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What to Put in a Picnic Basket? 20 Amazing Ways!

Picnics are fun as they give you a chance to take your party to the road. However, remember you are not in the house, and you won’t be able to access all the items you need to use, making it tricky. If you are looking forward to having a perfect picnic free from the everyday disappointments of having your potatoes spoilt and a soggy sandwich, a little preparation makes it better.

You can choose to put a picnic blanket, decoration items, playing items, or bugs spray. Alternatively, you can put plates, sunscreen, paper towels, wipes, or fast-aid supplies.

What do you put in a Picnic Basket?

Whether you plan to go for your picnic, your backpack needs to have all the items necessary to make it a memorable one.

Forgetting one item might seem petty but can cause discomfort that you may not like during your vacation. Knowledge of all the essentials for your picnic basket, proper organization, and a checklist makes your picnic a delightful venture.

It is vital to have a checklist before closing your bag and going out. Here are the items you shouldn’t forget to pack in your picnic basket.

What to Put in a Picnic Basket

A Picnic Blanket

If your picnic is not in a place with a dining table where you can have blankets spread for you, then a blanket must be in your basket. Any blankets will do regardless of the size, shape, or material.

However, when your vacation is in a dumb place, carry waterproof linen dedicated to picnics to keep you dry and avoid spoiling your fun. Blankets can be tablecloths, flatbed sheets, or even old comforters.

Plates, Utensils, Glasses, and Napkins

Do you need your picnic to have a unique feel? Then you need to have a proper table setting outside your dining room. Your picnic basket needs to carry an appropriate table setting.

Depending on your choice of locations and your occasion, you can use casual sets of disposable plates, knives, cups, and utensils, or you can decide to use your favorite crystal, silver, and table linens. Since dishing potato salads using an aplastic spoon can be a slow and lengthy process, you should consider packing serving spoons.

Along with your disposable cutlery of plastic knives, spoons, and forks, remember to pack a serving spoon. However, it would be of help if you were careful when packing to avoid any damage.

Corkscrew and a Bottle Opener

If your picnic includes beverages like a bottle of wine or imported sparkling water, remember to pack a corkscrew or a bottle opener with you.

With beverages that require more than your bare hand to open, forgetting these gadgets can make you curse the day you thought of taking your picnic away from your backyard.

Healthy Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacks

It does not matter if you are outside your house; you still need to consume healthy meals at intervals. Your baskets should therefore have breakfast, lunch, dinner, and meals for snacks.

Some of the foods not to forget in your baskets are handy salads, vegetables, chopped hard-boiled eggs, fresh fruits, English muffins spreads, individual-sized low-fat milk, and some dessert foods.

Cutting Board and a Knife

You cannot imagine having fruits and salads that need cutting, and you forgot to carry a cutting board and a knife.

Packing these two items in your baskets will give you an easy time when you need to cut things like charcuterie, fruits, vegetables, cheese, or bread. It helps avoid soggy bread and leaves you with the task of chilling only the perishable items rather than chilling the entire sandwich.

Ice Packs or Thermos

You don’t want a scenario where you find all the entire food in your baskets is spoilt. It can be the worst nightmare of your picnic.  

To avoid such disappointments, put several ice packs in your baskets or a thermos. Your ingredients should be packed with enough ice to keep your food safe and keep them chilled till you serve. Likewise, when you have brought hot food with you, a thermos is essential to maintain them at safe temperatures of 140 F.

Any food that is kept below its recommended temperature can get spoilt, leading to food poisoning. Be safe and avoid such scenarios on your picnic. Have enough ice packs and a thermos.

Rigid Food Containers

The thumb rule for a picnic is sticking to simple dishes and foods that do not need to maintain specific temperatures; they are not perishable and are easy to pack.  

When it comes to packing food in your picnic basket, choose food containers with tight-fitting lids and avoid zippered bags, foils, and plastic wraps.

The use of rigid containers will protect tender and soft foods like sandwiches and cut fruits from spoiling. Their spill-proof quality is also a plus as it will prevent spills from damaging other items in the basket.

Paper Towels and Wipes 

Baby towels and wipes are a perfect companion to your picnic. They are easy to pack and dispose of and, therefore, the ideal items for cleaning spillages and cleaning dirt and stains. Baby wipes can also serve as hand sanitizer for killing bacteria in hand before eating.

Frozen Water Bottle

It is essential to put a frozen water bottle in your picnic basket as picnics occur during summer. While ice packs are necessary for keeping your food chilled during this weather, they occupy a bigger space in your basket. Packing frozen bottles will serve two purposes.

They will keep your foodstuff and other basket ingredients cool, and as they melt, they will supply you with some cold water for quenching your thirst without occupying a bigger room in your basket.

However, you remember to leave a headroom when filling your bottle to cater for expansion when the water freezes. Also, it is vital to avoid packing glass bottles as they can easily shatter when they freeze.

