We love picnics. There is something to be said for relaxing on the floor-totally at one with nature, enjoying a shared meal with family and friends.
Since joining the National Trust, we have packed a picnic at most visits and we always troupe off on the farm to eat al fresco.
I recently bought an insulated picnic basket from Costco so I have been thinking about the essentials you need when you go off with your sandwiched and sausage rolls.
I turned to a group of bloggers-the kings and queens of the picnic to find out.
1. A blanket was high up on the list. Jennifer from My Mummies Pennies said it needs to be thick with a waterproof backing while Jade from Mummies Waiting said it needs to be a giant one so everyone can all sit together with plenty of room. I totally agree with this as, on our last picnic, our blanket was too small and we ended up using it for the food while we all had to dodge the sheep poo.
2. Bug spray is an essential according to Becka from Mummy Est.2014 as she says she has a phobia of wasps and can’t relax and eat outside with it.
3. Something to take your rubbish home in is something to remember says Josie from Me Them and the Others. She says some picnic areas avoid providing bins (because they attract wasps) so something to take your rubbish home in is esseintial, particularly if you have messy things like yoghurt pots.
4. Antibacterial hand sanitiser is such a good one and Jennie from Rice Cakes and Raisins says it is Essential for washing grubby little hands before eating.
5. A picnic without plates is rubbish says Frances from Whinge Whinge Wine. They use the reusable Ikea ones. A picnic with no plates is rubbish, she says. I think this is genius. When we went to the Royal Cheshire Show last year, I saw a family picnicking with a full-on whicker basket containing china plates and proper cutlery. I think this is lovely but not easy to carry with three children so reusable plates is a great compromise.
6. I suppose being ready for all eventualities is prudent in the British climate so Denise from Mum on A Mission For A Better Life says a large brolly is essential as, if it rains it will keep you dry and if it’s sunny it will offer you shade. What a good idea.
7. Wet wipes can be used to wipe out plastic containers and cutlery to prevent spillages on the way home says Emma from Dirt Diggers and Dinosaurs as well as being great for sticky fingers and mucky faces
8. Outdoor toys and games to keep little ones entertained is a good idea according to Rebecca from Living with Peas. I like the sound of this.
Sarah from Champagne and Petals agrees but says a ball is a must. I know some people who always keep a ball in the boot of their car. I think I might have to start doing this too.
9. A pull along cart is a good idea says Claire from Love, Life and Dirty Dishes. We have one of these on the farm and we used it on a recent picnic and it was fab. Especially as the baby travelled back in it when his legs were tired. My back wasn’t appreciative of the extra weight but, with all of these ideas, I think a full along cart might be the only way to go.
10. Don’t forget the sunscreen. I do usually keep a bottle of it in my car during the summer and Nita from Mummy Wishes reminds us to pack it fr a picnic.
11. Ice blocks are a great way to keep things cold says Charlotte from Cups of Charlotte.
12. A cool bag to keep everything cold advises Nyomi from Nomipalony so that you can put all your food and drinks in and nothing will go off.
13. Friends is essential says Erics from The Incidental Parent.
14. Sunglasses and sun hats for when it is hot is a good one from Kelly who blogs at The Rebel Tribe.
15. A thermos. I never thought of this but imagine hot tea or coffee to refresh you. This gem was from Emma from The Cheshire Wife.
16. Wine is not to be missed so Rosie from Mum in The Moment says we must not forget a bottle opener or corkscrew. This is my kind of picnic.
17. A portable speaker and charger for some tunes is a great idea from Sophie at Yorkshire Families. I will definitely think of this on our next sojourn.
18. A mini first aid kit for any cuts or bumps with some character plasters as it always calms children down if they fall was the nugget from Liane at Ankle Biter Adventures and one that I will remember. The problem here is, if one has a Peppa Pig plaster, they all have to have one-even if the others aren’t hurt.
18. Spare pants for the kids is a hilarious one from Tina at Girls Gospel. Hilarious because Tina and her family joined us for a picnic at the farm and this happened.
What an epic list of advice. What are your top essentials for a picnic?