It’s Picnic Time #1: Tips on planning a picnic and 5 Essential Items to pack
Welcome to the first part of my three part picnic series!
If you want to have the kind of picnic that impresses your friends/family, then planning in advance is a must, and adds to the fun. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing tips and recipes to help make all your picnics truly memorable. This first segment is all about proper organisation and includes my top 5 essential items to pack.
Like most things in life, being well prepared and organised is the key to getting things done right and ensuring all involved have an enjoyable experience. I have, in the past, gone on spontaneous picnics and although they were fun, the relaxation was spoilt by the running around looking for what to bring and the annoyance of forgetting some key item.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!
The beauty of picnics is that they can take place anywhere – down at the beach, in a country park or just chilling in your back garden. Choosing where you are going will help you plan what items you will need to bring – will bins be provided, or running water?
As the weather is unpredictable in the UK, it’s vital to keep an eye on the weather forecast. If it looks like there’s going to be a major downpour, it might be best to postpone your picnic to a later date. Otherwise, bring waterproofs and an umbrella incase of light showers.
PLAN YOUR MENU WITH YOUR GUESTS IN MIND
Once you’ve decided on your location, then is the time to think about what type of food to bring, how many guests are coming, and whether they have any special dietary requirements (vegetarians/food allergies). The last thing you want is to pack mini pork pies to later discover one of your guests is vegan. Also make sure the time of day reflects your menu. You could pack breakfast muffins for a morning picnic, for example.
TRANSPORTING YOUR FOOD
I love a traditional wicker basket as it conjures up feelings of being oldie worldly and romantic. But depending on where you are going and how you’re planing on getting there, a basket might not be the most convenient way to transport your food. So before you do anything, think about how you are traveling to the location, how many people you are al frescoing with and the location itself. For example, if you are going hiking or are planning on cycling to your picnic spot, then a rucksack would be the better option. Likewise, if you are travelling by car and don’t need to walk far, then a basket would be ideal.
5 ESSENTIAL ITEMS TO PACK
This could seem like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how many people take a normal blanket and neglect to consider the elements. It’s worth investing in a waterproof blanket – there is no need to risk getting a soggy bottom!
2. Disposable plates/ cutlery and Bags
Instead of packing your fine plates and cutlery, bring disposables instead. This will make your picnic basket (or bag) lighter and there will be no pesky dishes to worry about doing when you return home. It’s important to clean up once you’ve finished your picnic. Remember that your picnic location may or may not have bins, so come prepared with your own bags, so you can tidy up after yourself.
3. Bottled Water
As there might be no running water available at your location, you should always bring plenty with you. You can freeze it and use it as an icepack – 2 in 1!
4. A Bottle Opener
5. Wet Wipes
I blogged about the usefulness of wipes last year – 5 Simple Ways to use Face Wipes other than just your face, hence it’s no surprise to find them here in my essential list. Wet wipes will make keeping your face and hands clean both quick and fuss-free.