Forget the room temp drinks and soggy sandwiches.
Nothing screams summer like a picnic — complete with yard games, endless potato chips, and the occasional kicked-over drink.
But, chances are you only enjoy them once or twice a year — after which, you always ask yourself, “why don’t I do this more?” Well, it’s because they can be a nuisance to plan and organize.
Picnics don’t start out as pretty as the final product. They come with a long packing list of items that can be difficult to keep track of, let alone carry. To simplify your picnic prep, we’ve picked out 13 products that will keep your food fresh, your drinks cool, and decrease your environmental impact while you’re at it, all without hurting your wallet too much.
What to Bring to a Picnic
L.L. Bean Waterproof Outdoor Blanket
If you’ve been searching for the perfect picnic or beach blanket, look no further. This waterproof — and machine-washable — option from L.L. Bean will keep everything on it dry on damp days, and the top layer is a soft and comfortable fleece that will hide a multitude of grass stains. It’s large enough to comfortably fit four seated adults while also being lightweight and packable.
Igloo Retro Picnic Basket 25 Qt Cooler
For a more practical alternative to the classic picnic basket without totally losing the vibe, try this retro Igloo cooler. It has an environmentally friendly insulation layer that will keep your food and drinks cold for hours, and it can carry 36 12-ounce cans. Its handles even interlock for easy carrying.
Ozark Trail 12 oz Stainless Steel Can Coolers, set of 4
For all of you slow sippers out there, these can coolers have your back. You can’t beat the price on this set of four, which are designed to be easy to hold and keep your drink cold for hours at a time. If your drink of choice comes in a skinny can, go for one of Igloo’s Slim Can Coolers. Whether it’s a hot day at the beach or you’re easily distracted by lawn games, you’ll never suffer through the last warm sips of your drink again.
Ecovessel Divided Stainless Steel Rectangle Container
Simplify your picnic prep with Ecovessel’s stainless steel containers, which are super lightweight and come with an adjustable divider so you can keep the hummus next to the pita chips without worrying about spillage. Thankfully, they’re also dishwasher safe and school or work lunch friendly. Need we say more?
W&P Porter Bags Starter Pack
Single-use plastics are an unfortunate byproduct of picnics, but they don’t have to be. Avoid tossing handfuls of plastic bags in the trash with these silicone bags, which are nothing short of miraculous. They’re dishwasher and microwave safe, they’re perfect for everything from sandwiches to salad dressings, and they fold up easily for transport.
Brandless Compostable Flatware
At $3 for eight sets of flatware, Brandless makes it easy to stock up on all the picnic-friendly utensils you’ll need this summer. They’re sturdy enough to actually eat with, and you can even hand wash and reuse them.
Igloo Barrel of Fun 2 Gallon Jug
Hello and welcome to hydration nation! Keep your group running all day with this two-gallon jug from Igloo, which will keep your water, lemonade, cocktail, or whatever’s on the drink menu chilled for hours at a time. The classic jug has a spigot for easy pouring, and the handle locks the lid into place to prevent any spills while carrying. Igloo’s unbeatable durability means you’ll be using this for years.
W&P Porter Dressing Containers
If you’ve ever opened a lunchbox or cooler to find the contents soaked in oily salad dressing, we feel your pain. This set of leak-proof containers is the perfect size for salad dressings and condiments, and they’re dishwasher and microwave safe. They’ll become your go-to for dressings and snacks alike.
Nautica Melamine Indoor Outdoor Watercolor Dinner Plates, Set of 6
You won’t believe these beautiful plates are melamine until you feel how lightweight they are. The durable, dishwasher-safe set will help you ditch your single-use plastic habit for good.
Cupture Stemless Wine Tumblers, Set of 6
These insulated tumblers work for whatever you’re drinking at the picnic, whether it’s wine or coffee, and they won’t leak a plastic taste into anything. The different colors ensure everyone can keep track of their cup all day, and there’ll be no broken glass if one gets stepped on.
Thistle Farms Essential Oil Bug Spray
Ants at a picnic are no joke, and neither are gnats or mosquitoes. This DEET-free but effective bug spray is one of Thistle Farms’ bestsellers, and you won’t have to worry about nasty chemicals getting on your food.
Supergoop PLAY Home & Away Set
Avoid the post-picnic sunburn with Supergoop’s high-quality sunscreen. Lather up before you leave and reapply once you arrive with this set, which includes an 18 oz. jug for home and a 2.4 oz. tube to carry with you.
Papaya Reusable Paper Towels
Papaya’s reusable paper towels can double as napkins on your next picnic. They make cleanup a breeze by being both super absorbent and quick-drying, and you can toss them in the dishwasher with the rest of your utensils when you get home to freshen them up.