The ultimate picnic essentials

Ever tried eating couscous with your bare hands? We don’t recommend it! Ensure you remember the cutlery, and everything else that’s vital for a perfect summer afternoon outdoors, by reading our handy guide on picnic essentials.

Illustrated family preparing an outdoor picnic together

Going on a family picnic is a great way to spend quality time together. It’s so special to spend a day out having fun (hopefully in the sun) with the people that we love. And sometimes, the people we love spill globs of egg sandwich all over their clothes and the picnic blanket. And whilst you may not know whether to laugh or cry at first, those are the moments you look back on and enjoy the most – and you might end up laughing at the memories all over again in winter! 

A little bit (or even a lot) of mess is inevitable when you are having fun on a picnic. But with a little preparation, you can deal with that mess with ease. After all, picnics can be more fun if you can stem the tsunami of orange juice before it reaches the fresh sandwiches.  

So we have put together this picnic checklist to help you be prepared for any situation. And after you’ve learned what to bring to a picnic, all you have to do is focus on having fun! 

Download this picnic list and let’s get started! 


Super strong and absorbent Plenty kitchen rolls are perfect for a picnic: they’re great for multi-tasking, from wrapping sandwiches to mopping up spills.

1. Picnic equipment

Let’s start with the obvious stuff first: packing the right equipment. If you are wondering how to prepare for a picnic, you’ve probably already thought of taking a big picnic rug and a basket to carry everything in, but we’ll mention them here because they are pretty important.  

You’ll also need a cooler to keep items fresh, a flask to keep drinks hot or cold, and a multi-tool. Then of course there’s cutlery and crockery. The eco-option is to bring reusable cutlery and crockery (just don’t forget to bring it home with you!), or for convenience try finding biodegradable disposable options.  


Don’t forget the rubbish bags! After spending all day enjoying nature, show your appreciation by leaving the area just as you found it. Put the whole team in charge of cleaning up at the end of the day, and check and check again for wrappers and leftovers.

2. The food

The food might be the most important part of a picnic! When you are considering what to bring to a picnic, it might be best to stick to simple, tried and tested favourites. It is also a good idea to keep everything as convenient as possible by doing the most of the preparation at home.  

One great picnic idea is to bring pre-cut veggies in plastic containers. Sliced bread or baguettes wrapped in absorbent kitchen towel are convenient too, along with a range of your favourite seasonings, dips and spreads. Keep it healthy by adding in fresh fruit and nutritious snacks like nuts, and don’t forget plenty of water. 

3. Preparing for the weather

How to prepare for the weather might the be most difficult part of mastering how to prepare a picnic! Hopefully the sun will shine, but always include sunscreen on your picnic list whatever the forecast says. Sun hats are great for keeping the shine off faces and bring sunglasses to keep the glare out of everyone’s eyes.  

In addition to packing in preparation for the sun, you’ll want to take warm clothing in case it gets cold. Waterproof jackets are a good idea too, in case there’s an unexpected downpour.   

4. Outdoor games

Even if your idea of a great picnic is chilling with a book, there’s always someone who finds the energy for a game, and you want to keep them entertained! Whether it’s a cricket bat, tennis rackets, a board game or a hula-hoop, taking a selection of outdoor games is a solid picnic idea for pleasing the whole crowd. 

5. And last but not least on your picnic checklist 

That’s equipment, food, drink, weather protection and games covered, but there are a handful of other picnic tips in our list.   

When you’re out and about, you can never have enough Plenty kitchen towels: every picnic needs our strong and absorbent kitchen paper: perfect for wrapping sandwiches, wiping grubby fingers and dabbing up spills. 

And there you have it! Even though these picnic tips might not be able to stop that horde of giant ants from finding your fruit salad, they can help you cope when it happens. After all, mess is inevitable: what matters is having fun! 

The picnic checklist: what to bring with you

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