How To Pack A Picnic

A checklist and tips to help you maximize your fun in the sun

Enjoy your picnics even more with our simple summertime guide.

Pack well: Don't forget these essentials.

  • Sunscreen (SPF 30)
  • Lip balm (SPF 15)
  • Small knife (wrap a paper towel around the blade)
  • Paper napkins
  • Plastic cups
  • Forks and knives
  • Disposable plates
  • Extra plastic bags (for disposing of trash)
  • Beach umbrella (to keep your food in the shade)
  • Blanket or extra-large beach towel
  • Corkscrew and bottle opener (if wine and beer are allowed at the beach)

Be smart: Make sure you're safe and comfortable.

  • Check the weather: If it’s windy, consider using bowls instead of plates. The higher sides can help shield food from blowing sand.
  • Keep pests away: Always have insect repellent on hand to ward off unwanted guests.
  • Stay hydrated: Be sure to have enough water. Plan to bring several gallons if you’re serving eight people.

Transport wisely: First, choose the right containers. Hot and cold liquids belong in thermoses. Messy foods should go into tightly sealed plastic containers. Dry items, like potato chips, travel well in plastic bags. Put food in the smallest possible container. Next, pack your cooler carefully, placing large, heavy items on the bottom and smaller, lighter ones on top. Ice packs between containers stop them from moving and keep contents fresh.