Want to have fun on a budget? Go on a picnic! Pack the items you need and head over to a local park. It’s less work than a camping trip, but you still get the same benefit: time outdoors with the people you love. It’s so easy that you can do it every week, especially if you are getting your picnic snacks from HampersWithBite. Just add a few essentials and you are ready to go. Below are some of the items you’ll need to make the perfect hamper for a picnic:
1. Picnic Blanket and Table
Not all parks have picnic stations. Existing facilities may also have questionable condition or limited availability. If you’re not sure what you’re going to find, then it’s best to stay self-reliant. Take your own picnic blanket and table. They’ll protect you and the food from moisture, dirt, and insects.
You don’t need to buy a new blanket for this. Just grab an old tablecloth, linen, flatbed sheet, or whatever you can find in your closet. Some picnic hampers include a small, lightweight table for your convenience. You can also use portable camping tables or any slightly elevated flat surface for your picnic prep.
2. Disposable Plates and Cups
Nobody enjoys washing dishes after a picnic. Once you get home, you’ll want to rest and relax in your room. Be kind to yourself and use disposable products. Pick options made from organic materials, so you won’t have to worry about the environmental impact.
Paper plates, cups, and straws work well for short meals. You can also find forks and spoons from similar materials. Stock up on these items for future parties and picnics. They are quite affordable and surely worth the money.
Think like a scout. Anticipate what you’ll need at the park and get ready for them. It’s a good idea to slip in a small multi-tool into the picnic hamper. A Swiss army knife is perfect since it has a tiny scissor, blade, corkscrew, bottle opener, can opener, and more handy items in a lightweight package. It will save you from a lot of headaches. You can also bring dedicated tools if you prefer those.
4. Cooler and Ice
If you are having a picnic in the summer, then you’ll probably want to beat the heat with cold and refreshing drinks. Keep your stash chilled in a cooler. These come in different forms, including large rigid boxes, foldable soft containers, and even insulated backpacks.
Choose whatever type and size suit you. Fill it up with ice, put your drinks inside, and keep it in the shade. Bring soda cans, fruit juice boxes, wine bottles, water bottles, and anything else that you have in mind. These can stay cool for hours with ample ice.
5. Paper Towels and Trash Bags
Meals can be a mess if you’re going with kids and pets. Stay calm and patient. You can easily laugh these incidents for as long as you’re well-prepared. Bring enough paper towels to wipe spills and stay clean. These have countless applications so don’t hesitate to get more from the store. You could also bring baby wipes if that’s what you have available.
Don’t forget to take a handful of trash bags as well. They’ll help keep your picnic area nice and tidy. These large plastic bags can also serve as a waterproofing layer under your blanket. You can even use these as instant ponchos in case it rains — a common trick among mountaineers.
6. Delicious Food and Drinks
What’s a picnic without food? This is the heart and soul of the activity, so take the time to think about what everyone might like. Try to keep it healthy, or at least bring a few healthy options. Consider how long you plan to stay in the park and what time you’ll be there. These will influence your food picks.
For a short afternoon snack, you could bring dried fruits, roasted nuts, green olives, sliced cheese, pretzels, shortbread, crackers, chocolate bars, and sweet treats. Include wine, beer, or other drinks. If your family has perennial favorites, then you can make those ahead of time. Just remember to keep it simple if you are new to it. You can always buy a complete picnic hamper for convenience.
- Sunscreen and Bug Spray — If you are going midday, then you’ll probably deal with the harsh sun. Apply lots of sunscreen for protection against the harmful UV rays. If you plan to stay at the park until late at night, then nocturnal insects might start to come out and bite. Keep bug spray handy to push them away.
- First Aid Kit and Medicines — You never know what might happen. You could get a cut while slicing food. The kids might scrape their knees after running around. Bring a first aid kit just in case. You could also bring essential medicines for pain, allergies, and other issues.
- Condiments and Seasonings — Taste is subjective. What’s fine for others might seem bland to you, and vice versa. Some people want hot sauce or ketchup on everything. It is a good idea to have small packets of condiments, spices, and seasonings to tweak the flavors. At the very least, you could bring salt and pepper.
- Outdoor Toys and Games — If the weather is great, you might want to stay longer and enjoy the outdoors. Bring a good book to occupy your mind. If there are beautiful sceneries, then take a few snaps with your phone camera. For the kids, you could take a frisbee, a football, or other things they could use to play games. Of course, they could simply play tag or hide-and-seek.
The perfect hamper meets all your needs. Spend a few minutes writing down your plans for the picnic. These will guide you regarding equipment and food selection. Save money by using what you already have. Save time and effort by getting help from others.