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25 Things to Pack for Every Picnic

In addition to great food and a fabulous spot, you'll want a few other items to guarantee picnicking success. Don't forget to pack these essential things to bring to a picnic.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

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GCI Wilderness Reclinervia

Portable Chairs

If you want to plan the perfect picnic, first thing’s first: Bring something comfortable to sit on! We love this folding chair because it reclines and has a built-in pillow.

Why it made our list: A built-in beverage holder keeps your cold one close by.

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Luxury Picnic Blanket

If sitting on the ground is more your style, do it right with a luxury picnic blanket. It’s comfortable and practical, made with a durable nylon backing.

Why it made our list: The roll-up design makes this blanket easy to carry.

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54-Quart Steel Belted Coolervia

54-Quart Steel Belted Cooler

Keep your picnic food safe and cold with a high-capacity, heavy-duty cooler. You can fit up to 85 cans in this bad boy, and it’s rated to keep ice frozen for four days in temperatures as high as 90°F!

Why it made our list: We love the retro-inspired design!

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Backpack coolervia

Insulated Backpack

You don’t need a cooler to have a great picnic! Picnic with hands-free convenience by packing everything into this insulated backpack.

Why it made our list: It has plenty of pockets to store your plates and flatware, too.

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Plastic Beverage Tubvia

Plastic Beverage Tub

This beverage tub will come in handy for large picnics, family gatherings or backyard barbecues. It’s large enough to hold drinks for a crowd, and the handles make the lightweight plastic easy to carry.

Why it made our list: The bright blue color will add a pop of cheer to your picnic.

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Traveling Slow Cookervia

Traveling Slow Cooker

OK, this is pretty cool: a slow cooker that looks and travels like a cooler? The lid even seals when the handle is in place! Talk about a great opportunity to whip up one of our most-shared slow-cooker recipes and take it on the road.

Why it made our list: Even though it has nearly 400 reviews, this cooker has a nearly perfect rating.

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All-Clad Stainless Steel Covered Lasagna Panvia

Lidded Lasagna Pan

You can use a regular ol’ casserole dish, or you can picnic in style with this lidded pan. It’ll be perfect for making one of Grandma’s favorite casseroles.

Why it made our list: You’ll use this beauty to keep dishes warm on your holiday table, too.

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Oniva® by Anthology Potluck Casserole Totevia

Casserole Carrier

Don’t get caught serving a cold casserole at your next picnic! This carrier not only protects its contents from the elements, but it also keeps your dish warm for longer.

Why it made our list: A built-in window slot makes it easy to identify your dish or list out any allergens.

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Kate Spade New York Serve and Store Bowlsvia

Kate Spade New York Serve and Store Bowls

Forget use-and-toss plastic ware: Serve your food in these patterned all-in-one bowls instead. They double as a storage container; just lid ’em up and they won’t spill in the car. When you’re ready to serve, pop off the lids and place them directly on the table.

Why it made our list: The quirky pattern is simple yet chic.

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Insulated Stainless Steel Stemless Cupvia

Insulated Stainless Steel Stemless Cup

There’s so much to love about these insulated cups! They’ll keep your drinks cold for up to nine hours, or hot for as long as three. They’re designed for wine but, since they have a lid, you can use them for the kiddo’s drinks, too.

Why it made our list: They come in SO many fun colors.

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Cocktail Tumblersvia

Cocktail Tumblers

These are our favorite cups for enjoying mocktails and cocktails in the great outdoors. They’re stylish and sleek, and their large capacity makes them functional for a variety of beverages.

Why it made our list: Pick up a set of four instead of choosing disposable plastic.

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Reusable Sandwich Wraps

Skip the single-use plastic bags and stash your sandwiches in Z wraps, instead. This sustainable option is made from beeswax and can hold anything from fresh fruit to a loaf of bread.

Why it made our list: We love the cute pattern, too!

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Paper Hot Dog Traysvia

Paper Hot Dog Trays

For a quick and easy way to serve up picnic food, look to these nostalgically designed hot dog trays. They’ll remind you of being at a ball game no matter where you are!

Why it made our list: They cost less than $3!

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4pc Heavy-Duty Multi-Colored Outdoor Drink Holders - Sunnydaze Decorvia

Outdoor Drink Holders

Some of my favorite lawn chairs don’t have a drink holder, so these stakes always come in handy! Set them up next to your chair, the grill or to hold your drink while you’re playing your favorite outdoor games.

Why it made our list: The bright color scheme is perfect for outdoor parties.

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Blue paper straws with starsvia

Pinstripe Paper Straws

Skip the plastic this year and use paper straws instead! In addition to the navy blue star pattern, they also have red- and yellow-stripped straws.

Why it made our list: Each pack is biodegradable.

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bambu Veneerware Organic Bamboo Sporks, 24-Packvia

Bamboo Sporks

We absolutely love this bamboo alternative to taking our heavy cutlery on a picnic. It’s lightweight but durable, so it won’t snap under pressure like plastic forks. Plus, it happens to be totally adorable, too!

Why it made our list: The mini size is perfect for little hands.

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Galvanized Flatware Caddyvia

Galvanized Flatware Caddy

If you’re packing a picnic for a crowd, you’ll want a caddy to organize your flatware and napkins. The large slots make it easy to fit additional items like homemade condiments or salt and pepper shakers, too!

Why it made our list: The galvanized iron caddy will last for years.

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Bluetooth Speakervia

Bluetooth Speaker

A picnic’s not a picnic without some good tunes! This Bluetooth speaker can connect to two smartphones or tablets, and it packs an impressive amount of sound for its small size.

Why it made our list: You’ll get up to 12 hours of playtime out of a single charge.

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Mr. Bar-B-Q Bug Zappervia

Handheld Bug Zapper

Out-of-control bugs can quickly ruin a perfect picnic. Skip the chemical sprays and kill bugs on contact with this fancied-up version of a bug swatter.

Why it made our list: These zappers are as fun to use as they are effective.

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Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreenvia

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen

While we have some great homemade options for sunburn relief, I think we can all agree we’d rather not get there in the first place! This mineral-based sunscreen uses zinc oxide to protect your body from the sun’s powerful UV rays.

Why it made our list: It’s dermatologist recommended.

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O2 Cool Reverse Trigger Misting Fanvia

Misting Fan

Cool down with a battery-powered misting fan. Just add ice water and enjoy up to 1,000 mist sprays.

Why it made our list: You can take this handy gadget anywhere.

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Red Stripe Paper Table Runnervia

Paper Table Runner

If you don’t feel like dragging out the linen tablecloth, fancy up your picnic table with this paper table runner. The bold red and white stripes are perfect for summer!

Why it made our list: It’s reminiscent of Old Glory!

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Picnic Tablecloth Weightsvia

Picnic Tablecloth Weights

No one wants the tablecloth to blow away in the middle of the picnic! Weigh it down with these adorable, little Red Solo Cup weights.

Why it made our list: They’ll get the conversation started, that’s for sure!

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Americana Bamboo Torchvia

Americana Bamboo Torch

Light up your picnic area with festive bamboo torches. If you fill them up with Bitefighter Torch Fuel, they’ll also keep the mosquitoes away!

Why it made our list: We love the star-spangled design.

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American Flag Sunglassesvia

American Flag Sunglasses

These plastic sunglasses are the perfect way to protect your eyes in patriotic style. They’re UVA and UVB rated, and they have that classic look that never gets old.

Why it made our list: Priced at under $9, you can buy a pair for everyone in the fam.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.