

Reusable napkins are made from pre-washed single-ply cotton flannel and can be used for serving and cleaning. Compared to ordinary napkins, they are more absorbent and last longer.

And because this type of napkin is reusable, you don’t have to buy rolls of paper every time you go to a picnic. Not only do you reduce your waste footprint, but you also save money.

9. Sustainable garbage bagsThe girl collects garbage from the forest in the garbage bag - what to bring to the picnic

Sustainable garbage bags are environmentally friendly trash bins that are perfect for outings. It is made from recycled plastic waste.

This special garbage bag has the same durability as normal garbage bags, but is biodegradable and costs less. It will help you go green while enjoying the outdoor scene.

Note: Sustainable garbage bags are made from 50% recycled plastic that comes from landfills.

For entertainment

10. Board games


Board or card games are a great way to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. This is a perfect way to connect and enjoy a great day.

11. Books


Another great way to enjoy your picnic is by reading books. You can either choose a quiet time to read your favorite novel or this could also be perfect outdoor story time with your kids.

12. Portable bluetooth speakerModern trendy girl listening to music through a portable wireless speaker - what to bring to a picnic

Mobile entertainment can be enjoyed anywhere with a portable bluetooth speaker. If you want to spice up your picnic this is for you.

Note: Some models of Bluetooth portable speaker can last up to 12 hours of continuous play time.

Other essentials

13. SunscreenYoung woman holding a bottle of suntan lotion outside on a summer day - what to bring to a picnic

Picnic is fun until the sun is bothering your skin. Protect your skin from harmful UV rays by using sunscreens.

Sunscreens, which come in spray, gel, foam, or lotion form, are your skin first line of defense against ultraviolet radiation. It is specifically designed to absorb or reflect sunburn-causing radiation from the sun.

A good quality sunscreen will not only protect your skin from the heat, it will also help keep your skin hydrated and prevent dark spots and wrinkles from forming.

14. Insect repellantsWoman-applying-insect-repellent-on-her-arm-outdoors-what-to-bring-for-the-picnic

Nothing ruins a perfect picnic than a swarm of insects hovering over your food. Using a bug spray is a good solution, but the mist could contaminate your edibles.

An excellent alternative to chemical sprays is a portable insect zapper. It does the job minus the toxic hazard.

Portable bug zapper are sophisticated electrical insect clothes. It quickly eliminates insects on contact. These devices are either battery operated or rechargeable via a USB port.

15. First aid kitFirst aid kit on green grass outdoors - What to bring to a picnic

A basic first aid kit includes aspirin, antibiotics, bandages, hydrocortisone creams, and disinfectants. Picnic or no picnic, it should be in your pocket at all times.

If you don’t already have one, you can build one DIY medical kit completely new. There are great articles online that can help you with this project.

Need More Picnic Hacks? Check out this great video from Emily Norris:

There you have it. With this no-nonsense checklist, now is the time to relax and stop worrying about what to bring to a picnic. Stay healthy and enjoy the time with your friends and family!

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When was the last time you went on a picnic and why do you think it’s unforgettable? We’d love to hear your story in the comments section below!


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Macallister Anderson

I am by no means an expert in every aspect of this stuff. I plan to learn, and when possible, enlist the help of experts in various fields to come together and offer their knowledge. In a few years, I dream that this site will be a virtual survival encyclopedia and allow a total novice to come on here and be supplied with everything they need to prepare for anything.

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