As social restrictions ease across Australia, the temperatures heat up and the need to dodge rain showers all but disappears, picnics are set to be the hot ticket item on our social calendars. Here’s what to pack for a perfect day out.
Easier to carry and store than foldable chairs (and putting you on the same level as your snacks and drinks), the blanket is the MVP of any picnic, providing a comfy spot for you to sit – not to mentioning helping protect you and your food from ants and other creepy crawlies.
Look for a blanket with a waterproof underside in case the ground is damp, the bigger the better, and if it rolls up with a handle for ease of carrying, even better! Here are our top picks.
Kmart Picnic Rug Extra Large, RRP $20.00 Shop Now
Sunnylife Wash Me Beach Picnic Blanket, RRP $89.99 Shop Now
2. Esky or cooler bag
With Australia known for its baking hot summer heat, eskies are not only essential for keeping your bevvies crisp and cold, but they can also help keep food safe from becoming a food poisoning risk on your picnic. Top tip: go for an esky with wheels in the larger sizes unless you’ve got two people to lift it!
Esky 52 Litre Wheeled Hard Cooler, RRP $99 Shop Now
Emily Collapsible Picnic Cooler, RRP $29 Shop Now
From soft zip-able fabric cooler bags to old school picnic baskets, it pays to consider what you’ll be using it for before making your selection – will it be carrying a few plates, cups and utensils, or a family pack of the above plus non-perishable snacks for a crowd?
Kmart Rattan Picnic Set, RRP $29.00 Shop Now
Sachi Fabric 4 Person Insulated Picnic Basket, RRP $99.95 Shop Now
Add a layer of sun protection for you and your guests with a UV protecting umbrella – it’s also a handy way to mark your picnic set-up in bigger parks if you’re dining with kids keen to go exploring the area.
Life Maui Deluxe Beach Shelter, RRP $99 Shop Now
Wanderer Express Gazebo, RRP $329 ($119 Club Price) Shop Now
5. Cutlery and serving plates
Serving up snacks or meals in the great outdoors has come a long way from basic paper plates and plastic cups, forks and knives. Nowadays, melamine and other materials have seen outdoor safe cutlery and crockery stylish enough to use indoors. Bonus tip: ensure you bring any chopping boards, knives, serving tongs, corkscrews or can openers required to open and serve your food and drinks of choice on your picnic.
Poly Carb Wine Glass 680ml, RRP $11.95 or Tumbler 420ml, RRP $6.95 Shop Now
Melamine plates, 23cm RRP $9.95 and 28cm RRP $12.95 Shop Now
6. Picnic Pop Up Mini Table
While they aren’t suited to a larger group hang, these nifty pop up tables are perfect for a date picnic – holding your glassware and a cheese board for 2.
Ambrosia Karira Bamboo Picnic Tray Table, RRP $139 Shop Now
Alex Liddy Acacia Long Picnic Table RRP $219.99 Shop Now
Giant Tumbling Blocks, RRP $79.99 Shop Now
Vearo Beach Cricket Set RRP $29.99 Shop Now
Keep the activity upbeat (or create an ultra-romantic vibe) by downloading a playlist to your phone and pair with some outdoor portable speakers. Most music and general retail stress stock a range of prices and quality – we recommend choosing water or weatherproof speakers to suit the great outdoors year-round.
Ultimate Ears Boom 3 Bluetooth Speakers RRP $199 Shop Now
Sony SRS-XB13L Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker RRP $89 Shop Now
We highly recommend a good insect repellent for mosquitoes! And if you’d like a more sure fired way of keeping the flies at bay on your picnic, food coverers are an easier way to keep food protected without making it hard to self-serve.
Aeroguard Odourless Insect Repellent 175ml RRP $8.50 Shop Now
Off! Tropical Strength Insect Repellent 175ml RRP $7.85 Shop Now
10. Hats all-round!
We can’t stress being sun-smart enough, and a hat is an essential picnic item when it comes to sun protection. While caps are cute, ideally go for something with a round brim or grab a cap with a backflap. Our picks come from The Cancer Council, whose range are independently tested and have a maximum UPF50+ rating. They also come in a wide range of styles and sizes, including legionnaire, broad-brim and bucket hat styles for infants to adults.
Outback Lightweight Fedora Hat RRP $49.95 Shop Now
Meagan Fedora Hat RRP $29.95 Shop Now
Words by Melanie Hearse
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