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Comfort and Style

The Ultimate Guide to Picnic Accessories

by Franck Jehanne

Who doesn't love a great picnic? A sunny day, fresh air, delicious food, and good company make for a perfect getaway. Whether you're planning a romantic outing, a family gathering, or a solo retreat in nature, a picnic can be an incredibly enjoyable experience. But the success of a picnic doesn't solely depend on the weather or the location; the accessories you bring along play a significant role too.

This article is designed to enhance your picnicking experience by guiding you through the vast world of picnic accessories. From essential items like picnic baskets and blankets to special touches like portable picnic furniture and entertainment, the right accessories can elevate your picnic from good to great.

We will delve into the details of each accessory, giving you the knowledge to choose the ones that best suit your needs and preferences. So, read on to transform your future picnics into unforgettable adventures. Let's make the most out of your outdoor feasts!

Comprehensive List of Picnic Accessories

Picnics have been a cherished pastime for centuries, evolving and adapting to our needs over time. Today, a myriad of accessories are available to cater to every aspect of your picnic, making the experience more enjoyable, comfortable, and even luxurious. Below is an overview of all possible picnic accessories that you might consider for your next outdoor feast:

picnic accessories offer comfort

Picnic Baskets: A classic essential, picnic baskets not only transport your food but also add a nostalgic charm. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials to suit different needs.

Picnic Blankets: Picnic blankets provide a clean and comfortable surface to sit or lie on. Some come with additional features like waterproof backing, attached cushions, or even built-in stakes to secure them to the ground.

Coolers and Insulated Bags: These cooler bags keep your food and beverages at the right temperature, preserving freshness and taste.

Picnic Tableware: This includes plates, cups, cutlery, and even serving dishes designed for outdoor use. Typically made of lightweight and durable materials.

Portable Picnic Tables and Chairs: For those who prefer more comfort or have trouble sitting on the ground, portable furniture is a great option.

Picnic Backpacks: These offer a more modern and hands-free alternative to traditional picnic baskets.

Picnic Grill Equipment: For picnickers who enjoy barbecued food, portable grills and associated tools can be indispensable.

Picnic Umbrellas or Tents: Useful for protection from sun or rain, these can ensure your picnic is enjoyable no matter the weather.

Picnic Games and Entertainment: This includes frisbees, ball games, portable speakers, and more to keep everyone entertained.

Specialty Food Items and Beverages: Gourmet cheeses, fancy dips, artisanal bread, craft beer, or wine can elevate your picnic spread.

In the following sections, we'll take a deeper dive into these accessories, exploring their features, varieties, and offering tips for making the right selection. Whether you're a seasoned picnicker or planning your first outing, our guide will help you navigate these choices and enhance your picnicking experience.

Essential Picnic Accessories

Certain accessories form the backbone of any picnic, providing functionality and convenience that can significantly enhance your outdoor dining experience. Let's delve into each of these essentials:

Picnic Baskets

The quintessential picnic accessory, a well-chosen picnic basket, can make transporting your food and drink a breeze. Whether it's a traditional wicker basket or a modern insulated picnic cooler, the right picnic basket should be spacious enough to hold all your goodies, easy to carry, and robust enough to withstand a day out in the field.

Types and Features: Traditional picnic baskets often come with service sets, including plates, glasses, and cutlery. Modern baskets, on the other hand, might include insulation to keep your food and beverages at an optimum temperature. Some baskets also include separate compartments or pockets for better organisation.

Choosing the Best Picnic Basket: Consider your needs when selecting a basket. If you usually have large picnics, opt for a larger basket with plenty of space. For romantic or small picnics, a smaller, more compact basket will do the trick. If you carry lots of perishables, an insulated basket would be a smart choice.

Picnic Blankets

A good picnic blanket provides a clean, comfortable base for your picnic. Some might overlook its importance, but the right blanket can be the difference between a comfortable feast and a battle with damp grass or hard ground.

Choosing the Best Picnic Blankets: Look for blankets that are large enough for your picnic party but compact enough when folded for easy transportation. A blanket with a waterproof underside is highly recommended to prevent moisture seepage. If you prefer more comfort, consider blankets with inbuilt padding or accompany your blanket with picnic cushions.

Picnic Blanket Accessories: A few accessories can make your picnic blanket more functional. Blanket stakes will keep it in place, even on windy days. A blanket carrier can make it easier to transport, especially if you have other items to carry.

