As spring showers give way to warm weather and more daylight, getting the whole family indoors to eat together can become a challenge. A picnic is a great compromise for enjoying the outdoors and a meal with your family simultaneously. However, packing for a picnic requires planning to ensure you have everything you need to dine comfortably away from your kitchen. Here are 5 essentials you will want to bring along on your next family picnic.
1- Picnic Blanket
Picnic blankets are a must for an enjoyable meal. They provide a barrier between spiky grass or still-wet ground and your legs. A blanket also gives you a place to spread the food without immediately inviting insects to help themselves. Choose a soft, comfortable blanket, waterproof, and easy to clean. If you eat outdoors often on your property, you might even want to invest in a picnic table for maximum comfort and enjoyment.
2- Picnic Backpack
Although a basket is the traditional means of picnic transport, a backpack allows you to tote all of your necessities with greater ease. You can walk longer distances without potentially dropping your food or having tired arms by the time you reach your dining location. Your arms will also be free to carry a child or small pet if needed. Look for an insulated backpack to keep food and beverages cold during the trek to your picnic spot.
3- Grab and Go Foods
While enjoying an intricate meal in a scenic location can feel luxurious, this can increase the amount of silverware and dishware you need to take along. Particularly if you have small children, you will want to pack foods that are easy to transport, serve, and eat outside. Sandwiches, chips, cheese sticks, juice boxes, cut veggies, and whole fruits will produce the least mess and require the fewest cutlery and plates.
4- Hand Sanitizer and Wipes
You will likely not have access to a sink at your picnic spot, so it is important to have a way to clean everybody’s hands before you eat. A travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer packs easily and will last you and your family for a season of picnicking. If you have young children or messy food, you may want to pack some wipes to quickly clean your hands and face during and after the meal.
Good food and conversation may be the typical goals of a picnic, but having a game or two planned can add to the joy and memories of the outing. If you have young children or endured a long walk to the spot, an activity can give you more time to relax and stay busy in your location. A few rounds of bocce, hide and seek, or go fish can make your picnic more enjoyable and memorable.