How to Build a Picnic Basket

Published July 20, 2012

Fresh fruit is always a nice addition to a picnic basket

Do you love picnics? Then this is the time of year for you!

There’s nothing nicer than a long, leisurely picnic on the beach or at the park. It’s a way to celebrate the warm summer weather and to unwind at the end of the day.

But, how do you know what to pack?

Well here are some things to keep in mind when assembling your picnic basket.

Start with an actual basket, cooler or some other sturdy, portable container that can also act as a table or for food display. Stay away from plastic bags. They will only tear or become trampled on.

Always place a small towel in the bottom of the basket to catch any spills that may occur during transport. This towel will come in handy later for clean up.

Most picnic baskets today come with utensils, cups and saucers. Some come with corkscrews, can openers and wine glasses. It depends on the basket you purchase but if your basket does not, remember forks, knives, spoons and most importantly utensils for serving. Stick with unbreakable utensils and dishes and take extra pieces if room permits. Disposable plates and cups are always a great way to go.

Pack your heavier items in the basket first, followed by the lighter cheeses and fruits. Remember to only take what you need and nothing more. It’s a good idea to do a “dry run” on the counter before packing the basket just to see what you are actually bringing with you. Plan out the serving utensils according to what you plan to serve. Do you require a corkscrew, or perhaps a couple of large spoons?

To help keep food items cold during the day freeze one or two water bottles overnight and place in the basket when packing. These will help keep the food cool and can provide extra drinking water later in the day.

Be sure to pack some type of ground cover. If the weather has been slightly inclement lately, it’s a good idea to take a plastic tarp to put under your blanket in case the ground is still damp. A tablecloth is another important item to bring if you plan a table sit down style of picnic.

Items that tend to be forgotten are condiments such as mayonnaise, relish, ketchup, etc. If the jars at home are too large to pack, simply transfer into the disposable Glad plastic containers you can purchase at your grocery store. These containers are worth their weight in gold for a picnic. Use them for fresh fruit, veggies and cookies for the kids.

Don’t forget your camera, sunscreen, towels and insect repellant.

Not enough room?  You can always go and buy a larger picnic basket!