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Long days and warm weather make summer the perfect season for a picnic. It’s time to grab your friends, pack some food, and head to your favorite outdoor spot for an unforgettable feast. Sounds easy enough, right? Yes, and no. Picnics do require a little bit of planning, especially if you’re the host. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of five tips for planning the perfect picnic.

1. Picking a Place

You can have a picnic almost anywhere: the beach, a park, your front yard, an outdoor concert. All of these venues will make for a great picnic. If you’re planning to barbecue, make sure you choose a location that has grills or permits grilling. Many public spots have certain rules when it comes to open fires, so do your research ahead of time. If you’re doing a daytime picnic, consider shade as the summer sun can be intense. Lastly, we recommend choosing a place that has restrooms close by (you’ll thank us later).

2. Planning the Menu

Picking a menu is all about personal preference, but you’ll want to make sure that the food you bring travels well. If you need to do any prep work for your dishes, make sure to do so ahead of time, and try your best to avoid messy foods. Dishes that can be enjoyed at room temperature are best, along with finger foods and tiny snacks. Some of our favorite items are chips and salsa, veggies and dip, cheese and crackers, and pasta salad.

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3. Packing the Perfect Picnic Basket

You’ll need something to transport your food in. We recommend a sturdy picnic basket with ample space to hold all the food, utensils, napkins, and plates. Baskets are help keep your food level and minimize any potential spilling along the way. If you have the space, its ideal to separate cold food items to avoid sogginess. We’re a little biased, but our favorite picnic basket is the Woolrich Original Buffalo Check™ Picnic Basket.

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4. Bring Something to Sit On

No matter where you choose to picnic, you’re going to want something comfortable to sit on. Picnics are best enjoyed at a leisurely pace, so the more comfortable the better. As an added bonus, the separation from the ground helps keep your food from getting dirty or sandy. All Woolrich blankets work well for picnics, but our favorites are the Rough Rider Blanket and Freedom Throw. Both are soft and comfy, yet durable enough to last a lifetime. If you really want to impress your friends, carry your blanket in a leather blanket harness.

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5. Don’t Forget Activities

Picnics are fun, but being that you’re outdoors, you’ll probably want to do more than just eat. Wiffle ball and frisbee will keep you busy in between servings, and they’re also easy to carry. If you’re feeling ambitious and don’t mind the extra weight, bocce and croquet are always a hit.

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