4 Surprising Picnic Essentials

Michigan was the first state to have a roadside picnic table in the U.S. This hidden gem, located in West Michigan’s Ionia County, appeared in 1929. But the term “picnic” dates back much further. The French-derived word originally stems back to 1794, 100 years after ”pique-nique” first appeared in the French language. Whether you’re visiting a roadside table for a road trip picnic or planning one for your local park, here are some staples to bring that might surprise you:

Cutting board

Cutting boards are more than just a place to chop veggies. This hard surface allows for easy prep and doubles as a serving platter. Even better, it triples as a drink stand to prevent drinks from spilling onto the blanket or onto the grass, attracting bugs.

Food tent

Sure, flies love the food we bring to picnics, but we don’t love them. Many food tents are lightweight, foldable and affordable. Bringing a food tent along to your next picnic can help you enjoy activities and conversations between bites. Better yet, no one has to stand guard against the flies.

Reusable cups and containers

Many people are aiming to reduce their single-use plastic and waste. Though glass is oftentimes the go-to swap for households, their fragile nature doesn’t bode well for outdoor activities. On your next picnic, consider bringing shatterproof glassware, reusable cups made of plastic or metal, reusable containers for food items as well as reusable utensils  to make Mother Earth proud.

Water, but not for drinking

Bringing a jug of water is essential for quenching thirst in the summer heat, but it can serve more than one purpose. Rinse your reusable serving ware before packing up to avoid a sticky aftermath in your cooler or bag. Sticky hands are also a problem when there’s limited access to running water while outside. Though hand sanitizer helps kill bacteria, it doesn’t rinse off the dirt. That jug of water can help rinse hands before and after food prep, and after the kids have enjoyed their time playing in nature.

Enjoy picnics? Check out these recipe ideas for healthy and tasty fare that are easy to transport to your favorite picnic spot:

Photo credit: Getty Images

 

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