Picnic Essentials You'll Use All Summer Long

The only question left: What’s on the menu?

Spending a leisurely sunny day in the park with friends is the stuff summer dreams are made of. Just picture it: There’s a picnic basket full of food, the rosé is flowing and you may or may not start up a casual game of Frisbee.

But in order to make this fantasy a reality, you can’t exactly show up to the park empty handed. First, make a pit stop by Walmart (or better yet, plan ahead and get everything delivered) for everything you need. Would it be a stretch to call yourself the hero of your friend group? Not when they see what you show up with.

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Picnic blanket
Unless you want ants crawling all over your legs or the tickle of dewy wet grass, a picnic blanket is a must. This one is waterproof and comes with a strap making it easy to carry.
Bug spray
Bug spray is one of those things most people don’t think of until they need it — and then they’re really glad someone brought it along. Avoid ending your day in the park covered with mosquito bites with this organic bug spray that’s safe for everyone, including pets.
Similar to bug spray, sunscreen is often forgotten about until you need it bad; the summer sun is no joke. Come prepared so you can prolong your picnic-in-the-park day until the sun sets.
Wicker picnic basket with utensils
A wicker picnic basket is so the vibe. What makes this one a stand-out is that it comes with forks, knives, and spoons (four of each) as well as separate sections for food and drinks. And the mini salt and pepper shakers? Cute *and* necessary.
An insulated picnic basket
If you’re more into practicality than aesthetics, this insulated picnic basket may be more your speed. It serves as a leak-proof collapsible cooler so you aren’t stuck drinking warm beverages.
Plastic food storage containers
If you plan on bringing some homemade food to the picnic, you definitely need storage containers. Go for a set that comes with different sizes so you can bring everything from a massive bowl of potato salad to a small serving of homemade dressing.
Digital food thermometer
You know what ruins a summer picnic real quick? Food poisoning. Cold food dishes need to stay under 40°F and warm food needs to stay over 140°F. The only way to know if your food is for sure a safe temperature is with a nifty food thermometer.
Reusable plates
Instead of bringing single-use plates, go for ones that are reusable, which are more sustainable. This set, plus a wicker basket, is peak picnic bliss.
A wine opener
It would be a major bummer if you weren’t able to drink your picnic wine all because you didn’t have a wine opener. It’s something that’s often left off the checklist but can be a literal buzzkill if you don’t have it.
Non-alcoholic sparkling rosé
Since not everyone may want to consume alcohol, having a non-alcoholic option on hand goes a long way in ensuring the non-drinkers still feel special. Fortunately, there are many well-crafted options on the market to choose from now, including this pick.
A flying disc
Having something to do in the park (besides, you know, eat), prolongs the fun. Bring a flying disc along, which is inexpensive and won’t take up much space.

Before You Go

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