Decoration Items

While your atmosphere might be a perfect place for refreshing and provides the most excellent ambiance you ever dreamt of, you might need to carry a few flowers, candles, and lighters to enhance your romantic mood.

Ensure to check for any fire restrictions and look for the natural area to keep your environment safe. 

When using candles, be keen to contain the flames, and remember to keep them out entirely before you pack and leave because even a tiny flame can be dangerous and can lead to forest and bush fires.


Outdoors is a great place to enjoy warm temperatures and cool breezes during your picnic. However, the sun’s rays can still catch up with your skin and make you uncomfortable. To avoid sunburns and make your picnic a memorable event, ensure to pack sunscreen.

Umbrellas and shades are good but still can expose you to UV rays that can cause skin damage, therefore essential to avoid them during your picnic.

Bugs Spray

Launching outdoors gives you the best feeling but can also help you meet some new, unexpected friends like the bugs. Insects can be annoying and can reduce the chances of enjoying your picnic to the fullest.

To minimize insect bites, pack a bug spray in your basket and liberally apply it when launching. Some of the recommended repellants include repellents with DEET, lemon Eucalyptus oil, and Picardie sprays.

They generally last long on the skin and work perfectly when you apply them after sunscreen. If the sprays are too costly for your picnic, you can consider repellent lotion as it will serve the purpose.

First Aid Supplies

Regardless of the occasion or the location, a first aid kit is a must in your picnic basket. Whether it is just a day out in the local park or hiking in the mountains, accidents happen everywhere.

Basic first aid supplies such as bandages, hydrocortisone creams, and Aspirin are essential and can help keep an eventful day fabulous rather than uncomfortable.

Mini Condiments and Seasonings

Lugging a whole bottle of ketchup from the kitchen and packing it in your picnic basket can be tedious, and utilize the space you could have used for another item. Instead, snag small condiment bags from a restaurant, gas station, or supermarket and put them in your baskets.

This will save space and help you avoid carrying heavier and bigger bottles and shakers to your picnic.


Picnics require memories for the scrapbook. It would be best if you had something to remind you of an eventful breeze you want and something for your friends and relatives. To keep the nostalgic moods recaptured in the future, ensure you change your phone or grab a camera and put it into your picnic basket.

The new Kodak smile camera is a great way to keep your photos clear as it allows the printing of keepsakes on the fly. While you may consider taking your phone to serve the purpose of a camera, remember to pack a portable charger to make sure your battery never runs low.

Kitchen Towel

Napkins and baby wipes are good because they are easily disposable and easy to pack. However, kitchen towels are excellent as they can serve multiple purposes. They are sturdy and offer more versatility.

Remember you are in an open place, and therefore insects are inevitable. With kitchen towels, you can use them to cover your food to prevent bugs and keep them safe. 

Additionally, you can wrap them around your beverage bottles for extra protection and use them to stop additional spills instead of many napkins. When you do not have extra bags for your snacks, kitchen towels can do a great job of wrapping up picnic snacks and serving as a lunch sack.

Playing Items

While picnics are majorly focused on food and eating, you need something to do as well. Some familiar picnic toys such as freebies, kites, and balls are a great way of keeping your day playful and refreshed to enjoy your picnic to the fullest.

Grabbing a few toys and putting them in your basket will help you keep your afternoon full of events. You can also spend your afternoon drawing and relaxing as it serves the purpose of a day outside your backyard.

Salt and Pepper

Seasonings might seem petty, but they go a long way in making your picnic a million-dollar event. With foods like fried chicken, salads, and coleslaw, salt and pepper will form an essential part of your picnic.

Picking up small containers with partitioning to hold both salt and pepper and tucking them at the corner of your basket is a critical aspect of your picnic. They will give your food a delicious taste everybody would long for in a picnic food.

Trash Bag

Trash bags are the most overlooked aspect when packing your picnic basket. Leaving your picnic site clean is an important thing. Having a trash bug will help you pick up any leftovers and collect all the pills into a trash can or take them home with you.

When it is time to leave your picnic site, trash bags make cleaning easier and faster. Putting several trash bags into your picnic basket will help you pick up every piece of trash. Simultaneously, others can help package dirty containers, plates, utensils, and cups for washings at home.

You can also bag some rain ponchos in case unexpected summer storms appear. You can also place them under your blankets to prevent water from seeping into your basket in case of wet grass.

Toothpicks and Nibbles

You do not want to forget to pack toothpicks in your picnic basket, mainly if your menu contains many nibble bits.

Since nibble bites don’t require the use of individual cutlery and plates, you need to pack some toothpick dispensers for retrieving meatballs, olives, melon balls, and some pickles from their containers.

They are more presentable and appealing than using your fingers. If you want to be classier, you can go for reusable cocktail forks. They have an elegant touch, add an elegant look to your picnic table settings, and are easy to pack.








What to Put in a Picnic Basket? 20 Amazing Ways!
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