8 Essentials For a Summer Picnic Basket

June, 2015 · By Coryanne Ettiene

Nothing says the lazy days of summer like a well packed picnic and an afternoon spent feasting in the sunshine with your favorite people. The best picnic I’ve ever had, I had nothing to do with.  It was a fabulous summer day in Italy and we stopped by a local deli to collect a ready made basket filled with booze and nibbles; the simplicity of that day was what Hollywood movies are made of full of romance, and the charm that only comes under the newlywed umbrella.  Far removed from that splendid day, the first time I packed a picnic we were also packing 2 toddlers, which meant that we hand everything but the kitchen sink with us and the few steps it took us to walk to the park felt more like a marathon trek across London.    Now our baskets are more about family, yes there is still a bottle of booze, but there are also a few years of picnic packing under my belt to ensure that when do head out, we are packing the perfect picnic family basket.  Whether you hike, walk, bike, drive or simply unpack in your backyard, pack the perfect picnic with these 8 picnic essentials.


1.  A Sturdy, Deep & Washable Basket
There is nothing worse than carrying around multiple baskets or seeing your lunch fall through the base of the basket half way up a mountain. A picnic basket should be sturdy and easy to clean, and most importantly, carry everything you need.

2.  Weatherproof Picnic Blanket
Be sure to allow plenty of space for both seating and food presentation, the general rule of thumb is one blanket for 2 guests, and invest in a lined one because a soggy seating area is simply not fun.

Photo Courtesy of Sam Henderson

Photo Courtesy of Sam Henderson

3.  Essentials
Clear plastic glasses, colorful dishes and cutlery continue the picnic theme you started with your blanket. Having a picnic set of reusable items ensures that you always have a colorful and stylish picnic setting. Cutting boards are just as essential if you are planning a meal around a French stick or cheese plate.

4.  Bounce those unwanted guests
Citronella candles create atmosphere and keep those pesky mosquitos from joining the party. By mixing a solution of 1 part water, and 3 parts vinegar and then spritzing it around your picnic blanket, you’ll keep the ants from arriving and spoiling the party too. It also doubles as a quick hand washing solution if you run out of your store bought antibacterial gel.   Or go old fashioned with a picnic net.

5.  Small Cool Packs
If you are venturing beyond your back yard for a picnic, be sure to pack a variety of small ice packs. They distribute cooler temperatures around the basket rather than in one central location which means that when you arrive, you have something cool to drink.

6.  Easy Clean-up Bags
Picnic baskets rarely look as pretty after the picnic. Keep mess under control by bringing resealable bags large enough to hold your dirty dishes in it.   Not only will it keep the flying pests away from your used basket, it will make transporting them home a painless process. Once the picnic is over, empty your food containers and any trash that the picnic generated in to a tall kitchen rubbish bag.

7.  It’s all fun and games
Bring along a few travel games, and create the perfect picnic playlist to keep everyone entertained.

8.  For the dogs
If you are traveling with your family pet, don’t forget to pack travel water and food bowls to keep them safe and happy during the picnic.

What to pack for the perfect picnic by Coryanne Ettiene

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