10 Hacks For Packing the Perfect Picnic
Shannon Vestal Robson
By Shannon Vestal Robson

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Every time I decide to go out for a picnic, I have fantasies that I’m a fancy, totally-together foodie: I’ll pack perfect baguette sandwiches, an entire cheeseboard, impossibly delicious sides in pretty bowls that are actually impractical for travel, and I’ll set it all up on a checkered blanket, like some French movie from the 1960s. But in reality, all of that is a big nope. In real life, packing a perfect picnic can feel like a disaster. But it doesn’t take a degree to have a lovely day eating al fresco — it just takes hacks. Here, we have 10 easy hacks for loading up your picnic that’ll make you look forward to the next sunny day.

1. Turn your chip bag into a bowl.

When you get to the park or wherever you’re having your picnic, open up the chips, and poke in the bottom corners and flatten out the bottom of the bag so it can stand on its own. No bowl necessary, and no spilled chips!

2. Freeze water bottles to keep stuff cold en route.

Fill (reusable) water bottles with water, freeze them, and then use as ice packs in your picnic bag or basket. Then once it thaws, drink it at the picnic!

3. Line the bottom of your picnic basket with a plastic trash bag

In case anything spills, you’ll have a lining, and when the picnic is over, you’ll have a bag to gather your empties.

4. Pack individual mason jar salads + bottled dressing for easy eating.

Salad is a perfect summer dish, but packing a big bowl for it takes up a lot of room. Portion salads into mason jars instead and then pack a bottle of Brandless dressing. Dress when you get to your destination so nothing is soggy on arrival! And of course, pack them in ice to keep them cold en route.

5. Use small jars to store and transport condiments.

If you want to bring along condiments like organic ketchup, mustard, and mayo, squirt them each into a small spice jar to avoid having to bring the whole bottle.

6. Use an empty mason jar to use as a phone speaker.

Forgot your portable speaker? Play music and place your phone in an empty glass or mason jar for a DIY speaker.

7. Rethink the picnic basket.

Not everyone has their own picnic basket (if you do, props to you, you fancy thing), but that shouldn’t stop you from picnicking. If you’re not going far, put your food and supplies in bags, and then load it into a wagon or wheeled basket. Reusable shopping bags come to the rescue, too, and if you’re feeling crafty, here are some ideas to DIY a picnic basket!

7. Make space for essentials.

This one isn’t so much a hack as it is a very important reminder: make sure you bring essential tools that you absolutely need. If you need to bring a can of something, make sure you remember a can opener, and always, always, always bring a corkscrew. Not only will you use it for opening wine, but the top handle is a bottle opener as well.

8. Ok, but screw-top bottles should not be ignored.

I mean, they were invented for picnics, right?!

9. Pack your knives safely.

If you’re bringing something that will need to be cut, you can pack a knife, but we have a hack to make transporting it a little bit safer. Just slip one of your kitchen knives into an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, then place in your picnic basket.

10. Grab our perfect picnic bundle!

We made it seriously easy for you to remember all the outdoor dining essentials you need, from plates and bowls down to the napkins. Shop the Biodegradable Picnic Bundle.

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