How to Pack a Picnic Basket


How to Pack a Picnic Basket. Packing a picnic basket is more than just tossing in some food and beverages. There is an art to arranging all the necessities within the basket so that they stay cold and fresh and are easily accessible. Follow these easy instructions and soon you will be picnicking like a pro, with all the right items for a perfect outdoor meal.

Things You'll Need

  • Picnic Basket or Picnic Pack
  • Paper Towels and/or Anti-bacterial Wipes
  • Trash Bag
  • Ice or Cold Packs
  • Reusable Plastic Containers With Lids
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Picnic Blanket

Start with a fully loaded picnic basket or pack that comes with the following essential picnic items: plates, utensils, cups, cloth napkins and an insulated cooler. All of these items should have their own compartments in the basket or pack to keep them organized.

Place the items you will need last, such as trash bags and antibacterial wipes, in the bottom of the picnic basket or pack.

Pack the food in water-tight, reusable plastic containers. You can either separate the food into portions or into courses.

Line the bottom of the cooler with ice or a cold pack.

Put the plastic containers of food in the bottom of the cooler. The most perishable foods that need to be kept the coldest should be placed at the very bottom.

Scatter ice or cold packs around the food and place beverages on top. You can freeze beverages in plastic bottles to help keep your food cold. When they melt you will have icy cold drinks.

Place the cooler in the picnic basket or pack, with a picnic blanket on top. The blanket will offer extra insulation and will be easy to pull out when you arrive at your destination.

Put small items such as insect repellent, sunscreen and sunglasses on top of the picnic blanket, since you will likely need them before anything else.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some picnic baskets don't come with cooler compartments. You can purchase a soft-sided cooler with a shoulder strap separately, which will still be convenient and easy to carry.
  • Many picnic baskets and packs also come with extras such as mini salt and pepper shakers, corkscrews, cheese knives, cutting boards and insulated beverage containers. This makes it easier when packing for a picnic, since you don't have to purchase them separately.
  • Don't count on the cooler to cool down foods that have been warmed. Placing warm foods in the cooler will just cause the ice to melt, increasing the chances of food spoilage.
  • Food that has been out of the cooler for two or more hours should be thrown away. Bacteria grows quickly in warm environments.

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