This UK heatwave (or should we just call is summer?) couldn’t have come at a better time this week as it coincides with National Picnic month, which happens to be in July. How very British. If you’re staying at home and having a picnic in the garden or other outside space, then it makes it much easier to just grab things from inside as and when you need them. But for most of us, a proper picnic is going to be heading out to the park or out to the woods nearby, right?
So with all of that in mind, I thought I would share a few little tips and tricks for making your picnics run as smoothly as possible this National Picnic Month. The children are nearly finished with school, so it is a great time to get out and about and enjoy a picnic altogether. Plus, I’m sure there are more ‘Monicas’ out there like me that like to have things ‘just so.’
Pack with Numbers
One of the first things that you need to do is to work out how many people are going to be there. Is it just your family or will friends be meeting you when you’re out? Then you can make sure that you pack the right quantity of things. With blankets and extra things to carry, you don’t want to pack anything uneccesary that weighs you down; you don’t want to have too little when you’re out having a picnic either. You don’t need to spend a lot on this kind of thing, though. Just have a number in mind.
Food For All
You might not have any specific dietary requirements for your family or friends, but if you do, then it is important to make sure that there is something for everyone. I’m veggie, and don’t have that much dairy, so I know I will need to have some suitable things prepped to take on a picnic. Getting one of the vegan hampers from Yumbles is a good call, as then there are so many things in it that could work. Vegan pesto pasta salad, nut butter dips, and vegan sweet treats, to name a few of the things that could work really well. I have been so pleased with my hamper.
Freeze Bottles of Water
If you haven’t heard of this little trick, then where have you been? If the picnic is going to be on a particularly warm day, then pop some bottles of water in the freezer the night before. You can pack them in the cool bag to keep the food cool, but they will start to melt and can then be drank, but will still be icy and cold. Perfect, especially if this weather continues! Just make sure that you take them home with you to recycle them.
When you’re packing up for a picnic, naturally, you will just tend to think of the food that you are planning to take. But there are a few more things that you can take that are a really good idea. One of which is something like baby wipes, even if you’re children don’t normally need them. You never know what a sticky mess they will become when they’re eating a picnic in the sunshine. They can use them to give their hands a wipe before eating too. I also take a carrier bag (like a ‘bag for life’) to put all the rubbish in. I don’t want to get any open or dirty packets back into my lovely picnic basket.
Remember Your Shades
While a hat and sunglasses are important, it is a good idea to have another kind of shade too. If there is somewhere to sit under the shade when you’re out and about, then do it. At least try to have the basket in the shade to keep the food cool. A parasol or a large umbrella could act as a good shade for little ones if there aren’t any trees to shade under.
What’s a picnic without a pesky wasp buzzing around, right? Packing a bug spray or insect repellant is a good idea to keep safe away from bites. I like to take some lavender essential oil out with me too, as it doubles up as a repellant, as well as something to help soothe any bites if you get them. Avoiding things that are particularly sticky and sweet, like fizzy drinks, can also help a lot too.
Have you been having any picnics in this glorious weather? It would be great to hear what you think!
*collaborative post – all words and opinions are my own.