Picnics are an ideal way to enjoy the hot, summer months. However, without adequate planning, your dream picnic could soon turn into a nightmare! There’s a lot of factors to consider including how many people you’re catering for, whether you’re taking hot or cold foods and the different dietary requirements of those attending the picnic.
So, if you’re planning on eating outdoors this summer, below you’ll discover 5 ways to plan a picnic.
- Assess the basic requirements
The first step to planning a picnic, is figuring out exactly what you need. To do this you’ll need to know how many people are going, their dietary needs and the venue where you’ll be having the picnic.
Once you know who is going and what their dietary needs are, it gives you a good idea of the type of menu you can create. Knowing which venue you’re heading to will also help you to establish a fitting theme. For example, if you’re heading to a secluded spot on the beach for a picnic with your partner, you can focus on a luxurious, romantic menu.
- Always pack more than you need
It’s easy to underestimate how much you’re going to need to pack for your picnic. It could be worth considering taking two containers, rather than trying to fit everything in one. The fresh food can be kept in a cooler, while the non-perishable food, as well as the tableware, can be stored in an actual basket.
You’ll want to pack some extra tableware items too such as plates and plastic cups. Although they are generally safe and difficult to break, accidents do happen and the last thing you need is for someone to be left without anything to eat or drink from.
Take along a couple of plastic bags too so you can easily transport any dirty tableware back home with you without worrying about mess.
- Ensure you have a cooler for hot food, as well as cold
If you’re taking a mixture of hot and cold food, you’re going to need two coolers. The coolers should also ideally be insulated, as this will help to keep the food at the right temperature for longer.
Hot packs can help food to stay warm, while ice packs will help to keep it cool. Remember, if you’re trying to keep food cold, it should be kept at a temperature of around 40 Degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
It’s also worth noting that the cooler will be much more effective at keeping your food at the right temperature if it’s filled to the top. So, you’ll need to make sure you have the right size cooler before you set off.
Finally, try to avoid opening the cooler frequently once you get to the picnic. Just like an oven, the cooler will lose its heat or cold every time it is opened.
- Prepare all food before you go
For a hassle-free picnic, make sure you prepare all of the food before you set off. This includes washing, chopping, cooking if required and keeping the food in portion size containers.
- Come up with a list of fun picnic activities
If you’re heading on a family picnic, it’s a good idea to come up with some activity ideas before you go. A scavenger hunt, board games and frisbee golf are all excellent ideas.
You could even plan a little hike and stop for your picnic once you find a scenic place. However, if you’re planning on taking hot food, you’ll want to ensure you’re not hiking for too long before stopping to eat.
Overall, adequately planning the picnic before you set off will ensure you have an enjoyable and relaxing time. You may also want to write a list of everything you need to take with you so you don’t accidentally forget anything.