When I was growing up, our family outings usually included a fun picnic beside a gently rolling stream somewhere. We always found great places to go that wasn’t always the city park. A patch of public land here; a bend in the river there! If you like to go on picnics it is kind of a drag when you’ve packed great food, but forgot to bring the blanket or even left out the paper plates. The best thing to do so you don’t forget something is to keep a basic list of items needed for a picnic. Here is our list.
This includes the main course, side dishes, condiments, bread, vegetables and dessert.
Picnics can have eating easy-to-cart-around foods. Fried chicken, sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs are all good examples. Some people like to cook at picnics and some people just like to bring food and snacks.
are good examples.
It is important to stay hydrated during a picnic with all of the frisbee throwing or football tossing. Bring water, sodas, fruit drinks, beer, wine, coffee, tea or anything else you like to drink. Always be safe if you are drinking alcohol. Have a designated driver and follow park rules.
3. Plates & Cups
We always used disposable plates and cups, but nowadays we are cognizant of the fact that Styrofoam products are not eco-friendly and can cause harm to the environment. Avoid using plastics too, unless you plan on recycling.
Include all of the basics including knives to cut things with.
5. Serving Utensils
Usually something needs to be cut, so bring a knife with a serrated edge along with serving spoons and forks.
6. Blanket or Table Cloth
If using it on the ground, it may be advisable to use a plastic liner underneath the blanket.
A must have. Bring more than enough. Whatever you don’t use can be brought back home.
Wet towelettes are great for clean up if restrooms are not nearby. They can be used to clean a surface or a face.
9. Trash Bags
Never leave trash after your picnic. Be responsible and get rid of your garbage.
11. Portable Table & Chairs
Bring collapsible tables and chairs. These can be folding chairs, camp chairs & tables. There are plenty to choose from at your local sporting goods store.
CD players or iPod docks are a great source of music that can be custom tailored for your listening pleasure.
13. Bug Spray, Aspirin, Antacid, Band Aids, Sun Screen
You need all the short term medical basics at your picnic. Kids will inevitably get scrapes and you will probably get a headache from all the smiling you will be doing enjoying yourself.
Bring several bags of ice to not only cool drinks, but to use in your cups.
15. Leftovers Containers
It’s easier to carry food to a picnic than to bring it back home without the appropriate containers, so don’t forget to include extra containers. Otherwise you may be throwing out good food.
You may want to include things like playing cards, badminton sets, footballs, frisbees, board games or whatever you will think will be fun. Try to bring things that will be used by a group rather than an individual.
If you brought your phone, you can use the camera that comes with it, but bring a nicer camera if you have one. Don’t let these memories disappear.
18. Portable Grill
If you like to cook on location, bring a grill or use one at a park if they have one. Include charcoal, lighter fluid, tongs, spatula and a grill brush for cleaning.
You may be at your picnic having fun until after dark. Bring flashlights or lanterns just in case you need them.
20. Toilet Paper
It never hurts to bring a couple of spare rolls of toilet paper on any picnic. Just saying!
Be flexible with what you bring to your own picnic. Add things or delete things, but make it fun! Picnics are all about getting together with people you care about. So invite that annoying Uncle that talks too much, your parents, all of your siblings and their kids, your family friends.
Writer Curt Gutierrez, is owner of outdoor park and recreation furnishings company TerraBound Solutions. Visit us at http://www.terraboundsolutions.com