Top 10 things to take on a picnic

Now that the weather’s perking up a bit you may be thinking about those lazy bank holidays and, maybe, heading out for a picnic somewhere.

Over the next few days I’ll be doing a series on picnics, starting today with those essential things that make the typical English picnic what it is.

1. Picnic Basket

So, okay, this is a pretty obvious one.

After all, you can’t go anywhere without having something to pack the essentials in, now can you?

And what better thing is there than the quintessential wicker basket, packed to the brim with … well, that comes later! (picture’s a bit of a give-a-way, though, isn’t it?!!)

Nowadays, you can get the ice baskets that keep things cool so it’s probably a good idea to take one of these too, to keep your cold drinks cold.

2. Food

Another ‘must-have’ for the picnic list.  You can choose all your personal favourites but you can’t go wrong with the staples of sandwiches, salads, fruit, biscuits. Whip up a feast before you go, or pop into a supermarket for ready-made snacks.  If you’re still stuck, head back here tomorrow when I’ll be doing a top ten picnic foods to give you some more ideas.

3. Plates and cutlery

It’s no good bringing all your lovely food if you’ve got nothing to eat it off. If you’ve got your wicker picnic basket everything’s sorted; if not head to your friendly department store and buy up a few plastic plates – much better for the environment than paper ones, and a LOT less hassle than china.

4. Blanket

It’s probably best to take along a nice big blanket to put all the above-mentioned bits and pieces on.  It will double-up as an ideal surface to stretch out on after you’ve eaten. A good blanket will help keep bugs at bay, too – well at least those ones that haven’t evolved wings!

5. Games

A frisbee is excellent for keeping the kids occupied if you have them; it’s also ideal for burning off a few of those post-picnic calories.  A ball would be another simple one – there are so many games you could come up with for that!  Or what about a beach cricket set for something different?

6. Sun Lotion

Don’t forget your protection against the evil sun!!!   Even if it’s not too hot, or if you’re sat in the shade, you’ll need to use protection against those pesky rays – going home with sunburn isn’t going to be the best end to your day. Make sure you re-apply it regularly.

7. Insect repellent

Another thing that’s guaranteed to ruin your day is itchy bug bites and insect stings, so take some insect repellent.  Follow those instructions and reapply as directed to ensure your skin’s not a ‘picnic’ for bugs.

8. Wet Wipes

Ideal for freshening up, as well as cleaning sticky fingers or mopping up spills. A summertime picnic ‘must’.

9. Books / magazines

Books or magazines are perfect for whiling away the post-picnic hours (or while the others are busy working up a sweat playing frisbee). Stretch out on your blanket and relax!  If you’re a gadget freak then you’ll probably take your Kindle (I do!) or iPad – they’ll certainly save space!

10. Bin Bags

Finally, we all want to be respectful of the environment so think about packing a couple of bin bags to make sure you don’t leave any mess behind.