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Who doesn’t love picnics? After all, now that it is almost summer, it is the ideal time to take advantage of the sunny weather by relaxing in a beautiful park or eating a tasty meal with your loved ones. When you have prepared properly for a picnic, you don’t have to worry about ants ruining your fun, because nothing will! So whether you are planning a romantic and intimate picnic for two or a fun afternoon for the whole family, here is your packing list to make sure that your meal goes off without a hitch.

Packing Tips

When you are going on a picnic, there are a few things that will certainly make your experience less enjoyable. One of the most important considerations to make is food safety. If you are packing foods that either need to stay cold or stay hot, it is imperative for you to keep them at a safe temperature. Another issue that may put a damper on your day is if you are carrying too heavy of a load. To prevent these picnic nightmares, here are some tips for efficient packing.
  • Save space by using utensils that are multi-purpose, such as sporks. As an added bonus, it will be easier to avoid misplacing your utensils.
  • Try using an insulated basket instead of a traditional picnic basket; this will keep the food at a safe temperature while also avoiding having to carry a bulky cooler.
  • Pack your beverages separately from the rest of your food. This will better distribute the load of your picnic and save you space for more food in your basket.
  • Try using collapsible bottles to store water; these weigh much less and are easier to pack than traditional water bottles.
  • Pack your foods that could be easily crushed, such as chips, on top. This provides a cushion for your food and prevents anything from being crushed.
  • Look for creative ways to make what you pack multipurpose; for example, a sandwich sleeve could also be used as a napkin or placemat.
  • Make sure that your food is kept cool enough to be safe. A good rule of thumb is that if all the ice has melted in your cooler, the food is no longer safe to eat. Keep this in mind when you are packing because if you have leftovers after your picnic, they may not be safe to eat.
  • Bring along a shower cap for any open bowls of food. This will keep those pesky pests out of your tasty treats. 

Ambiance Tips

When you are having a picnic, it isn’t only about the food, it is also about the ambiance. Sure, you want to make sure that your meal is tasty but if you are just throwing a blanket on the ground and eating ham sandwiches, you might as well have stayed home! Here are some tips for enhancing the ambiance of your picnic.
  • Invest in a Smarssen portable picnic table with a carrying bag! Not only is this portable picnic table lightweight and easy to carry, it will allow you to enjoy your meal at a table, truly avoiding the issue of ants all together. Throw in a couple of back pillows to make your picnic even nicer and cozier.
  • Skip the plastic glasses and go for shatterproof wine glasses for an extra touch of class.
  • Bring along a citronella candle for your table; not only will it add to the mood, it will prevent pesky mosquitoes from ruining your fun.
  • Break away from the traditional PB&J and switch up your picnic menu! Try little finger foods to make it a bit more interesting. This will allow everyone to graze and relax without having to worry about serving different courses. Just make sure that you don’t include anything too complicated that will be difficult to assemble at the picnic.
  • Bring a small speaker to play some relaxing music for a more sophisticated ambiance. However, be mindful of where you are picnicking if you want to pump up the jams; if you are set up in a heavily populated area, it is more respectful to save the tunes for when you get back home. 

Picnic Packing Checklist

Now that you have heard our packing tips, here is a checklist with which you can make sure you have everything you need for your day of outdoor fun.


  • Tasty and easily transportable foods. Avoid foods that include mayonnaise, as these do not fare well in the sun.
  • Ice packs or ice. Again, food safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to picnicking. Keep your food cold by using ice packs or ice in resealable bags to keep your food cool while you transport them. You may want to use some ice in your beverages as well. Make sure to dump out any remaining water in your cooler to make your trip home more manageable.
  • Beverages. Include any alcoholic or nonalcoholic beverages you desire, and don’t forget water! You need to keep hydrated if you are going to sit out in the sun.
  • Condiments. You can get away with including smaller amounts of essential condiments by putting them in small jars for easy carrying. You might also bring mini salt and pepper shakers so everyone can season the food to their liking.


  • Cups and plates. Look for lightweight and stackable dishes for greatest ease.
  • Utensils. Whether you just need forks, knives, and spoons or you also need serving utensils, make sure that you have all utensils packed.
  • Bottle opener. If you are serving anything that requires a bottle opener or corkscrew, don’t ruin your picnic by forgetting it!
  • Napkins. Try paper if you want to dispose of them for a lighter load on the way home, or cloth if you want a more eco-friendly option. 

Cleanup Essentials

  • Trash bags. Including these in your basket will ensure that you can easily toss any waste at the picnic site.
  • Paper towels. This makes it easier to clean up any messes you might make.
  • Hand sanitizer. This way, everyone can have clean hands before and after they eat. 


  • Your Smarssen portable picnic table. This lightweight table is easy to transport, wherever you decide to use it.
  • Carrying bags. Whether you go the basket route or stick to a couple of totes, make sure you choose a way to carry your picnic essentials that is lightweight and organized. 
At Smarssen, we love making your life better, easier, and happier. Have better, easier, and happier picnics by following these picnic tips and investing in our portable picnic table! Shop Smarssen: the smart person’s choice.