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Easy Summer Picnic Hacks

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2023
by AMAC, D.J. Wilson

Having a summer picnic at a park or a beach is a fabulous summer activity. Though undoubtedly fun, planning outdoor events can be a bit of a burden for the event planners. The key is to prepare ahead and keep things simple so that everyone can enjoy the day. For example, one must have an alternate plan for inclement weather – either a rain date or backup venue. Enjoy these easy summer picnic hacks:

  • LOCATION TIP: Pick the ideal spot and time for your picnic. The best places to have a picnic are in places that have scenic views or open areas for kids to run or for adults to gather and play games such as cornhole, frisbee, or softball and more. Nothing beats a nice shady spot out of direct sun. Not only does it provide comfort, but it helps to keep the cooler out of the sun’s intense heat. The ideal picnic spot will generally provide access to:
  • Convenient parking
  • Running water
  • Gazebos or shaded areas
  • Grills
  • Picnic tables
  • Open space for activities
  • Bathrooms
  • Ranger services
  • PICNIC TABLE HACK: Take fitted sheet along to cover picnic tables. If picnic tables are not provided, ask guests to bring their own portable folding chairs and/or blankets.
  • DAMP GROUND HACK: If the ground is damp, lay down a shower curtain as your base layer. Then add your blanket over top.
  • SUPPLY HACKS: Keep a ready-to-go and easy-to-carry backpack with needed supplies. Bring along sunscreen, insect repellent, a first-aid kit, bee sting treatment, tissues, hand sanitizer and more. Picnickers often keep a spray bottle filled with water and some peppermint essential oil. They use it around the perimeter of the picnic blanket to fend off insects and flies.
  • SUN/HEAT MANAGEMENT HACKS : To avoid overexposure to the sun which can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, avoid holding your picnic during the sun’s peak hours. This is generally between 10 AM and 4 PM. Rather, opt for an early morning or late day gathering. Or set up a portable cabana that can provide shade as needed. Also pack plenty of refreshing non-alcoholic beverages and stay hydrated. Pay particular attention to the comfort levels of the elderly, children, and pets.
  • FOOD SAFETY HACKS: Food is a focal point of an outdoor picnic. However, the goal is to keep food safe from bacteria that can easily grow in hot and humid weather. Bear in mind that certain foods do not do well in the heat. This includes cold cuts that need refrigeration, fresh salads, precut fruit, mayonnaise-based foods, and uncooked meat. Choose safer options. Please visit our link for two favorite picnic food recipes (link). Also, when transporting pre-cooked food, use a thermos to keep your food hot.
  • COOLER HACKS: For foods that require refrigeration, experts advise prepping your cooler the night before by filling it with ice to drop the temperature, keeping all foods continually refrigerated up until it’s time to leave, then packing the cooler full. Place ice and ice packs on top of the food as well as below. Place loose ice cubes in sealable bags to contain ice from melting. Always place the cooler in the coolest section of your vehicle and in the shade. Drinks should be easily accessible and in a separate cooler from food products. In extreme heat, consider freezing your water bottles. Then add them to the drink cooler. Make sure coolers have wheels so that when packed full you won’t have to carry them.
  • DESSERT HACKS: Keep it simple. Consider bringing desserts that require no refrigeration or utensils. Not only are they a breeze to pack, transport, and eat, but they are also crowd pleasers. Cookies are the answer! When packing them up in plastic containers, place parchment paper between layers to keep cookies from crumbling or sticking together. Tip: Avoid types of cookies like chocolate chip that melt easily. Looking for healthier options? Rather than precut fruit, bring whole apples or grapes. If you are slicing apples, keep the pieces together with a rubber band until ready to eat to prevent oxidation.


These easy summer picnic hacks are designed to troubleshoot common problems and enhance the picnicking experience!

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No-longer tolerant
No-longer tolerant
11 months ago

Two thumbs down for using “hacks” instead of “tips” or something less obnoxious.

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