cPy5qadu4YRMXx3veGps-iWHhM4 Devour Dayton: What to pack for a picnic

Monday, July 18, 2011

What to pack for a picnic

Picnic tableImage via WikipediaSummer is prime time for dining outdoors. The forecast for this week is absolutely miserable, but that doesn't mean you can't plan ahead for cooler weather! Once this heatwave breaks, pack up the family, fill up the basket and find your favorite spot outside and enjoy the weather. Here are some tips help get you started.

  • Foods should be easy to store, serve and eat. Sandwiches and fried or grilled chicken are your best options.
  • Avoid foods with mayonnaise-the risk of food poisoning is too great.
  • Serve pre-portioned drinks such as juice boxes, bottled water, cans of soda.
  • Pack condiments (mustard, ketchup, salt & pepper) in reusable containers. They are a breeze to clean up and can be used again & again. Baby food jars work great for this.

  •  Two options are available for tableware-reuseable or disposable. If you choose reusable, pack light and sturdy. You don't want your plates and glasses being broken.
  • Plan ahead for any serving utensils you may need-salad tongs, pie server, etc.
  • If packing a knife for cutting, be sure the blade is securely covered so no one gets hurt.

  • Make sure to take a trash bag and dispose of all trash. Make sure you don't leave anything behind.
  • A roll of paper towels will come in handy for any accidental spills and for wiping up silverware and utensils before packing up.
  • Wet wipes come in handy if you won't have access to running water.

  • You will need a blanket large enough to spread out on if dining in the grass or a tablecloth to cover a picnic table. The lighter the better for portability purposes.
  • Tote, backpack or basket. You will need something sturdy and easy to carry to take all of your supplies with you. Waterproof is preferred in case of accidental spills, leaks or the surprise shower.
  • Incidentals-sunscreen, bug spray, citronella candle. To enjoy your picnic as much as possible, you will want to keep the sun and bugs at bay.
  • Entertainment. You may want to bring something along to get the family up and moving. Some ideas include: frisbee, radio, soccer or volley ball, lawn darts or even playing cards.

A picnic isn't a picnic without the proper location. Here are some great area locations to visit: Warren County Armco Park (Turtlecreek Twsp), Bull's Run Arboretum (Middletown), Cox Arboretum (Miami Twsp), Germantown Metro Park (Germantown) and Sugarcreek Reserve (Bellbrook). Don't overlook local schools, area parks and even your own backyard as perfect locations for a picnic.
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