When the weather starts to warm, having a picnic lunch is the perfect treat. It's a relaxing, old-fashioned way to enjoy time with friends and family and not have to worry about cooking an elaborate meal.
Putting together a successful picnic depends a lot on packing the perfect picnic basket. From basic supplies to yummy food, our tips for fitting everything in helps you get your picnic basket just right. Even if you encourage friends to bring some of their own food and beverages, make sure you've packed the essentials to ensue a fun, organized time is had by all! Use this guide as a checklist!
Choosing a Picnic Basket
It just wouldn't be a picnic without the basket. There are several options to choose from when getting ready for your next alfresco meal.
The most complex type of picnic basket comes stocked with dining essentials. Often shaped more like a suitcase than a basket, these have specially designed compartments and straps that hold matching sets of plates, cups, utensils and napkins.
A classic picnic basket is one with a hinged top that opens from two sides. These are often round in shape and deep enough to hold food and a picnic blanket.
Not all picnic baskets are actually baskets. A tote bag, old suitcase or folded blanket can also stand in for the basket. Martha Stewart shares instructions for making a picnic basket from a tablecloth.
Best Picnic Basket Packing Tips
With a little planning and careful arranging, you can pack a ton into one picnic basket.
Place paper towels and cleaning cloths in the basket first since these will be the last items you need. They also provide a cushion for other items if your picnic basket isn't padded.
Next, add heavier items, such as reusable food containers, thermoses and ice packs.
Stack cups in the corners of the picnic basket.
Put utensils wrapped in cloth napkins in the basket next, followed by the plates.
Place items in soft packaging, such as individually wrapped sandwiches and bags of potato chips on top of the plates.
Finally, fold up a picnic blanket to put on top. It will help protect the basket contents.
Check out our top 10 list of picnic basket essentials - you won't want to head out to lunch without checking off the items from this list!