Watching the lake but seeing so much more. Straddled atop the driftwood log with wistfulness in his stance his shoulders his gaze. How far could he get?
1. Bring water.
So much water. This one seems obvious but the only thing worse than running out of snack food at a picnic is running out of water. It’s the time to pack up deal breaker. I used to fill up a water bottle for each of us, but with each person needing at least 60 oz. a day plus extra for swimming and sitting in the hot sun, now we bring two full cases of bottled water.
2. Use a small cooler.
The smallest possible. Too many gaps in a cooler makes food warm faster. Putting non-cold food in the cooler does the same. I like to use a lunchbox and fill it right up with cheeses and meats. It fits nicely in my picnic basket surrounded by fabrics and linens as an extra layer of insulation.
3. Bring more food than you think you’ll need.
When we picnic it’s usually not very close to home. Or grocery stores. Or restaurants. And it’s usually near water where the boys will burn extra calories. So planning extra helps keep everyone happy on the way home.
4. Charcuterie is king.
Planning a meal that can be laid out and snacked on saves a lot of packing and unpacking. When the boys run up from the beach for water, they grab a snack and it’s all good. That and it’s totally gorgeous.
5. Use a wagon.
Nobody wants to hike a mile or two carrying all that stuff. Save the trouble. Bring a wagon. A yard wagon with wide wheels works great for all-terrain.
6. Essential non-food items.
- bug spray
- garbage bag
- beach blanket (ie. top sheet)
- first-aid kit
- change of clothes (can stay in the car)
- wet wipes ( lifesaver)
7. Thrift store sheets…
Are a godsend. You can normally find nice white cotton top sheets for a buck or two. If they get stained they can be bleached. If they get torn (badly) they can get tossed. Although most of the time I just keep using them because who’s checking?
8. Appreciate it for yourself.
Everybody will appreciate your trip for different reasons. The boys always love running around like Orcs and swimming. Pat almost always brings fishing gear. I appreciate the ambiance and a good book. Everybody appreciates good food but I make it pretty for ME. What part of picnicking do you enjoy best? Feel free in that. Celebrate it.
Our charcuterie for this picnic near Warren Dunes State Park in Michigan (If you’ve been following along on Instagram you know Warren Dunes its self was a disaster. ) was simple and straight forward. Meat. Cheese. Crackers. It’s a winning no-fuss combination every time and it doesn’t really matter what you pair with what as long as the meats and cheeses are ones you like to eat. We also had a plate of tag-along-leftovers from the day before. Creme fraiche smeared on a plate with honeycomb, blackberries and a handful of candied pecans.
What part of picnicking do you enjoy the best? What would your 8 tips to create an amazing summer picnic be?