Packing For A Picnic

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Packing for a Picnic

Packing For A Picnic

Picnic season is upon us. Here are a couple of tips to help make things go more smoothly:

  • Bring a box or picnic basket filled with non perishable things and a cooler for your cold things.
  • Pack the picnic basket with the things you need first on top with everything else stacked in the order you will use or need it. For example, always put your table cloth on the top so you can spread it out first.
  • Your cooler needs 25% ice and 75% food. Place the ice on the bottom of the cooler and on the sides if you can. Place the items that are heaviest or can spoil quickly right on top of the ice. Be sure to use the smallest cooler you can so it is packed full. Like a freezer, the more it is packed, the colder it stays.
  • Larger chunks of ice melt more slowly.
  • Make your picnic as elaborate or as simple as you choose. A loaf of bread with a package of bologna, some fruit and cookies can make just as great picnic memories as a full blown picnic with fancy barbecue and all the assorted side dishes.
  • Bring plastic bags to store everything — including dirty dishes, trash, wet clothes or dirty diapers.

It can be frustrating to arrive at your picnic and find you have forgotten something, so here is a list to help you remember some of the most important basics. You can add to this list or take away, depending on your own needs.

Don’t Forget These Things:

Matches, charcoal and lighter fluid
Hand towels or large towels if you are going to be near water. Trust me, someone will get wet.
Sunscreen, insect repellent and a small first aid kit
Bottle opener
Paring knife
Serving utensils
Condiments– sugar, salt and pepper
Plates, cups and silverware
Paper towels or napkins
Tablecloth and/or blanket

If you are going to be someplace where the kids could get lost then provide each of them with a whistle to wear around their necks. Also don’t forget the baseball bat and an assortment of balls, sand buckets, shovels and Frisbees.

What do you need to forget?

Hand held electronics gadgets and games. Also leave your stress and worries at home. You can deal with them later when you get back.

Last, but not least, bring lots of sunshine, fun and love!


photo by: myklroventine


  1. Bea says

    You have such a beautiful way of writing, Jill, and I always learn so much from every post. I can just picture that picnic you decribed and wish I was there with some loved ones on a sunny day, like today is here, under a shade tree, eating something simple, like the bologna sandwich you mentioned, with some fruit and cookies. Much better than being in this office at my desk. By the way, I love the new website.

  2. says

    for saving space instead of taking lots of buckets and shovels for young children here is what we did. One year my husband was laid off so money was tight. We had a canoe and we would take day canoe trips.
    I would make home made soups and stews and put them into individual servings in old margarine tubs yogurt tubs and when we stopped to eat or play I would put them on the propane stove and after eating we washed them out and the boys had buckets and the old spoons or plastic spoons were the shovels. If they floated away down the river or got lost who cared. We would use the sandwich bags and filled them with water zipped them closed and we had target practice and water fights. When the boys had used up their energy we got back into the canoe and continued.
    We always freeze the drinks so ice is not necessary and the drinks are always nice and cold.
    One time we were just thinking of trying to find a spot to stop when a lightning storm came up. We were in an aluminum canoe so we got off the water and put the canoe across two very high rocks put the stove and us under the canoe out of the rain and had lunch watching the lightning. 28 years later the boys still talk about that adventure.
    I always take unshelled peanuts to feed the squirrels chipmunks and bread or buns to attract the whiskey jacks, I think you call them grey jays or camp robbers. They will come down and take the bread right out of your hands and are great fun.
    Where we live if you don’t go to the parks bears are a problem so we always take a gun with us. never used it out of hunting season but it makes me feel more secure. Just today on the road coming into town we took lots of pictures of a bear with 3 cubs nice to see from the van but not so nice if you are spreading out a picnic.
    Most people around here use propane bbq’s because open fires are banned for a lot of the season. For picnics it is easier than the charcoal ones.
    1 picnic I forgot a bread knife or any sort of sharp knife and butter knife so I was using my husbands hunting knife to slice buns and spread the sandwich spread. But everyone had a good laugh and still tease me for the things I forget.
    Sometimes it is the things that you forget or things that go wrong that make the best out door memories.
    What ever you do the main thing is to have fun.

