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The 10 Picnic Basket Essentials

With longer days and warmer nights, there are so many opportunities to leave your kitchen behind and host a meal outside. Whether you are hosting a backyard picnic or an all day outing, you can achieve basket perfection with just 10 items. Packing the perfect basket makes planning, carrying and clean up a delight, so you can enjoy your lunch and the great outdoors at the same time. 

Top 10 Picnic Basket Essentials


1. A Sturdy, Deep & Washable Basket

It all starts with the basket itself! 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. Choose a basket that is deep, strong and that will clean up well afterwards.

2. Weatherproof Picnic Blanket

An all-weather blanket that keeps the ground moisture away from your seating area will allow you to sit in comfort throughout the meal. Be sure to allow plenty of space for both seating and food presentation, the general rule of thumb is one blanket for 2 guests.

3. Cloth Napkins

They not only add a dash of style to your picnic, they also allow you to reuse them for your next picnic. Try matching your napkins to your picnic blanket in the same way you would a tablecloth to your linens. 

4. Cutlery, Flatware & Glasses

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 as well as a functional and budget-friendly tool in your picnic arsenal!

5. Vinegar Spray Bottle

Spraying a solution of 1 part water, and 3 parts vinegar around your picnic blanket keeps the ants from arriving and spoiling the party. It also doubles as a quick hand washing solution if you run out of your store bought antibacterial gel. 

6. 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.

7. Resealable Bags

Picnic baskets rarely look as pretty after the picnic. Keep mess under control by bringing resealable bags large enough to hold our plates, cutlery and glasses in.   Not only will it keep the flying pests away from your used basket, it will make transporting them home a painless process.

8. Large trash Bag

Once the picnic is over, avoid the temptation to bring any uneaten food home, the risk for food poising is too high, and chances are your food will have lost its luster.  Bring a single large trashcan to empty your food containers and any trash that the picnic generated. 

9. Fruit for Peeling

While summer is bursting with so many amazing fruits, it is also buzzing with flying pests. Avoid sticky sweet fruits and opt for fruit you can peel. Not only does peeling fruit travel well, it creates less mess on your hands. 

10. Simple Menu

Avoid complicated picnic menus. Rather, create a 2 dish meal that is enhanced with a variety of crackers and fruit options. The simplicity of 2 dishes not only makes planning and packing easier, you will find that a 2 dish menu, there is less food waste.

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Meet our Writer
Jennifer Geddes
Celebrations Writer

Jennifer Kelly Geddes has hosted Christmas cookie swaps, New Year's open houses, Thanksgiving for 22, and all manner of dinner parties in her Manhattan and Ghent, NY homes.

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