Summertime means picnic time – but forget soggy sandwiches, warm beverages and parades of ants looking to steal your carefully prepared food. Whether it’s a picnic for two or an outing with a larger group, we’ve got you covered with some easy prep and cleanup tips to make your picnic comfortable, memorable … and delicious!
Choose an Ideal Spot
If possible, pick a dry spot under a tree to set up your picnic. If you don’t have a waterproof picnic blanket, simply place a shower curtain under a blanket to prevent your diners from getting damp or dirty. Another handy tip: When traveling to your picnic spot, wrap your blanket around any glass bottles to prevent them from cracking.
Pack Your Cooler
We don’t have to remind you to pack your favourite food and drink, but it’s easy to overlook the less exciting – but just as important – ingredients for a happy dining experience: plastic bags for leftovers and garbage, a cutting knife, a roll of Bounty paper towels for spills, and a package of Pampers Sensitive wipes for sticky fingers. Add a touch of sophistication to your meal by packing colourful plastic plates and cutlery instead of paper plates and plastic forks and spoons. A lightweight tray can be really useful as a table, a cutting surface or a stand for drinks. And don’t forget some Bounty Quilted napkins!
While wicker baskets are pretty, they’re also pretty impractical. Packing everything in a large soft-sided cooler (with the heaviest items at the bottom) will make transporting food, drinks and supplies a lot easier. Instead of packing ice, freeze bottles of water the night before so they thaw slowly and stay cold all day.
So Long, Soggy Food
Make sandwiches using thick slices of bread, and wrap them in parchment paper rather than plastic wrap to avoid sogginess. Prevent mushy salads by packing dressings separately in a screw-top jar. For dessert, take along flat, easily transportable treats like brownies or cookies, and then throw a slice of white bread or a burger bun into the container to help keep them fresh all day.
Keep Insects Away Naturally
Sprinkle salt or talcum powder around your blanket to deter ants. You can also make your own natural bee and wasp repellent by mixing 2 to 3 teaspoons of pure castile soap (peppermint or nonscented) with 32 ounces of water. Put the mixture in a spray bottle and spray around the perimeter of your blanket to help keep stinging insects away.
Wash up Wisely
When you get home, make washing plates and cutlery with a quality dish soap like Dawn Pure Essentials. It has three times more grease-cleaning power per drop* and is crafted with essential oils and biodegradable cleaning ingredients. Once everything is cleaned up, pack away the plates, cutlery and supplies in your cooler so you have everything on hand for your next picnic.
What makes your picnics more comfortable and enjoyable? Share your tips in the comments section!
*Cleaning ingredients per drop vs. the leading bargain brand