Pack the Perfect Picnic, No Matter the Destination

One of the best things about picnics? You can have one almost anywhere. Whether you’re seaside or at a city park, it’s a charming break in the bustle—and a perfect excuse to have lunch and great conversation with friends. Though the process of packing a picnic is pretty straightforward, there are ways to make the preparation easier and the execution flawless. Here are some tips to consider next time you’re packing your basket.

Choose the right blanket

There are endless possibilities out there, but when choosing a picnic blanket, it’s best to first consider the environment you’ll be in. Are you headed to a park? The beach? If you’re going to the beach, opt for a fabric such as loose weave cotton or hemp to prevent sand from collecting onto your set up. If you’ll be on the grass, be sure to choose waterproof materials to keep your picnic area dry and your guests happy.

Save your bottles

Once you’ve chosen the perfect blanket, wrap wine bottles up inside of it to prevent breakage. The blanket will supply your bottles with a little extra cushion, in case your basket gets jostled over the course of your commute. And don’t forget your corkscrew!

Handheld snacks

Hand pies can be doled out quickly and easily at a picnic—plus they can be made into any shape imaginable and you can skip the mess of serving a whole pie. Because the crust envelops the pie filling, this snack is both versatile and convenient. Savory or sweet, the options are limitless. For a picnic, pack a dozen or so in a tin, separating the layers with wax paper. A few of our favorite pies can be found here.

Pack a cheese board (and a knife)

A cheese board is an easy way to upgrade any picnic spread with minimal prep. Semi-firm cheeses like cheddar, gouda, or fontina last well over the course of a hot day (although there’s nothing wrong with a melty brie, either). When pairing your cheese, fill your picnic basket with other savory and sweet staples like prosciutto, water crackers, dried figs, and other seasonal fruits. Be sure to include a crusty baguette or three.

Give your hard boiled eggs some extra cushion

The next time you buy a dozen eggs, save your cartons for future picnics. Egg cartons can be used to transport your hard boiled eggs so that they won’t crack until it’s time to serve.

Wrap up sandwiches

There’s nothing worse than finding a messy sandwich in your bag due to travel, or worse—a sandwich that’s completely fallen apart by the time you’re ready for lunch. Serve sandwiches on crusty bread so that they don’t get soggy in transit. Keep them intact by wrapping them up with butcher paper and twine (bonus: this functional packaging also looks effortlessly chic).

Freeze lime slices to use as ice cubes

Not only will they keep your drinks cool, but once they melt you’ll be able to add a squeeze of flavor to your frosty water bottles.

Self serve

Use mason jars to store individual servings of salads and other side dishes for easy distribution and less mess. Composed salads with grain or pasta bases are great for the outdoors, as they won’t wilt like lettuce. A recipe for a soba noodle vegetable salad like this one is a great place to start.

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