Tips on Packing for the Perfect Picnic

It's time for a family picnic - time to turn off the TV, get outdoors and connect with your family and friends!

Planning the perfect picnic begins with the perfect picnic cooler - pick the best picnic cooler for you. There are many available, picnic bags for 2, picnic backpacks for 4 , or rolling picnic bags, ideal if you are going to be bringing a lot of wine and beverages.

These picnic bags come in small (ideal for 2) to medium/large (ideal for 2-6 people). Bring extra utensils if there are more people.

In a separate bag, pack up the tablecloth, paper towels, handy-wipes, extra utensils, suntan lotion, bug spray, etc. Anything you think you may need and a couple of things just in case. Plan ahead so that you don't forget anything. Make a list.

When packing your picnic cooler, either use Ziplock bags or containers. This will avoid leaks and cross-contamination. Also, if you are packing soft foods, these should be packed in hard containers. If you are packing garnishes (basil, parsley, etc) pack separately.

If you going to be barbecuing make sure the prep work is done ahead of time. Cut up your chicken/meats or veggies so that it's easy to just toss on the grill.

If you always go to the same place...consider spots other than the neighborhood park. What about local gardens, they are great for outdoor dining and for children to play. Or a lovely day at the beach.

Or even better... how about a romantic picnic in your own back yard with your sweetie. When the kids go to bed, share your favorite wine and cheese with your love.

Going to picnic with friends? Choose a theme, such as Mexican - pack yummy Margaritas, chips, salsa, bean dip, guacamole, etc and have a glorious Mexican fiesta.

Or Italian - pack up Italian wine, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, basil, some olive oil for a wonderful Caprese. Don't forget crusty Italian bread. Make an olive tapenade (or buy pre-made), bring along your CD player, blast the Bocelli or Dean Martin and for one day believe you are in beautiful Italia!

You can be very creative with your food choices - forget cold cuts and boring old potato salad and bring some mini-crab cakes, shrimp cocktail, hummus and pita (remember if you bring seafood - it's best to dispose of the remains since seafood should not be eaten once left out for several hours - especially if it's hot outside).

Don't forget dessert... what's a picnic without dessert...take a trip to your local bakery and bring mini-chocolate cakes, mini eclairs or chocolate covered strawberry's (it's fruit, so it's healthy, right?). If you want to be really healthy, yummy berries or a fruit salad will always work too!

Important: Food safety is important. A cooler is not a fridge, it mainly keeps the food insulated until you reach your destination (which can be from 5-8 hrs, depending on how well the cooler is packed). Please use your own judgment to determine if you should keep certain foods. We advise that any foods that have been kept out of the fridge for several hours should probably be thrown out (especially if there is mayonnaise, eggs, meats, etc). If in doubt - throw it out!

Above all, enjoy your picnic and your special time together.

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Tips on Packing for the Perfect Picnic

Our soft sided ice chests coolers are ideal for every day life. Travel, lunch, hiking, farmer's market, shopping, going on vacation - you name it, perfect insulated bags for every occasion! Check out our tips for packing and keep your foods and/or drinks cool for hours!