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Picnic Essentials: What To Pack For A Picnic?

by Izabela Kokoszka on Apr 18, 2024

Picnic Essentials: What To Pack For A Picnic?

Spring - Perfect for Picnics

With spring coming around the nice weather and blooming nature the outdoors are becoming a perfect place to spend a weekend at. Enjoy your time outdoors with friends and family by having a picnic. To make sure you have a successful picnic you’ll need to cover the essentials of what to bring, the location, and types of food.

Picnic Basket

Set Up for Picnic

Grab a picnic basket or cooler. You’ll want to keep your food safe as you’re transporting it your destination, after all there’s nothing worse than realizing your sandwiches fell apart and all of your salad toppings are dressing are stuck to the top of the lid when opening up your meal. A sturdy woven picnic basket will do the trick but if you don’t have one a backpack, cooler or insulated food storage bag will work just fine. If it’s going to be particularly warm or your food will melt or spoil fast make sure to bring a cooler or insulated bag with a few ice packs in it as well.

For drinks there are insulated thermoses that can keep drinks hot or cold. It’s a great item to have if you’ll be bringing something like hot coffee or some chilled lemonade or wine.

Besides foods and drinks you’ll want to pack some plates, bowls, utensils and cups. Bring a few extra too in case one of them falls on the ground. Disposable utensils and plates work great because you don’t need to worry about them getting damaged during transport or loosing on of your favorite knives in the grass somewhere. If you go on picnics regularly there are picnic baskets that come with attachments for securing your plates and utensils on, that way you can always have a ready set of plates and cutlery to go without needing to dig through your dish cabinets.

Be sure to clean up after yourself by bringing a few trash bags if there’s won’t be anywhere near to throw things away. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer are useful to clean hands or any spills as there probably won’t be running water near you on a picnic.

Don’t forget to bring something to sit on! As you’ll probably be sitting on the ground you want to make sure your picnic blanket is thick enough so moisture from the ground won’t soak through or that you’re not being poked and itchy from the grass making its way through a thin blanket. One of the best purchases is a blanket that can be folded up into a square that comes with a handle for eat carrying. These blankets usually have waterproof bottoms or are made of a thick tarp material that will keep any moisture out as well as be sturdy enough to sit on uneven terrain comfortably. If you don’t have these options bringing a few beach towels and laying them under you will work.

Group on a Picnic

Picnic Location

A picnic can be held anywhere but enjoying the outdoors in a scenic location adds to the experience. A forest preserve is a great option because they’re meant for picnickers. They will have lots of open space under the trees or benches to sit on if you don’t want to be on the ground. Often times they’ll have a large gazebo with many benches set up which will protect you from sitting in the sun. The area is also equipped with places to throw away trash and pumps to get water from. Some forest preserves will have natural ponds and lakes which are enjoyable to set up your picnic at. On a warm day you’ll get a welcoming breeze off the water.

The beach is great too since you can take opportunity of the water next to you to dip your feet in after lunch. Just like with forest preserves beaches often have an area with trees and picnic benches to set up in so you won’t get sand all over your food and gear.

Picnic Foods

Picnic Foods

When it comes to picnic food some foods are ideal to take along because they can easily be stored away and brought along. Coordinate with others coming along so you won’t all bring the same dishes. Or ask someone to take care of the main dish while others bring finger foods or desserts.

Making sure your dishes arrive safely is important so store all your items in tightly sealed containers. The Lofaho 3-in-1 Magic Vacuum Sealer Machine comes with custom containers you can vacuum seal and be assured no lids will come off and no leaks will happen. The containers look just like food storage containers but are sealed with a plastic seal on top instead of a lid. This keeps the food fresh for longer, meaning you could pack your picnic food earlier in the week and have it ready to go.

Lofaho 3-in-1 Magic Vacuum Sealer Machine

Lofaho Tray Sealer

Packing a variety of foods can be overwhelming so make it easier by breaking food down into categories. You’ll want to start with a main dish like sandwiches, fried chicken, and pasta or potato salad. For lighter snacks and finger foods you can go for fruit, cheese boards, vegetable tray or some chips and dip. Ending with dessert bring something that won’t be goosey and messy like cookies, rice crispy treats, and muffins.

Besides food drinks are essential. Classics like lemonade or fresh fruit juice are always a staple by making a simple juice cocktail, you can choose if you want to keep it non alcoholic or not. Chilled wine paired with some light snacks can be a good ending to a picnic.

Main dishes

  • Sandwiches are a picnic favorite since they are ready to eat and handheld. You can also bring wraps or pitas instead.
  • Pinwheel wraps
  • Mini sliders
  • Fried chicken
  • Pasta or potato salad
  • Macaroni and cheese

Finger foods and Snacks

  • Add meat, cheese, vegetables, and fruits on a wooden skewer stick. It’s easy to eat and no need to bring a charcuterie board set up.
  • Chips and dip. You can bring hummus dip with vegetables for a healthier option
  • Fresh fruit or fruit salad
  • Fruit and yogurt parfait
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Marshmallow Fruit Dip with Cream Cheese
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Deviled eggs


  • Bar and small treats like lemon bars, cheesecake bites, rice crispy treats, brownies, and granola bars
  • Cookies like peanut butter, snickerdoodle, sugar, oatmeal
  • Instead of a whole pie bring small puff pastry pies or danishes
  • Mini muffins


  • Bring refreshing drinks to cool down with after being outdoors. Lemonade, fresh juice, a fruit punch, iced tea and water are great options.
  • Non alcoholic fruit cocktails
  • Chilled wine

Plan you menu ahead of time, have a perfect spot in mind and enjoy the outdoors with great food and company.

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