Essential Picnic Checklist

Follow this outdoor dining checklist and you'll be the best-prepared picnicker at the beach or park.
Related To:

For Toting and Seating:

  • Picnic basket or canvas bag
  • Cooler
  • Picnic blanket (preferably waterproof on the bottom)
  • Picnic chairs (if anyone in your group is not happy on the ground)
  • Portable picnic table (if that's the kind of picnic you're having!)

For Serving:

  • Plates
  • Utensils (including serving utensils)
  • Napkins
  • Cups
  • Drinks (including lots of water)
  • Bottle opener
  • Cutting board (also useful as a level serving surface, perfect for drinks)
  • Sharp knife (even if you don't plan to cut things, it's still a good idea)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Mustard, mayo, ketchup, etc., if needed (a great way to make use of extra packets from a takeout place)

For Cleanup:

  • Paper towels (and maybe wet wipes)
  • A couple of dishtowels (always handy, and useful to buffer and support dishes in transport)
  • Extra plastic containers or sturdy zipper-top bags for packing up dirty utensils, leftovers, etc.
  • Trash bags

Other Essentials:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • Insect repellent
  • Flashlight (if you plan to be out into the evening hours)
  • Sport or activity equipment (Frisbees, balls, bubbles, water guns ... whatever the crowd likes)
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