In the subsequent sections, we'll explore more picnic essentials, from coolers to portable furniture, and offer tips for selecting the best products to suit your picnic style.

picnic wine cooler

Additional Picnic Accessories

Beyond the essentials, there are many other accessories that can further enrich your picnic experience. These items, while not necessary for every picnic, can add a level of comfort, convenience, or fun to your outing. Let's explore some of these additional picnic accessories:

Picnic Backpacks

A picnic backpack can be an excellent alternative to a traditional picnic basket. Offering the convenience of hands-free carrying, these backpacks are often equipped with compartments for food, wine bottles, and picnic utensils.

Choosing the Best Picnic Backpack: Consider size, weight distribution, and the number of compartments. Many backpacks also come with picnic service sets and even insulated sections. Choose one that matches your usual picnic size and the type of items you typically bring.

Picnic Grill Equipment

If you love a barbecue session during your picnic, portable grills are for you. They allow you to cook fresh, hot food right at your picnic spot.

Choosing the Best Picnic Grill: You can choose between charcoal, gas, or electric grills. Charcoal grills often provide a smoky flavor but require more setup and cleanup. Gas and electric grills offer convenience and control but need a fuel source or power outlet.

Picnic Umbrellas or Tents

To shield you from unpredictable weather, consider bringing along a picnic umbrella or a small tent. They can provide shade on hot sunny days or protect you from an unexpected drizzle.

Choosing the Best Picnic Umbrella or Tent: Go for something lightweight and easy to set up. The size would depend on the number of people in your picnic party.

Picnic Games and Entertainment

From frisbees, ball games, to portable speakers, bringing some entertainment can make your picnic more enjoyable and memorable.

Choosing Picnic Entertainment: Consider the interests and ages of your picnic companions. Classic games like frisbee or a football can be fun for all, or a portable Bluetooth speaker can set a great ambiance.

Specialty Food Items and Beverages

Make your picnic special by including gourmet cheeses, artisanal bread, fancy dips, craft beer, or wine in your picnic spread.

Choosing Picnic Food and Beverages: This is largely based on personal preference. However, remember that some speciality foods might require proper storage to maintain their quality.

These additional accessories can truly upgrade your picnic experience, but remember to bring a wine cooler for the drinks or they might not be at an optimal temperature.

Tips and Tricks for Organising Picnic Accessories

Organising your picnic accessories efficiently not only makes transportation easier, but it also enhances the picnic experience by providing ease of access to everything you need. Here are some tips and tricks to consider when packing for your picnic:

Packing Methods for Efficient Space Utilisation

  • Pack heaviest items at the bottom of your basket or backpack to prevent them from squashing softer or more delicate items.
  • Utilise containers with different shapes and sizes to maximise space usage. For instance, cylindrical containers can be stored along the sides of a round basket.
  • Place flat items like tablecloths or blankets at the bottom of the basket or the back of the backpack.

Tips on Protecting Fragile Items

  • Wrap glass items or fragile food containers in towels or cloth napkins to provide additional padding.
  • Consider using containers with sealable lids to prevent spills and leaks.
  • Use cooler packs instead of ice to keep food cold without the risk of water leakage.

Suggestions for Packing Perishable Items

  • Perishable items should be kept cold to prevent spoilage. Use insulated bags or coolers for these items.
  • If possible, prepare and pack salads or any food with mayonnaise or dairy just before leaving to keep them fresh.
  • Freeze water bottles overnight to use as extra coolant for your cooler or backpack. As they thaw, you'll also have cold water to drink.

General Packing Tips

  • Make a checklist of all the items you need to bring to ensure nothing is left behind.
  • Consider packing a small bag for waste to keep your picnic spot clean.
  • Bring extra zip-lock bags or containers for any leftover food.
  • Properly organising and packing your picnic accessories can transform your picnic experience from stressful to serene. 

These tips will ensure you have everything you need when you need it, leaving more time for fun, relaxation, and enjoyment of your delightful picnic feast.

Final Thoughts

A picnic is more than just a meal eaten outdoors; it's an escape, a moment of relaxation, and a chance to reconnect with nature and loved ones. The right accessories can make a significant difference, turning an ordinary outing into an extraordinary experience.

From the fundamental items such as picnic baskets and blankets, through to additional accessories like portable grills and picnic games, every accessory adds a unique touch to your picnic.

Remember that planning and organisation are key to a hassle-free picnic. Carefully packing your picnic accessories not only ensures their safety but also allows for convenient access when you need them. And, while it's important to be prepared, don't forget that the best picnics are those that leave room for spontaneity and fun.

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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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