  3. Bea says

    Grandma, You seem like a lot of fun. The gun story gave me a chuckle. That’s something you better not forget if there’s bears around. I also like the water bombs made from sandwich bags. Boys like that kind of fun.

  4. jill says

    Grandma I had to laugh too. We don’t have too many bears in Kansas so our picnics are pretty mild. I’m not sure if that is good or bad. :) :) The worse we have to deal with is a prairie dog or two. For those of you who don’t know what that is it is a little furry animal which is about twice as fat as a squirrel.

    I say that because at one time I had never seen one and my brother in law had me (city girl) convinced that this huge cow skeleton was a prairie dog skeleton. Boy was I embarrassed when I saw the real thing. :) :)


  5. Jan C says

    When the kids were little, we used to meet my husband for lunch/picnic at a park near his work. He worked long hours and if the kids didn’t see him at lunch, sometimes they didn’t see him for days. They often still talk of those picnics that we had together.
    On a separate note, please show us some photos of your new place. thanks

  6. Heather says

    I was just reading your article on saving money on hubby was doing laundry the other day & threw my favorite underwire bra in the load. The washer really did a number on it. the cup material came separated from the underwire. so instead of taking him up on his offer of getting a new bra (Lane Bryant bras are comfy not cheap!) I decided to whip out my sewing basket & handstitch my bra back together. I stunned him. I said to him “Never, ever say that I am a high maintenance wife or that I spend alot of money on frivolous stuff!” His reply: “You’ll never hear those words come out of my mouth. I’m greatful you are the way you are.” You just gotta love him!! What a blessing.

    • says

      Good story Heather. I have to laugh when I hear about husbands, washers and underwire bras because when I bought my last washer and kept having trouble with it the salesman told me the funniest story. He said one day he had an older couple march in and the husband was very upset.

      He was waving a curved wire at the salesman and said “I want my money back. The first load of wash we did pieces of the washer laying inside of it.” The salesman looked at it and told the man it wasn’t the washer it was the wire from his wife’s underwire bra. The poor man turned beet red.

      Combine that with your story I guess washers do a number on underwire bras. Anyway I do love the point of your story. I push learning basic sewing even if you hate it just because it can really really save you money just like your story proves. Thanks.

  7. donna b says

    Jill — you are so right! Basic sewing is so important! My parents bought me my first sewing machine when I was 12 because my mom hating sewing Dad’s shirt buttons back on. I learned to do it on the machine in 2 seconds so everyone was happy! LOL! I went on to make a lot of childrens’ pjs, robes and outfits!

    We don’t always have to like every chore (I hate dishwshing) but the knowledge comes in handy.

    Hearing Arkansas is having tornadoes again, be safe and well!


    • Sherri Ginter says

      And anyone that wants to dust for me in Wisconsin. I hate it the most! I’d rather clean the toilet by hand, which I do anyway :-)

      • says

        No volunteers from this department. I hate hate dusting too. That was always my job when I was young. Of all the housekeeping things that and cleaning the bathroom are the worse. I even bought me air filters for my house not so I could breath clean air but it keeps the dust down and I don’t have to dust as much. In my “old” age : ) I have started clearing my house of as many knick knacks as I can just because I hate to dust.

  8. Bea says

    Picnics are so much fun. And yes, forget all electronics and participate in some real life with real people for a change.

  9. Bea says

    Here is a cookie you might like to take on a picnic.
    Yummy Golden Nuggets
    24 round buttery crackers
    1/2 to 1 cup peanut butter
    2 cups butterscoth chips
    Spread one cracker with one to two teaspoons peanut butter. Top with another cracker to form sandwich. Repeat to make 12 cookies. Melt butterscotch chips in a double boiler until smooth. Dip each sandwich cookie completely and place on parchment paper to cool.

  10. Bea says

    You’re welcome Jill. I like easy recipes and get inspired by all your easy and economical recipes. The cookies are good with other flavors of chips too.

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