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What to Pack for the Perfect Picnic

As the warm weather makes its yearly debut, promises of sunnier afternoons and more outdoor freedom make it a great time to plan a picnic.  Although deciding what to bring along for an al fresco meal doesn’t seem like such a difficult task, there are a few things to consider before packing your picnic basket.

Location, Location, Location

Like a piece of prime real-estate, the first thing you need to know is where you plan on spending your peaceful afternoon. Maybe you plan on picnicking in the park, nestled underneath the shade of an oak tree. Or maybe you fancy a luncheon on the beach or in your neighbor’s backyard. Wherever you plan on spending your time, think about what you might need (or not), aside from food, to make you picnic a success.  It might be a thick blanket to spread out on the ground, it might be a lighter load for picnics further down the beaten path, and it might be plastic cups where glass isn’t allowed. The first key to packing the perfect picnic is knowing your venue and preparing appropriately.

Location for the perfect picnic


Two is Company, Four is a Party

Knowing who your picnicking with is another crucial element to packing the perfect basket.  For a loving rendezvous for two, you might consider a more romantic meal (think wine and cheese versus sloppy Joe’s).  For an outing with friends, divvy up the responsibility and have everyone bring a little something. Just make sure to coordinate so that you don’t end up with three bags of chips and nothing to drink.

Picnic with friends on the beach


The Things you Wouldn’t Necessarily Think of

While there are the obvious requirements to packing for a picnic, food, utensils, beverages; there are also a few extras that can turn any normal picnic into a repeat endeavor. Speakers, for one, are a great way to put your own style on an outdoor affair.Stock you iPhone full of relaxing music and let the tunes carry you away. Throw in a frisbee or a couple baseball gloves and a ball to turn your picnic into an activity filled afternoon. Or simply bring along a small board game that you can enjoy without worrying that your pieces will blow away.


It Really is All About the Food

What would a picnic be without the food? While there isn’t a perfect answer to what type of food to bring, it should definitely be something that you and ALL your guests will enjoy. Fresh foods are the best option, especially considering that most picnic areas don’t have a place to heat your food. Try a fresh fruit salad, gourmet subs, a container full of lemonade and cookies or brownies for dessert. Planning a picnic is like planning any other meal in the sense that you want all the elements to taste good side by side, but you’ll also need to consider which foods will travel well and how exactly you’re going to transport them.
So now you know how to plan a picnic, the next stage is to do it!