July is National Picnic Month, and now more than ever, the outdoors is a welcome sight! As the weather continues to get warmer and sunnier, picnics are a great way for family and friends to gather and enjoy good food while soaking up some vitamin D. As you plan your picnic outing, it is important to have your ducks in a row before you head out the door. Outdoor eating requires some special preparation, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a difficult endeavor. Below we have come up with some picnic hacks to make sure your picnic runs as smoothly as possible!
Make transporting all your picnic supplies hassle-free with these packing tips.
- Use a muffin tin to store or transport your drinks.
- Place your herbs in empty breath mint containers to guarantee they travel spill-free.
- Use a craft organizer to separate and store your snacks.
- If walking over a long distance to your picnic location, use a dolly or a wagon to transport your cooler.
- Pack easy-to-transport foods to avoid messes and save space.
We recommend these recipes for easy packing:
Beat the Bugs
Don’t let bugs ruin your meal…here are some ways to prevent any unwanted visitors.
- Decorate your table with citrus and clove décor. The combination of citrus fruits and cloves keeps insects away.
- Place cupcake liners over your drinks, then punch a straw through the center. The liner acts as a lid to prevent bugs from crawling/flying into your drink.
- Have covers for your food to keep bugs away when you are not serving the dishes.
- If you have a fire, put sage on the wood to keep mosquitos away.
- Set up a bug spray station away from the food. No bug spray on hand? Use antiseptic mouthwash as an alternative!
Beat the Heat
Use these hacks to make sure the summer sun doesn’t melt away your picnic.
- To make your picnic more fun, you can freeze water balloons and use them to keep your food or drinks cold. The cold balloons also double as mini ice packs to keep yourself cool. Once the balloons thaw out, use them to have a water balloon fight!
- Pack frozen bags of water to keep food and drinks cold. Or you can freeze water bottles to use as ice packs, then drink them once they thaw out.
- If you have a lot of beverages or cold foods, bring a kiddie pool and fill it with ice, then place all your cold items in it.
- Pack and apply sunscreen. The sunscreen can be located next to the bug spray station.
- Bring umbrellas for added shade if the sun is extra hot.
Easy Set Up
Whether you are sitting at a table or on the ground, here are some tips to make your picnic easy to set up and tear down.
- Use a fitted sheet as a picnic tablecloth— it won’t blow away!
- To keep an unfitted tablecloth from blowing in the wind, use clothespins or pins on the ends of the table. You can also use weights on the tablecloth for the same purpose.
- Bring a basket or bin to put your paper goods in— this keeps them from blowing away.
- To keep your utensils clean and germ free, place your silverware face-down in cups.
- Include hand sanitizer at the bug spray/sunscreen station.
- If you’re not using disposable dishes, bring along a plastic bin and label it “dirty dishes.”
- For picnic tables, bring towels or blankets to sit on or dry with in case the tables are dirty or wet.
- For the ground, bring a waterproof blanket to sit on. If you don’t have a waterproof blanket, try placing a shower curtain under your normal blanket to waterproof it.
Starting a campfire can sometimes be difficult; make it easier with these hacks.
- Collect lint from your dryer and place it inside a paper towel roll to use as fire starter.
- Use your favorite nacho cheese tortilla chip or puffed snack food to start a fire—yes this really works! The oil, chemicals, and powder in some chips and puffs make them a good fire starter.
- Hand sanitizer added to firewood or kindle makes a fire start faster.
What’s a picnic without the food? These hacks make your picnic food fun and easy to prepare!
- Cut watermelon into sticks to avoid messy hands.
- Use coffee filters as hot dog holders.
- Terracotta pots make great DIY mini s’mores pots! Each person can have their own individual pot to roast their marshmallows over. Line your pot with tin foil and fill with charcoal—super easy!
- Freeze fruit juice to use as ice cubes; that way they won’t water down your fruity drinks.
- Rub half an onion on your grill to make it non-stick.
- Put olive oil on your hands when forming burger patties; this prevents the meat from sticking to your hands.
Try out these fun, summer-y recipes below! All these ideas can either be packed ready-to-eat, or their separate ingredients can be prepared, packed, and then easily assembled at your picnic.
There you have it! Hopefully these hacks will help your picnic be as convenient and worry-free as possible. Connect with us on social media and let us know which hack was your favorite!
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