Picnics are a fabulous way to connect with family and friends amongst nature. They’ve been enjoyed for centuries and recently (thanks to the need for socially-distanced activities!) they’ve been gaining popularity again.

For those of us who don’t picnic often, the thought of getting all the stuff you need together may seem too hard… but it isn’t, and it’s totally worth the effort… unless you attempt to take young kids with you… we can’t make any guarantees there!

To inspire you to get picnicking, we’ve created this guide on how to pack the perfect picnic with a bonus free checklist.

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Comfort first

It’s hard to enjoy a picnic when you’re uncomfortable so we suggest starting with the things you need to picnic in style:

  • a large picnic blanket (and you can find our DIY version here)
  • scatter cushions
  • an outdoor umbrella if you won’t be going to a shady area (or wear sun hats).

If you really want to get fancy, you can also find stylish sling chairs.

DIY picnic rug

Put on a gourmet spread

Next up, we recommend getting your foods packed.

You can’t go wrong with an antipasto style grazing board or charcuterie, and some things we like to include are:

  • mix of soft and hard cheeses (brie, goat cheese, and cheddar are our faves)
  • variety of deli meats (prosciutto, salami, capocollo are popular options)
  • olives
  • variety of crackers
  • nuts (pistachio, macadamia, almonds or walnuts)
  • dried fruits (dried apricots or figs are most popular)
  • fresh fruits (strawberries, blueberries, grapes or figs)
  • extra ideas include quince paste, fresh honeycomb, pickles or pretzels.
Picnic feature

The trick to making a great grazing board is to mix salty and sweet, soft and crunchy, and fresh produce with cured.

To make it easier to eat, we recommend using a few smaller bowls (that grey one below is from Freedom) to keep things like olives, fresh honeycomb or quince paste contained. Be sure to pack cheese knives too!

If cheese isn’t your thing, you can also opt for a sandwich style picnic or dessert picnics are also fun.

Cutting cheese
Ice bucket and charcuterie board

Don’t forget the drinks and something to keep them cool

Picnicking and enjoying a beverage go hand in hand, don’t they?! Whether it’s homemade lemonade or something spiked, packing drinks is essential. And because we live in a warm climate, so too is packing something to keep them cool.

For this picnic, I used the Zephyr metal bowl from Urban Eden as an ice bucket — I love how it tied into the colour scheme of this setting. If it isn’t practical for you to bring an ice bucket and ice, you can also find a range of cooler bags online.

Picnic in the bush
Pepper Tree wine

Shop picnic essentials

Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses
Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses
Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses

Cutlery and plates

Now that you’ve got your food and drinks sorted, let’s not forget all the essentials to enjoy them!

Wherever possible, we try to reduce waste so using a picnic basket with reusable plates and cutlery appeals to us. We bought this basket from Bed Bath N’ Table or Catch has a great range of picnic baskets (we also love the luxe picnic baskets at Amara).

If you will be using single use cutlery and plates, consider ditching plastic in favour of more environmentally-friendly plates and cups that are made from renewable materials.

It’s always a good idea to also pack:

  • a sharp knife
  • cheese knives (we mentioned these earlier but you can never be too safe!)
  • a bottle opener
  • napkins.
Picnic set for two

Add ambience

To make your picnic extra special, there are a few thoughtful additional things you could pack, like:

Other essentials

You’ve packed almost everything but here are some final essential things:

  • spare containers to put leftover foods
  • plastic bags to put dirty dishes for wash up and to take all of your rubbish with you
  • paper towel (or spare napkins)
  • sunscreen
  • hats (also helps to keep your hair out of your face if it’s windy)
  • bug spray (this Bushman bug spray smells divine).
Bushman bug spray

Shop picnic essentials

Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses
Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses
Picnic table
Picnic table
Grey cushion
Grey cushion
Green throw
Green throw
Picnic basket
Picnic basket
Wine glasses
Wine glasses

We summarised everything you need to pack for the perfect picnic into a handy checklist! Click on this image to download our free picnic packing PDF or save it to your Pinterest account so you can find it when you need it.

We hope this guide on how to pack the perfect picnic inspires you to get picnicking! Do you have any other tips on what to bring to a picnic?

Find more ideas to enjoy time with family and friends

Picnic in the Australian bush
How to pack for the perfect picnic

Photography by Thorson Photography

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links. This means that when you click on a link and purchase something from that site, we may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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