The nice weather and longer days make summer the best time of year for picnics. Packing up and lugging a big cooler or picnic basket can be difficult to manage though, especially if you have a ways to go on foot to reach your dining destination. I am going to share some products and tricks that will let you put together a perfectly portable picnic that is ideal for a memorable date, a outdoor concert, or a relaxing afternoon on your own.
Red or white? Why not both! Hedge your bets by bringing one bottle each of red and white wine. A neoprene two-bottle tote will keep the bottles chilled and provide a sturdy way to carry them to your picnic destination. JUST DON’T FORGET THE BOTTLE OPENER!
Once you have the drinks taken car of, a backpack cooler is all you need to carry the food for your picnic. Bonus points if the tote has extra storage for your glassware, bottle opener, and cheese knife. If you don’t have a backpack cooler, a soft-sided lunch box is also very portable. Either option will allow you to hike, bike, or use public transportation without having to lift and lug a hard-sided cooler.
Choose a tailgate blanket that is soft on one side and waterproof on the other to guarantee that you will have a clean and comfortable picnic, even if the grass is damp. Look for a tailgate blanket that will Velcro shut when folded and that has sturdy handles.
While you probably don’t want to serve your nice wine in a red solo cup, you don’t want to be dealing with broken glass at some point in the picnic. Shatterproof wine glasses are inexpensive, reusable, and they are often recyclable. My stemless glasses even come with a handy thumb notch for more ergonomic sipping.
There is a chance that your bottles of wine lost a bit of their chill on the trek to your picnic spot. Filling your cooler with reusable ice cubes will keep the snacks cool and give you a way to chill down your wine, without diluting it. When you are finished, rinse them off well and put them back in your freezer until your next picnic.
Mood music: Bring along an iPod speaker and plug in your phone to add some romantic music to your picnic. You can invest in a pricier battery powered speaker at any electronics store. If you don’t have the cash to spend, you can sometimes find iPhone amplifiers for a few dollars at Target, Walmart, or the dollar store. All they do is passively amplify the sound, but that may be all you need.
While there is an initial investment in these picnic products, keeping them on hand means that you are always ready when the urge to dine alfresco strikes. What are your favorite picnic products?
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This post was originally created for ForRent.com
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