There really is nothing like a picnic. The ability to lounge about, eat outside, and just spend some quality time out in the sun and nature is unlike anything you can do at home. Of course, to fully maximize the potential of your picnic you’ll need to prepare ahead of time. With just a few picnic essentials you’ll have what you need to always enjoy your time outside. No matter where you live or what your favorite picnic foods are, make sure to follow our picnic essentials checklist. 

Picnic Blanket

Can you really call it a picnic if you don’t have a picnic blanket? This is a critical piece to your picnic enjoyment. Sure, you can sit at a picnic table at the local park, but there’s just something about sitting on the grass, having nature all around you. It’s as organic as you can possibly get with your setup. 

But what kind of blanket should you go for? Sure, you can grab a blanket from the back closet, but this isn’t always the best way to go. The blanket fabric will stick to the grass and collect dirt. It also will absorb any kind of moisture, so if the ground is wet or if it rains at all it will turn into a giant wet piece of laundry. 

Instead, you should go with a durable tarp that is also stylish. You can find a wide selection at Tarpestry. Plus, the tarps you find here you can also use when you go camping, hiking, or whenever you need a durable, strong piece of fabric for any of your outdoor activities


It’s best to not go with the plastic tableware. At least not the disposable plastic kind. This is just wasteful and harmful to the environment. If you do want to go with disposable material go for the cardboard and paper option. Plus, if you’re camping this can be easily tossed into the fire. However, if you enjoy going for picnics and do it often try to get something that is reusable. You’ll find some great options in the camping section. 

Some of these reusable options are made from aluminum or tin. There are sets that include bowls, coffee cups and plates that will then secure into a small kit. This is a great option for your picnic and camping needs. 

Some Kind of Cooler

There is no shortage to the kinds of coolers out there. You can always find one at the grocery store, and the basic coolers are reasonably priced. Of course, you can go for higher end coolers that may cost upwards of a few hundred dollars, although those coolers are extremely durable (so if you have a problem of leaving items on the roof of your car and driving off, these coolers can handle falling off without breaking). 

You can also go old school and purchase a picnic basket. These are fun items to have and there’s just something about that wooden-wicker feeling that makes it feel like you’re in a time of yesteryear. Some may even have cooler features to help insulate your food, although a picnic basket usually won’t take ice very well. So you just need to decide what works best (and what kind of food or beverages you’ll be bringing with you). 

Keep The Bugs And Sun Away

You never know when some pesky bugs might try to ruin your enjoyable picnic. The best way to take care of this is to have some items on hand that will block them from your picnic. Having a can of bug spray on hand at all times is one way to go. It’s easy enough to toss into a bag, so you might as well keep it handy (and let’s face it, mosquitos just love certain people, so it’s important to have as much protection around you as possible). 

You should also consider investing in mosquito candles. It helps add to the mood of your picnic and you can set up a few around your picnic area. The candles are easy to carry and you can always have a few in the trunk of your car. 

Travel Pitcher

If there’s one thing that really makes a picnic it is having a refreshing beverage on hand. Water doesn’t always cut it, and do you really want to pull out the 2-liter plastic jug of Coke to wash all that tasty food down? You can make a delicious beverage back home, but you’ll need to have something to carry it in. Whether you made a great sangria, refreshing margaritas, or you go old school and made lemonade, you’ll need to have something to travel with.

Ideally you won’t go with a plastic jug. These plastic items are alright when you need something that is cheap but you’ll be better off going with an insulated metal option. These will help keep your beverage cool without harming the environment. You should do the same with your cups as well. Try to go with cups you can reuse, or at the very least, are paper and can easily be broken down (or again tossed into the fire if you’re out camping and need to take care of the paper cup). 

Of course, if you are going to be bringing any kind of adult beverage to your picnic destination, make sure to check out what the local laws are with regards to this. Last thing you want is any kind of legal trouble because you decided to bring with you a wine cocktail.

Complete Your Picnic Essentials Checklist

Of course, you should always add anything else you might find essential to your picnic checklist. But with this picnic essentials checklist you’ll have a solid foundation for a fantastic time in the great outdoors. And if you’re shopping around for that perfect large picnic blanket that you can use for other activities, including camping, make sure to check out the wide selection of durable and stylish tarps at Tarpestry.