13 Picnic Supplies That Make Outdoor Dinners Better & Easier
The logistics of picnicking has always made me weary of the experience. How will I keep things warm? Keep them cold? Do we have to eat with our hands? Thankfully, there are tons of picnic dinner products to take all of the guesswork out of al fresco dining so that you can sit back, relax, and enjoy.
A few years ago, my mother-in-law gifted me a complete picnic set. She was thrilled by the idea of family picnic outings, but my first thought was, "Won't this just create more work for me?" I mean, I would have to make the food, pack it up, take it out at our destination, serve it, pack everything back up, and then clean it all when we got home. It just sounded like a lot of... well, work. In reality, having the right supplies to picnic with actually made the entire process more streamlined and easier. I now use that darned picnic set All. The. Time.
Whether you pack simple eats like sandwiches and wraps, fancy charcuterie board ingredients, an entire gourmet meal, or even grab takeout, your entire picnic experience will be forever changed when you use the right tools to pack and enjoy your food.
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1. Insulated Picnic Basket
If you're planning to pack any cold items on your picnic outing, having an insulated bag to keep everything the right temperature is a must. Gone are the days when a wicker picnic basket meant rushing through your picnic as fast as possible. An insulated picnic basket will keep your cold foods cold and your warm foods warm.
2. Waterproof Picnic Blanket
If you've ever planned a picnic only to arrive on the scene and face sitting in wet grass when no picnic table is available, you probably wished you had a waterproof picnic blanket handy. This particular design is easy to transport from place to place, wipes clean with ease, and can be used both on the ground or draped over a table.
3. Sectioned Storage Containers
One of the easiest ways to transport a picnic dinner is to pack each person's meal in an individual sectioned storage container. This drastically cuts down on the amount of stuff you have to lug around. If you meal prep regularly, you might already have these on hand. If not, these are great to invest in for your next family picnicking adventure.
4. Reusable Utensils
Some utensil sets come in larger packs with four to six place settings all bundled in one carrying case, but these individual utensil sets allow you to buy exactly the amount of flatware needed for your family. The addition of metal straws with a cleaning brush and a case to store each set in is perfect for both picnics and camping.
5. Tablecloth Clips
To keep your tablecloth from blowing away, use these handy tablecloth clips to secure it to the table. Instead of constantly having to fight the wind as it blows the ends of your tablecloth around and potentially wrecks your dinner, you can enjoy eating on a picnic table that is protected and sanitary. These are also great to have on hand for outdoor parties.
6. Food Nets
These are just genius if you're going to have a multi-dish meal sitting out at a picnic. If you need to walk away from your plate for a few minutes to chase a screaming toddler around at the beach, you can pop a food net cover on top and don't have to worry one bit about pesky flies attacking it.
7. Rolling Cooler
If you're packing food for a large family or multi-family gathering, sometimes you have to pack more food than you can feasibly carry around in a picnic basket. For those trips, a rolling cooler will save your sanity. Whether you go small and compact or need a larger cooler, having one that you can roll from place to place is ideal.
8. Collapsible Wagon
Instead of lugging all of your picnic supplies by hand, investing in a collapsible wagon that can easily transport all of your picnic items from your car to the perfect picnic spot is a game-changer. These are also perfect for hauling groceries into apartment buildings and carting around sporting equipment at your kid's next game, so you'll definitely get some use out of it even if you don't picnic often.
9. Picnic Backpack Set
While it's great to have all of the necessary supplies you need to build the perfect picnic on hand, sometimes you just want an easy grab-and-go bag that has everything in one place. Complete with an insulated compartment for hot or cold dishes, wine bottle storage, utensils, plates, glasses, a cutting board, salt and pepper shakers, and picnic blanket, this complete picnic backpack set has everything you need.
10. Insulated Drinkware
Instead of packing soda cans or plastic bottled water for your picnic that will just have to be gathered up and thrown away at a trash can that may or may not be nearby, you can use reusable insulated cups at your next picnic. Plus, you won't have to pack ice if you bring cold drinks because these stainless steel cups are insulated.
11. An "Instant" Table
This is more of a picnic supply for your next outdoor date night than for a family outing, but having a convenient and adorable bamboo outdoor table to stick in the ground and hold all of your charcuterie and wine glasses is just so convenient. You won't shy away from heading to a secluded spot anymore just because there are no picnic tables in sight with this table that you can basically set up anywhere.
12. Wine Holders
Yes, this is another thing that sticks in the ground, but they're a handy way to keep your stemware from toppling over on the uneven grass. With stainless steel holders for both your wine bottle and your wine glass, you won't spill a drop — even if your kids are stomping all around your picnic spot.
13. Dipping Cups With Lids
Serving up fruit or veggies with a side of dip at a picnic is much easier when you pack individual servings. These dipping cups with lids hold all of your salad dressings, ketchup, mustard, or any other type of dip or sauce that you might need to serve at your next picnic.