Spring is in the air. The fields have burst forth with colorful bouquets of flowers, trees are fully-leaved and frame the piercing blue sky, and the brooks babble loudly – pregnant with recent rains.
One can’t help but want to go jaunting through the burgeoning wild – which is the fancy way of saying take an outside stroll.
And if on a stroll through the wild in tepid weather, why not pack a picnic lunch? But what to pack to make your picnic successful?
Now, packing for a park with a grill is one thing – you need all the materials to cook and prep your food. But when among the wild, a successful picnic is about prepping beforehand and ensuring what you have made is still delicious when you finally dine.
Also, depending upon the distance of the jaunt, it’s about reducing the weight in your cooler or insulated packs.
So, we put together five tips for those that feel the wild warmly calling them into its colorful embrace.
Separate the warm and cool foods. This is basic, but important. Find a way to keep the cool and warm foods separated. If you have the room, take two coolers, one for the hot foods and one for the cool foods. For the warm cooler, add paper towels if there are any gaps to help keep the foods insulated. Also, wrap your warm foods in foil.
Try steak wraps. One great item to pack for a picnic is a steak wrap. Bread often runs the risk of becoming soggy, but a wrap is easier to keep fresh and intact. Why steak? If you have to ask, you’ll never know.
Pack frozen bottles of water. Instead of ice packs, freeze a few bottles of water and throw those into the cooler. Once the bottles of water thaw, you can just drink them. This will also reduce the weight you have to carry post picnic.
Pack fun drinks in canning jars. If you want to add a little flare to your picnic, create custom drinks in canning jars. Put tea in 16oz canning jars and add a large slice of lemon or a fresh spearmint leaf to each jar. You can also do smoothies or other mixed drinks.
Avoid the picnic black list. We’ve all been there. We have a specific craving, and we convince ourselves that we can pack foods for a picnic that we just shouldn’t. Avoid things like ice cream, pudding, or cakes. These things are too difficult to maintain at the correct temperature or to keep from becoming broken up or disturbed during transport.
And, you’re off. Soon you’ll be basking in that beautiful spring sun and in the glow of victoriously packing the perfect picnic.