Tips for the Perfect Picnic

Tips and food ideas for your next picnic 

It’s National Picnic Week 16th June – 25th June, and outside the barbecue, a picnic is one of the outdoor families greatest friends. In this article we’ve pulled together some tips for a successful picnic, alongside some simple recipes that you can make at home and take with you. It doesn’t have to be all soggy sandwiches!

Tips for a successful picnic

1. Plan your food
It seems simple, but how often do you just pick up everything that says ‘ready to eat’ on it in a rush at the local supermarket and bung it in your basket? Plan food that goes well together and you’ll have more chance of it all being eaten, which means you won’t have to carry it back.

2. Keep it light
Somebody always has to carry the picnic, so keep it light as many great picnic spots involve a little walking to get there. Nobody wants to struggle with a heavy basket or coolbox. Opt for paper plates/plastic cutlery over pretty crockery.

3. Prepare food at home, leave only serving for the picnic
A properly planned picnic involves proper preparation. Make it so all you need to do on arrival is to place the foods out on your blanket for people to pick at. Preparing the food before your trip means you’re far more likely to take only what you need.

4. Keep it cool
A coolbox is a great addition to any picnic set, most foods you are likely to take on a picnic are served cool and benefit from the extra cooling on the way to your location. If you’re not eating near your car, then the chances are you’ll be taking a non-electric (or passive) coolbox. It’s important to remember these boxes are not naturally cool, and will not actively cool your food. To get the best out of them, you’ll need some pre-frozen ice blocks to put in around your food, alternatively you could freeze a bottle of water and use that in the same way.

5. Wet wipes / Bin bags
Wet wipes are an obvious plus in these situations for messy hands/faces and for wiping down plates after. It’s important that you take a bin bag and properly dispose of any rubbish you may have with you.

6. Keep bugs at bay
Wasps may be the great enemy of the summer, but there are steps you can take to reduce the chance of bugs ruining your picnic. Many home stores sell mason jars with lids/straws now – these are ideal for kids drinks (as they’re usually drinking something quite sweet that attracts bugs) it means bugs can’t get in, and as another plus point, there’s probably less chance of spillage. If at all possible, it’s better to avoid bringing anything sweet and sticky.

7. Think outside the sandwich
Is it really a picnic without sandwiches? Maybe not, but if you’re looking for a great alternative. Why not Create a simple salad or pasta salad in a small screw top jar. It’s great for keeping the food inside fresh, and you can eat straight out of it when you arrive. Simple!

8. Bring something to cut on
If you’re not cutting sandwiches, cheese, cakes etc at home before your trip – make sure you bring a solid surface to cut on. While paper plates may be light to carry, they don’t make for a very good chopping board.

Picnic recipes you can prepare at home

The following recipes are part of the GO Outdoors online recipe hub, which you can visit here.

1. Superfood Berry Breakfast Smoothie

2. Adventurers Overnight Oats

3. High Fibre Malty Breakfast Bars

4. BBQ Scotch Eggs (Cook at home)

5. Lemon Tarragon Chicken Salad

6. No Cook Coconut Almond Trail Cookies

7. Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

8. Acai Berry & Chia Seed Pudding

9. No Cook Noodle Salad

10. Horseradish Mushroom Jerky

11. Pumpkin Hummus

12. Raw Raspberry Chia Jam

13. Puffed Quinoa & Peanut Butter Bars

14. Sorrel Drop Scones

15. Ants on a Log


These recipes & more can be found on our camping recipe hub, or in our FREE to download camping recipe books.


Products to think about

At GO Outdoors, we’ve got plenty in stock to help make your picnic even better. Check out some of these recommended products:

Hi Gear 2 Person Picnic Set

Ideal for a romantic 2 person picnic, all you need in a handy little carry bag. Just bring your own food! A 4 person set is also available.


Hi Gear Picnic Basket with Cooler

When picnic basket meets cooler, you’re on to a winner. Traditional picnic baskets may look the part, but are often quite cumbersome. This picnic basket will help keep your food fresh and cool. Alternate colours available.


Freedom Trail Fleece Picnic Rug

With a picnic blanket you’re looking for comfort to sit on, and a waterproof backing so that it doesn’t soak up the moisture from the ground below. This blanket offers both of those things for a low price. Alternative colour available.


Quest Can Caddy

Ideal for storing cans so that they don’t get knocked over easily, there’s even a hook for an empty cup.


Freedom Trail Resin Top Table

A great flat surface for drinks, spillable bowls, or even for preparing.


Freedom Trail Anywhere Chair

If you’re looking for a chair, but don’t want to sit towering over the picnic blanket, then the Freedom Trail Anywhere chair is ideal. It has a handy back support so that you get that same chair support, without having to be off the ground.