Six top picnic tips and essential kit

Karen Blixen, author of Out of Africa, once said in a letter home “The English have enough enthusiasm to overcome all obstacles where picnics are concerned”. However, these tips and essential kit list might help make things a little easier too.

Six top picnic tips and essential kit

1. Use cool bags with proper insulation. Take two or three and pack them with lots of ice blocks. We recommend rucksack-style cool bags, especially if you’re walking to your magic spot.

2. Freeze not-quite-full plastic bottles of soft drink so they double up as ice packs and melt slowly on the journey.

3. Vacuum flasks are good for keeping drinks cool as well as hot. Buy a wide, short one, too, and pack it with ice for drinks.

4. Wrap food in a double layer of foil to help keep it cool while you’re en route.

5. Bottles of wine and cold drinks stay cool propped up securely in a river or the shallows on the seashore.

6. You can get blankets with a plastic layer underneath that stops damp seeping through.

And don’t forget to pack…

• A sharp knife – you always need one.
• Two golfing umbrellas – they double as parasols if it’s sunny rather than drizzly.
• A citronella candle to ward off mozzies or midges if you’re eating near dusk.
• A wasp trap if it’s late July/August, or your meal will be plagued.
• Battery-operated fairy lights to weave inside your umbrella if you’re picnicking into the night.
• The weather being what it is in the UK, it’s always good to bring extra socks and a jumper.

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