9 Picnic Basket Essentials – What to Pack for a Picnic

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Picnics are one of our favorite summer activities, but to make them a success, some planning is required. After all, there’s nothing like a leaky food container or too-warm glass of rosé to take you out of the moment and distract you from what’s important: enjoying food and drinks in the great outdoors. So, to make things easy, we’ve rounded up nine go-to picnic essentials from our Shop, whether you’re hitting the beach, park, or just your backyard.


1. Handwoven Turkish Beach Blanket & Towel

This towel is my go-to for any beach or park hang,” says Commerce Editor Julia Kramer. “I’m able to spread out my picnic snacks and comfortably stretch out without worrying about sand or dirt getting into my food.”

2. Blue & White Stripe Picnic Basket

When you picture a picnic basket, chances are you probably picture something like this one from Picnic Time. It’s classic, timeless, and works for any and all picnicking occasions.

3. Outdoor Zip-Up Picnic Blanket Tote

This outdoor-friendly picnic blanket zips up into a tote, making it a breeze to transport to and from your destination.

4. Sabre Bistrot Shiny Finish Flatware

I know I’m not the only one who’s packed their bags and set up their picnic, only to realize they forgot one very important essential: forks. With vibrant, eye-catching colors, this flatware from Sabre basically ensures it won’t be forgotten again.

5. Mepal EasyClip Glass Food Storage Boxes

If you’re bringing a salad or dip for your picnic, you’ll want to make sure you have a sturdy, leak-proof container—like this one from Mepal—to pack it in.

6. Vinglacé Wine Bottle Cooler & Wine Glass

“There’s an extra step involved in prepping wine for a picnic—you need to first chill it (if you’re a rosé fan like me), and then keep it cold. The Vinglacé Wine Bottle Cooler and Wine Glasses in our Shop do the trick while also keeping your drinking (semi) discreet,” says Nicole Davis, Food52’s Managing Editor, of this vacuum-insulated cooler. “I also love these glasses for camping and outdoor drinking in general—the lids stop bugs from taking a fatal plunge into your cup.”

7. Vintage-Inspired Striped Canvas Coolers

Maybe the traditional picnic basket isn’t your thing, or perhaps you have perishables that need to stay chilled. In either case, you can’t go wrong with a cooler. We like this one, which is made with durable canvas and features a vintage-inspired striped print.

8. Essential Striped Cotton Napkins

Upgrade your disposable paper napkins with these reusable ones made from cheerful, yarn-dyed cotton.

9. Reserve Outdoor Old-Fashioned Glasses

No one wants to spend their picnic picking up the remnants of a dropped wine glass: Save yourself the trouble, and invest in shatterproof glasses, instead.

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What are your picnic essentials? Share in the comments!



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