Real Simple Holidays & Entertaining Entertaining Everyday Celebrations Picnic Packing Checklist Picnic Packing Checklist Who doesn’t love a picnic? But unpacking your basket and realizing you forgot an essential―not so much. Use this checklist to make sure you’ve got it all. Real Simple Author By Real Simple Editors Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission. Advertisement FB Tweet More Pinterest Email Send Text Message Print Pier 1 Melamine Dinner Plates grass butterfly stick Credit: Yunhee Kim Food and Beverages Checklist Casual foods, preferably sandwiches or other things you can eat without utensils Avoid foods with mayonnaise. Pack everything in lightweight, resealable containers. Ice pack or bags of ice Food can spoil and harbor bacteria when not stored at the right temperature. Keep everything cold with refreezable ice packs, or fill a couple of resealable bags with ice cubes: They'll chill food as it's transported. Add ice cubes to drinks during the picnic. Empty out whatever remains before you go, for a lighter trip home. Drinks Bring an assortment of kid-friendly and adult beverages, such as bottled water and juice. Condiments Some ketchups and mustards come in mini jars that are small enough to throw in your tote. (Keep the jars to refill at home for your next picnic.) Salt and pepper Allow everyone to season their food to their liking on the spot. Tableware Checklist Cups and plates Whether you choose eco-friendly paper, plastic, or bamboo, lightweight, stackable dishes make packing easy. Tip: Stalk Market plates ($4 for 15) are made from renewable sugar cane fiber. Utensils, if needed Opt for reusable utensils. Serving utensils, if needed If you're serving salads, you may need tongs or serving spoons. Cutting knife Look for one with a cover for safe transporting. Or wrap the blade in a kitchen towel. Small cutting board It's always handy to have a firm surface for slicing meat, cheese, and bread. Corkscrew or bottle opener Or both. Napkins If you prefer not to use cloth, look for ones made of recycled paper or other materials. Cleanup Checklist Trash bags Don't leave a mess behind. Dispose of everything you bring to the picnic site. Moist towelettes When you don't have access to running water, these make it easy to wash up after eating. Paper towels Keep a roll on hand for mopping up spills and wiping bowls, containers, plates, and utensils before you pack them back up. Miscellaneous Checklist Blanket It should be large enough to comfortably hold all your picnic-goers and food. A light one that folds small is a bonus. Tote, backpack, or picnic basket Stow everything in a lightweight, roomy carrier.