Thankfully, the design of picnic equipment has come on by leaps and bounds over the past few years, which means that, if you wish, you can have all the comforts of home at your picnic site.
Carriers and containers . . . cutlery and cloths . . . plates and bowls . . . flasks and tumblers . . . blankets and cushions . . .
Where do you start?!
These days more and more people are turning their garden, deck or terrace into an extra room for alfresco dining. This means you can enjoy picnics every day if you wish - and without having to carry things very far.
However, if you intend traveling to your picnic site, eating outside is now so popular that there is a vast array of transportation methods available.
Of course you can carry things in any sturdy bag or large tote or individual lunch boxes.
The traditional picnic basket is
useful, however, and easy to carry with its suitcase or bucket shape. However, if
you’re going to be walking to your picnic destination, then a backpack
may be a more useful way of transporting much of your picnic equipment.
If you are in the mood for browsing at different baskets and backpacks, then take a look at my best option for
where to buy picnic baskets.
You’ll probably also need some insulated containers (known as coolers) for some of the food and drinks. You can choose from bags, boxes, buckets and chests, depending on your journey and size of picnic.
Whether you have a large hamper or a small back-pack, try and organize supplies to save space and make the transportation easier.
The picnicware should be light and not too bulky.
There are all manner of food containers available for keeping things hot or cold, crisp and fresh without letting them spill, crush or break. .
Thermos flasks, plastic bottles and containers with screw-on tops are best for liquids. Plastic bottles are safer than glass but if you do have glass bottles, then wrap in cloths and/or carry in bottle carriers.
Individual lunch boxes are great and especially useful for children's picnics. Kids love having their own surprise food box.
Cling film or wrap is suitable for covering plated food. Enclose fruit which is easily bruised in soft kitchen paper before packing. Silver foil is useful too - you can cover all sorts of items with it - even salt and pepper can be twisted in small pieces for lightweight transportation.
Food covers are also a great idea for keeping food safe from insects, once it has been taken out of the containers and plated up for serving.
You can buy some really pretty ones these days but even a piece of muslin material will do!
You might also consider taking talcum powder (put in a circle around your picnic blanket, it keeps ants away!), fly traps, and/or a wasp repellent.
Over the years, rusty tin sandwich boxes, leaky old flasks and paper plates have turned into beautifully coloured picnic accessories and containers of all shapes and sizes.
Plates, bowls, cups, glasses - unbreakable picnicware of every conceivable colour and design is now available.
Paper plates are convenient as they need no washing up but they do tend to bend when balanced on one's knees. Melamine ones are much better and there are so many pretty colours available nowadays that they're hard to resist!
Picnic food should be easy to eat and cutlery isn’t always necessary. However, again there are lots of picnic knives, forks and spoons available to choose from in most picnic equipment collections.
One piece of picnic equipment you may want to look into, especially if you like frozen daiquiris and fruit smoothies, is a portable blender.
After looking at blender reviews I found several models to choose from that stand out from the rest.
If you have decided to throw an event with a particular theme, then you will obviously need to add all the extra paraphernalia for this - i.e. flags, bunting, specific toys, badges, hats, costumes, decorations, banners, hand-outs etc.
To me a picnic usually means sitting on a waterproof rug or blanket spread out on the grass. However, in some circumstances (sandy beach for example), a table and chairs can be a better option. They can either stay in your backyard or fold up for easy transportation.
The table can be covered with a bright tablecloth and matching napkins, either in pretty fabric, throw-away paper or easily cleaned plastic coated material.
Then when you think you have everything covered, I suggest you refer to my picnic list for things to add to your picnic equipment, just in case you’ve missed something!
You might like to take a look at my particular favourite picnic cook books too.