15 Cool Picnic Essentials Slideshow

1. Picnic Backpacks

Picnic Fun

Step aside fully stocked hampers of yesteryear and say hello to the picnic set of today: picnic backpacks. This stocked bag carries all the essentials for a picnic for four. Have younger kids who want to help out like the big kids? Give them their own backpack (left) equipped with kid-sized plates and utensils for three. Taking a picnic lunch on a hike has never been so easy.

2. Portable Grill

Picnic Fun

Picnicking in the park with friends? There is no need to use that dingy park grill or scratch the hot dogs and burgers from the menu if you’re equipped with this tote. It combines a grill, cooler, and grilling tools all in one — it’s perfect for tailgating, too.

3. Squishy Bowls

Guyot Designs

When packing for a picnic, shatter-resistant, compact bowls are the best thing to have. These silicone squishy bowls are great for serving cocktail nuts, salsas, even a side salad for two at your next outdoor outing. (You can also use them to eat your morning oatmeal or cereal when camping.)

4. Nesting Wine Goblets

GSI Outdoors

Just because you’re picnicking doesn’t mean you can’t do it with style. Whether you’re hiking with a bottle of wine for a romantic sunset meal, or bringing bubbly into the park for an afternoon picnic shower with friends, leave the plastic glasses at home and instead grab some of these nesting wine goblets. (You might want some of these, too.)

5. Reusable (and Stylish) Utensils

Merchant no. 4

Forget the spork. If you’re a serious picnicker, check out this Acacia wood utensil set. Made of renewable materials, this reusable kit comes with its own carrying case and has one of our editors excited for the first picnic of the season. It's perfect to use when sharing a picnic for two

6. Pie Basket

Peterboro Baskets

No meal is complete without dessert, so why not bake two pies (or brownie puddings) and bring them along on your next outdoor adventure in this classic woven pie basket? A little stand inside ensures that the contents are safe, and a handy cover prevents hungry fingers from making their way inside before dinner. 

7. Wine Bottle Picnic Set

Picnic Fun

Eager to picnic this summer, but don’t want to spend the afternoon preparing dishes to pack in a basket or cooler? Going on a picnic doesn’t have to involve an elaborate meal. With this stocked wine bottle picnic kit, all you need is a bottle of your favorite wine and maybe a baguette, some grapes, and a hunk of cheese for an easily portable snack (don't forget the knife, of course). It also makes a great Father’s Day gift for the wine-loving dad.

8. Wine Glass Holders

Crate and Barrel

If you like to picnic in style (with a glass of wine) like we do, you have probably already knocked over your fair share of glasses in the grass (or worse, in the sand). Solve the problem with a set or two of these stemware holders that are easy to stick in the ground. We’ll definitely be bringing these along on our annual beach cookout.

9. Picnic Without A Basket

Target

Packing leftovers for lunch in the park with co-workers? There is no need for a picnic basket or tote if you have this handy travel pack. Three layers of storage offer multiple compartments, perfect for chips and salsa as a snack, a refreshing watermelon salad, and cheesy quesadillas. All you need is a blanket and a fork.

10. Collapsible Basket

Reisenthel

The next time you're picknicking, leave the wicker hamper at home. This insulated collapsible basket with zip cover (or it's non-insulated cousin) is the modern-day solution to the baskets of our parents' generation. It’s durable and washable, in the event that something does spill. Plus, it’s great to bring along on all your trips to the farmers’ market.

11. Sushi on a Picnic

Black + Blum

This purse-sized bento box (left) is perfect for carrying a couple of sushi rolls (and a separate container for soy sauce) along on your next picnic. Or, if you’d rather tote that gazpacho (without spilling it, of course), this stacking lunch pot will let you have your soup and pasta salad (or fruit crisp), too.

12. Picnic Table (in a Bag)

Crate and Barrel

Whether you’re in the park or at the beach, having a picnic doesn’t mean you have to eat off the ground. This durable wooden table fits into a bag the size of a rolled-up yoga mat and assembles in minutes. It's perfect to use as the picnic buffet table or bar.

13. Collapsible Bowl

The Pampered Chef

We look forward to serving lots of green salads all summer long, but going on a picnic doesn’t mean you have to leave them at home thanks to this collapsible salad bowl. Don’t want to let bugs get into the greens while setting up and serving? Customize your own salad bowl cover with this easy how-to.

14. Portable Dip Tray

Bed Bath & Beyond

If can’t live without your potato chips with crack dip when enjoying your beer, or love snacking on vegetable crudités with ranch dip, you’ll find this portable dip tray (complete with a built-in ice pack in the top) indispensible on all your summer picnic adventures.

15. Faux Candles

Oxo

A picnic in the evening wouldn’t be complete without candlelight. But during the summer, the use of real candles and lanterns is often forbidden when the fire risk is high. That’s why we love these rechargeable candle-like lights that give off a subtle orange glow and subtly flicker like a real-life candle flame.