The best supplies for a picnic

This summer, eat well at a concert in the park, or pretend you're in a Jane Austen novel.

Must have picnic gear
We're going beyond blankets and baskets.Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Preparing a picnic doesn't need to be complicated. You could toss a couple sammies, sodas, and beach towels in a bag and have a fine time. But a truly elevated outdoor dining experience requires a bit more thought—and a few items of choice gear. Keep your wine chilled, your food crisp, and your butt happy. Here’s our 2019 guide to picnicking like a pro.

Scuddles picnic blanket

Scuddles large picnic blanket
Remember a picnic blanket to help keep your behind dry and the bugs away from your food.Amazon

For a classic setup, you need one key item: a picnic blanket. It keeps your food off the ground, the bugs away, and your clothing clean. This extra large picnic blanket from Scuddles is made of polyester, has a waterproof PEVA backing—clutch for a picnic planned after a rainy day—and carrying straps when it's folded. The 2.5-pound blanket measures 59 x 76 inches.

Picnic basket

Picnic at Ascot
Pack away your utensils, cups, and plates.Amazon

Getting food from your home to your picnic destination requires a vessel. Woven baskets are adorable and all, but they can be difficult to carry and seriously limit your ability to bring a large meal. Sure you can toss a bunch of food in a tote bag, but a carry-all specifically designed for picnics provide extra features to make your outing more comfortable and organized. This collapsible picnic basket can hold up to 65 pounds and is made of polyester canvas with an aluminum frame. It provides everything you need—plates, napkins, wine glasses, and steel cutlery—for four people to eat. The insulation will keep your hot items warm or cold items chilly. This basket measures 18.5 x 11.5 x 11.5 inches.

Magic Gel ice packs

Magic Gel
Keep your beverages cold on a hot summer day.Amazon

These Magic Gel packs—the package comes with five—will help you keep your food or drinks from getting too hot and spoiling. The packs are about the size of a piece of bread and are filled with gel that stays cold longer than water-based ice packs.

A classic Thermos

Stanley thermos
Stay hydrated and keep your tea hot or your mimosas cold.Amazon

This leakproof, stainless-steel Stanley insulated bottle holds 25 ounces of liquid and will keep your water (or other beverages) cold for up to 36 hours.

Bento box

Built Bento box
Keep your foods separate and prevent any liquids from leaking.Amazon

Bento boxes are handy for a few reasons. (1) It's a good idea to keep your ingredients separate so you can assemble on-site. This allows for crisper salads and drier sandwich bread. (2) They are leakproof. (3) This one comes with a fillable ice pack to keep things from spoiling. It measures 7.75 x 10 x 4.5 inches and is made of a sturdy polypropylene. The container comes with food separators, a fork, knife, and spoon, and is both dishwasher- and microwave-safe.

Built wine cooler

Built wine cooler
Keep your chardonnay cool for up to 10 hours.Amazon

This portable wine tote from Built keeps bottles of bubbly cold for up to 10 hours, which is great because chilled Prosecco makes a picnic to the next level. Place the gel-lined bag in the freezer overnight, insert your bottles, and then head out for your picnic. The top closes with a zipper, so your bottles will stay secure inside the bag.

Soundcore Motion Q by Anker

Anker Soundcore Motion Q
A waterproof portable speaker will keep you entertained when you don't feel like talking.Amazon

There's nothing like the sound of sweet music as you're sitting on a grassy knoll and biting into a brisket sandwich. The Soundcore Motion Q portable speaker by Anker has 360-degree sound, is waterproof, and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. You can connect two together for a stereo effect, though the 16-watt speaker and 10-hour battery should be plenty loud enough for you to groove out throughout your entire outing.

RavPower 10,000mAh solar charger

RavPower 10,000mAh solar charger
Keep your phone charged a sunny day.Amazon

If you’re picnicking on a sunny day, RavPower’s rugged 10,000mAh solar charger is a great way to keep your phone, portable speaker, or other electronics charged. At full charge, the 9.8-ounce device can recharge an iPhone over three times, has two USB ports, and features a built-in flashlight if it gets dark. There are four LED battery indicator lights on top, so you’ll always know how much juice is left. It also comes with a micro USB cable.

ONIVA picnic chair

ONIVA picnic chair
These ONIVA picnic chairs keep you off the ground and come with an attached side table for your food.Amazon

Bugs and dirt are my least favorite part of picnics. If you too dislike the natural aspects of nature, bring foldable chairs with you. These have an aluminum frame and pockets for all your accessories. There's even a side table for your food. The polyester seats are 19.5-inches wide and can hold up to 300 pounds.

Ecovita cutlery

Ecovita
Ecovita utensils are biodegradable, heat-resistant, and dishwasher-safe.Amazon

While you can't have a compostable speaker—yet—try to keep your waste to a minimum with these biodegradable utensils. The best option from an environmental standpoint is reusable cutlery—get them for pennies at your local thrift store!—though if you really want the disposable stuff, try these forks, knives, and spoons from Ecovita. These set comes with 380 utensils that are heat-resistant and dishwasher safe.

Portable grill

Coleman Road Trip Propane Portable Grill LXE
285 square inches of cooking surface.Amazon

This Coleman portable propane grill has 285 square inches of heated surface. It's collapsible and comes on wheels so it's easy to transport. Switch out grilling grates for flat or ribbed skillets, too.

Marshmallow roasting sticks

MalloMe marshmallow roasting sticks
Roasting forks can hold vegetables, hot dogs, and marshmallows.Amazon

If you’ve got a portable grill, consider bringing some roasting forks so you can toast up some marshmallows and make s’mores. This MalloMe stick set comes with five stainless steel extendable forks—they extend up to 34 inches—a canvas travel pouch, and a recipe book. The colorful handles are made of wood.

Streamlight lantern

Streamlight lantern
If you’re planning a sunset picnic, make sure to bring a light sourceAmazon

The Streamlight lantern is waterproof up three feet, emits 360 degrees of soft, even light, and has a removable globe cover that reduces glare. There are five light modes, and it boasts a 30-hour battery life. Also, the bottom of the lantern has a rubber base that keeps it from sliding on wet or uneven surfaces. It can even float in water.

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