A perfect picnic doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, it takes effort … it takes stuff.
Think about it — say you bring five different types of food. Now, you need the right utensils for each, and you need to be able to open anything that’s sealed shut, plus, of course, you need something to eat on. And sit on, for that matter! And what are you going to do about drinks? (Suggestion: Ready to go, single-serving wines, anyone?)
From all-encompassing baskets that do the planning for you to clever gadgets that will make dining al fresco a little more fun, we’ve rounded up a bunch of great picnic products here for Picnic Week. What would you never leave home for a picnic without?
11 Cool and Clever Picnic Products
1. Insulated Picnic Basket, $39.99. Don’t want to look for all the little bits and pieces you’d need for a picnic? No problem. This 21-piece picnic basket has it all, plus, it’s gorgeous and traditional and just makes me want to put on a vintage dress and sit under the apple tree with my husband, you know?
2. Clear Acrylic Stemless Tumblers (Set of 4), $11.96. The best picnics come with wine, but your regular glasses are too breakable and stemware, even if it’s really durable, is still prone to spilling when you set it down on the ground. Don’t turn to pouring your sauvignon blanc into a Solo cup though — class it up with an unbreakable stemless glass instead.
3. Portable Reclining Seat, $39.99. Just because you’re dining al fresco, that doesn’t mean you want (or need!) to be uncomfortable. “Grab a seat” takes on a whole new meaning when you’ve got this on hand!
4. Trunk Organizer and Cooler Set, $48.88. Nobody wants the potato salad to slide into the salami selection while you’re driving out to the picnic, and with this nifty organizer (which includes a cooler, even), you don’t have to sweat it. It’s got three big pockets, plus a few small ones for storing extra tools, and when not in use it folds up flat.
5. Wine Chill Gel Tote, $5.95. Just need to bring a single bottle of chilled white wine to the picnic but don’t want to lug a whole cooler along? This gel tote is inexpensive, lightweight, and, come on — it looks kind of cool, right? It’ll even chill a bottle that starts out warm — just make sure the tote is cold and leave yourself 10 minutes!
6. Trash Ease, $12.99. Whether you’re picnicking in a remote forest or near an urban playground, chances are you’re going to end up with a little bit of trash to pack up and take with you (or at least to the nearest garbage can). This is an awesome solution to tying a bag to a tree limb (we all know how frustrating it is to try to cram a stack of plates into a bag that suddenly seems to have no opening) or holding a bag down on the ground with a rock.
7. Hot & Cold Food Carrier, $69.99. Transporting both hot and cold dishes but trying to cut down on how many items you have to carry? This carrier can carry hot and cold foods at the same time — they’re divided, so your mac n’ cheese won’t wilt your spinach salad. Cool.
8. Waterproof Picnic Blanket, $60. There’s something special about laying out your foodie spread on the ground and copping a squat to dine, but if the grass or sand is damp, that kiiiind of ruins the ambiance. Unless you have a waterproof blanket that folds and zips to become its own tote bag, that is!
9. Mobile Foodie Survival Kit, $26. Stoked to picnic with your pals but concerned about their culinary skills? Take along this emergency pack of herbs and spices and picnic with confidence, knowing you can spice up even the blandest sandwich.
10. Beverage Can Handy Holder (Set of 2), $9.49. Worried about your sweet summer shandy getting knocked over? Worry no more! Pop one of these holders in the ground and keep your tasty beverage safely away from shuffling feet (not to mention thirsty ants).
11. Classic Backpack for 4 With Blanket, $99.95. If your perfect picnic involves a hike to a secluded location, some of the trunk organizers and traditional picnic baskets are probably leaving you cold. This backpack will carry just about every single thing you could need for a party of four … other than the actual food and drink.
Are any of these on your must-have list for picnicking? What would you add? —Kristen