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7 Things You Should Always Bring to a Picnic, According to My Mom

As the longest winter ever finally comes to an end, I know I’m not the only one itching to get outside into the sunny weather and have a good old-fashioned picnic. Maybe it’s because of the iCarly reboot or the fact that I haven’t seen my loved ones in months, but this year has me feeling extra nostalgic for those long summer days when I was a kid. Back then, no one threw a backyard picnic like my mom. So, in the spirit of childhood memories and warm weather, here is my Mom’s list of picnic essentials.


The foundation of any great picnic is, of course, the blanket! Make sure to pack a blanket that is big enough and thick enough to provide a comfortable spot for you to sit and a clean place to spread out your picnic.

Hand wipes

Hand wipes are essential for any picnic. They’re great for cleaning up before and after your favorite finger foods, and they can also double as napkins for messy eaters.

Bug spray

Nothing ruins a picnic like uninvited guests—especially the little ones that bite. It’s always a good idea to apply bug spray before the picnic starts and to pack extra so that you can reapply throughout.


Sunscreen is a must for every day, but it’s especially important for days when you’re spending a lot of time in the sun. Along with creating a healthy barrier to keep your skin safe from the sun, sunscreen also prevents an uncomfortable sunburn that could put a damper on your picnic.

Trash bags

Trash bags are important to make sure that you don’t leave any trash behind. Plus, nothing is more annoying than trying to juggle every single wrapper, napkin and scraps of food on your way home (and my mom will be super disappointed in you if you litter).

Ice pack

As the weather gets warmer, ice packs are great to have at your picnic so that your food stays fresh all day. And, if you’re getting hot in the sun, hold your ice pack to the inside of your wrist for a quick cool down!

Bonus tip from my Dad: A Speaker

The point of any picnic is to have fun, and that starts with setting the mood! So throw on some of your favorite summer tunes and enjoy your perfect picnic.

Elizabeth is a junior at Pitt majoring in English Writing and French. When she's not writing for hc, Elizabeth likes cooking, spending time with friends, and exploring Pittsburgh's cultural side.
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