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Comfort and Style

17 Beach Picnic Essentials That You Didn’t Know You Need

by Franck Jehanne

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A beach is a perfect place for an outdoor picnic. The sand, the sunshine, and the waves crashing onto shore can provide an amazing backdrop and make your day.

But before you head to the beach, make sure that you have everything you'll need to ensure that it's a perfect picnic day at the beach. 

There are just so many things that you could bring, but which ones are essential? Read our list to find out!

Beach Picnic Shade & Wind Protection

With hot summer days in full swing, it's time to pack the essentials for a day at the beach. 

Sun protection is always necessary, and while on cloudy days, you may be able to get away with wearing just your favourite floppy hat that won't cut it when things heat up. 

Pack some shade from a beach umbrella or large beach tent to not roast under direct sunlight, and don’t forget about sunscreen too!


Sunscreen is like the lifeguard of your delicate skin. It guards against sunburn and all other kinds of damage that can happen to you while basking in its delightful rays on a beach day. 

You may choose from many different sunscreen configurations such as spray bottles, lotions, or even lip balms!

Beach Picnic Blanket

Beach picnic days are just better when you have the right gear.

For your next beach picnic, don't forget to pack a waterproof beach blanket for sitting on or laying out all of your food and drinks! 

When not in use, you can fold it up into its bag so even after-picnic cleanup is easier than ever before.

Beach Tent

You can easily spend all day at the beach without even realising it. However, spending too much time outdoors in the hot sun will dehydrate you and can give you skin cancer! 

beach tent for sun protection during a picnic

Beach tents offer shade that protects against damaging UV rays, wind gusts for those chilly evenings on the sand when temperatures drop quickly after sunset, as well as protection from rain showers or pesky bugs. 

A beach tent is an excellent addition to your beach blanket. They also have space inside to store your belongings like towels and umbrellas to get wet. 

Picnic Umbrella

The beach umbrella is an essential piece of gear for a day at the beach. It'll protect you from scorching under its shade. 

A good one will block out those harsh sun rays, provide extra coverage, and won't break in high winds so that no matter where you are on the shoreline, your family can enjoy their picnic safely!

Picnic Table and Chairs

Picnic Table

On a beach picnic day, it can be challenging to find a place where you can sit comfortably and enjoy your meal. 

That’s why beach-goers know that an easy-to-carry picnic table is a perfect accessory for their beach outings. 

You can sit on the chair conveniently while nibbling on an ice cream cone or taking a break from building sandcastles, and it's big enough to hold all of your food and drinks too!

Picnic Chair

Sure, relaxing on the sand enjoying your feast is lovely, but so is kicking back in a comfy chair. 

A picnic chair is a must-have for your beach picnics because it’s comfortable and portable. All you need to do is fold it up and bring it out to the beach! 

Take your pick from several available comfortable beach chairs that feature a mesh back, foam armrests, and an easy cup holder.

Picnic Food & Drink Accessories

Picnic words you don't want to hear: soggy, wilted, or congealed. Adding sauces and dressings to picnic food is best left until eating time. 

Your beach picnic will be less likely to involve soggy sandwiches or sad salads with some handy pocket-sized condiments. And keep wet wipes in your picnic pack, especially when there is sand involved.

Picnic Basket

Picnic baskets are the perfect accessory for any beach trip. With ample storage and space, they can accommodate a variety of needs for your day at the shore without taking up too much room in the car! 

They have plenty of compartments for storage in case you need to carry more, too! Keeping everything compact is always better when it comes time to pack up. The picnic basket also looks adorable on the sand!

Cloth Napkins

Aside from having an umbrella to block the sun, you should also have napkins at hand. Forget paper napkins at the beach - they don't do well with sand and wind!  

They cover more of your lap and are more absorbent than a napkin for cleaning up spills. 

Get them in some nice colours so they'll look great with all of your other accessories too! Bonus, they get softer and more absorbent with every wash.

Picnic Knife

The small knife is one of the most versatile tools in a beach picnic basket. 

From spreading mayo or cutting sandwiches at your destination when you're out enjoying nature, it can be very handy-especially with its foldable design that allows for easy packing.

Chopping Board

A picnic at the beach is a great way to enjoy your favourite foods with friends and family. You can bring all of your ingredients down, but what about serving dishes? 

chopping board and picnic basket on a sandy beach

A chopping board will make it easy for you to cut up fruits and vegetables while also serving them on top afterwards. 

Pocket-Sized Condiments and Sauces

A never-ending bottle of ketchup can be a cumbersome necessity when packing for your beach picnic. 

Put an end to the pain by stocking up on sauces and condiments in smaller packaging, which is more appropriate for outdoor dining because they're small, easy to carry and don't spill easily! 

These packets will also save you from having around bulkier shakers or bottles that are difficult to store with ease. And you can pack everything from ketchup, sugar mustard, peanut butter or even dressing!

Travel Cutlery Set

If you are packing any food other than finger food, make sure you're fully prepared by packing a travel cutlery set. 

This convenient container comes with forks, knives, spoons and even chopsticks! And since it's so easy to transport around in its compact case, it'll take you no time to pack it up when you return home!

Hand Wipes

No matter what the occasion, you can never go wrong with taking a pack of sanitising hand wipes on your picnic. 

For one, they're really easy to clean up after food and trash - just give them a quick wipe down! 

Sticky fingers or messy hands after eating can get in the way if you are trying to wash your face or apply sunblock.

With these handy little packs tucked away in our bag, we've got no problem tackling any mess that might come about.

Insulated Cooler Box

A picnic cooler box is a must-have for any beach getaway. 

It’s big enough to hold food, drinks, and other necessities, and they provide the insulation necessary to keep everything cold so you can spend more time having fun!

Champagne Bucket

A Champagne bucket is a stylish alternative to a cooler box. White wines and bottles of celebratory Champagnes are best kept chilled on a refreshing temperature.

Other Must-Have Items for Beach Picnic

First Aid Supplies

A picnic on the beach always sounds like good fun, and most people would never think about first aid supplies being essential. 

But scrapes from playing in the sand or cutting yourself while opening an oyster can be painful and inconvenient to treat at home later. 

Basic supplies like bandages, aspirin, and hydrocortisone creams can keep an eventful day fun instead of uncomfortable.

Bin Bag

Bin bags are essential for any outdoor picnic. They keep the area clean and tidy, making it easy to gather everything up at the end of the day. 

You can also store your dirty clothes after swimming in them or put anything that may get wet or sandy during a day at the beach!

LED Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker

The LED Lamp with Bluetooth Speaker is perfect for those looking to picnic later in the evening or want a more beachy feel. 

It comes with batteries, so you never have to worry about being without light when darkness falls or missing out on your favourite song while at the shore!

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About the Author

Franck Jehanne is the co-founder of British lifestyle brand, Heating & Plumbing London. After 10 years working for Cartier and other luxury brands from the Richemont group, he started his entrepreneurial journey in 2011, leading to the creation of the brand in 2017.

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