Once you begin an outdoor adventure, you want to make sure the fun lasts. Whether it’s a day on the beach, in the mountains, or by a lake, having to cut your trip short because everyone is hungry isn’t the ideal outcome. Instead of having to quit or pause your activity, consider extending your outdoor adventure by packing a picnic. It can provide an energizing break from the activities, but it doesn’t have to complete remove you from your adventure.
If you aren’t sure what makes a great picnic, here are some tips to get you started.
Start with Portability
Some outdoor adventures have you trekking for miles while others allow you to work from a makeshift base camp. How portable your picnic needs to be is often dependent on those simple factors. For example, a day at the beach may involve a short walk, but then you get to setup for a few hours before heading home. On those days, you can bring the best beach cooler you can find with drinks and food without having to be overly concerned about the weight.
In contrast, a day spent hiking a trail could have you mostly on the move all day, and that is likely no place for a cooler full of ice, drinks, and food. For those situations, portability is key. You may want to bring a series of snacks that are easy to carry or invest in a picnic basket that can be worn as a backpack. And, in either case, you’ll need to consider the overall weight.
Determine the Size of the Meal
There is a bit of a difference when it comes to packing some snacks and carrying a full meal. The amount of food and drink you will need to pack depends on if you intend to have lunch on during your outdoor adventure or if you just want to tide yourself over until you head home.
If you only want to have some light refreshments, then you can look for items that come in snack size or are easy to seal. Additionally, you might prefer to choose foods and drinks that don’t require refrigeration, so you can avoid needing a cooler.
However, if you are thinking of having a meal, then you may need to pack something more substantial. Additionally, you might want to consider options that can help you transport food that needs to be kept a particular temperature. For example, a small cooler bag may fit into a larger backpack, or soup can be kept in a thermos designed to maintain warmth.
Don’t Assume You Can Have a Fire
Some people like the idea of cooking over a fire when they are in the great outdoors, but it is important to remember that there are laws regarding having open fires in places like parks and beaches. In some cases you may have access to public grills, allowing you to cook in designated locations. Or, if there isn’t a burn ban in place, you may be able to have a small campfire (just make sure you have a way to make sure it is completely out when you’re done). But, if there is a ban in effect, then you need to abide by the rules.
Burn bans are only put in place when the risk of fire is high. By lighting a fire under unfavorable conditions, you risk the fire spreading and damaging the area, or maybe even costing people their homes or lives. And it simply isn’t worth the risk just so you can have a hotdog.
Instead, check into the rules and plan your meals accordingly. There are a lot of scrumptious options available, so hold off on cooking over a fire until the ban is lifted.