It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a picnic for two or more, these picnic pointers will make your life easier.
- Pack two containers: Separate your cold foods and beverages from your non perishable items and table ware. This will make it easier in removing them and also knowing where everything is.
- Pack your picnic basket according to need: Think about what you will need first at the picnic site, and on what items will hold well. Pack them accordingly. Place your non perishable items at the bottom, then your paper plates and other utensils, the softer foods and the table cloth on the top. This way when you reach your picnic spot, your organization will save you time and hassle.
- Use alternatives: Don’t worry if you don’t have a picnic basket – it’s not a thing everyone has. Use a carry on tote, a bag and if push comes to shove, a cardboard box, plastic bin or a backpack will do. Innovate, be creative and don’t panic and buy a basket – it’s a fun outing.
- Use two coolers for large picnics: If your group is large then go for two coolers. This is because many people would be thirsty and the cooler box would be constantly opened o pick up various beverages and cool drinks. This will allow the cool air to escape and it may not be good news for any meats or salads you may be packing. Use one container for the beverages and one for your perishables.
- Avoid leftovers: Plan in advance on how much approximately your group would be consuming to avoid carrying leftovers. Unless if you have a fridge (which you won’t) chances are that your leftovers would have to be discarded because by the end of your picnic, they would not be fresh enough to be consumed.
- Carry condiment sachets: The condiment packets from many fast food joints would be the perfect replacement for ketchup, mustard, salt or pepper shakers and bottles. You save space and cut back on the weight.
- Carry bin bags or plastic bags: You will definitely have waste to dispose of, and in case there are no trash bins nearby, you can store all your waste in one bag to dispose of later. Also, they would be perfect to store all your dirty utensils that will have to be washed when you reach back home.
Ratio of ice and food in coolers: When you’re packing your cooler, keep in mind that 25% of the cooler should be ice and the balance can be food. Place the ice at the bottom and line up the sides so the food will be refrigerated well. Place the heaviest items and the most perishable items at the bottom and line up with lighter items.
- Freeze large blocks of ice: If you are planning a picnic which is a distance away, consider packing your cooler with large chunks of ice instead of ice cubes. Large chunks of ice melt slower than smaller cubes, so you could think of freezing empty milk cartons and lining the bottom of the cooler with them.
- Wrap meats separately: Keep the raw meat separate from cooked foods by placing them in air tight plastic boxes or resealable bags.
- Don’t partially cook food: If you’re planning to grill or barbecue your food, freeze your meats so they remain cold a little longer. This is very important if you are planning to be travelling a distance or if the meats are not going to be grilled immediately upon arrival. Also, partially cooked foods attract bacteria faster than raw frozen products.