How to Make a Picnic Kit for Your Home or Car

by Cheri Sicard

Sometimes, the best time for a picnic is right now. If you're not prepared, valuable picnicking opportunities could be passing you by. Even as we speak!
By creating a picnic kit, you'll always be ready. In fact, it's a good idea to make two, one for the home and one for the car. Just add a small cooler of food -- a quick trip to the deli for some sandwich fixings and some fruit will do in a pinch, and you're ready to go in minutes.

Get creative with your picnic kits as they make wonderful gifts. Whether it's a larger sized basket for home or car, or the "Bare Essentials Picnic Travel Kit" I've designed to be tucked in a suitcase or backpack.

Comprehensive Picnic Kit for Home or Car
First, choose a container that suits the personality of the person who will be using the kit. It might be a traditional basket, a large canvass bag, or even a small backpack.

Next, use the list below as a guideline for what to keep in your kit. Maybe you won't need all of the items, these are good essentials to have on hand so you'll always be prepared for spur of the moment picnics.

Utensils, forks, knives, spoons, plates -- Coleman (the camping folks) make a very nice, portable service for 4, or use some from home or even paper plates and
plastic cutlery.

Non-perishable foods -- dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, nuts, etc.

Beverages - bottled water, juice boxes, etc.

A corkscrew and can opener or better yet, multi-tooled Swiss Army knife.

Salt and pepper, either small shakers or disposable packets

Small packets of condiments such as mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise

Napkins and Paper Towels

Matches and possibly a candle (Use caution and make sure candles for picnics are enclosed so they can't blow over and start a fire, and never use in a high fire danger area.)

A large trash bag to clean up the mess later

A small plastic bag containing sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, band-aids, wet naps and a bandana

A blanket or sheet to spread the whole thing out, should you need or want to sit on the ground

If you bring your dog along, don't forget a bowl, water and food for the pooch

You might also want to pack some fun extras, depending on the amount of room in your container:
single use camera
inflatable beach ball
small bottle of bubble mix
deck of cards, crossword puzzle book, etc.

Cheri Sicard is the editor of Fabulous, a comprehensive online cooking community. She is single and lives in Los Angeles.