Gear Guide: Ultimate picnic packing list

gear guide ultimate picnic packing list picnic1

The weather is changing, and if you live in a temperate climate, cherry blossoms are probably falling like snowflakes. Spring is the perfect time to take your lady, your family, or hey, even some guy friends, on a picnic in the outdoors. The air is fresh and clean, and it’s not hot enough yet to attract hoards of bugs to your spread. Follow our carefully-planned packing list and whoever you bring along will be impressed by your picnic gear and clever foresight.

Make sure to check out our new weekly gear guides with tech-inspired packing lists for your next adventure, like music festivals, cruises and camping trips.

Clockwise from top left

Picnic basket or backpack

If you buy a backpack or basket specifically to take on picnics, chances are it will come with everything you need to dine al fresco for either two or four people. Sure, you could bring your own paper plates and plastic utensils, but if you already have a basket or bag ready, you will have all of that taken care of with places to store everything without making a mess. It will also make it easier if you are feeling spontaneous one day. This classic-looking Picnic Backpack from Pendleton ($198) looks great and has two side wine-cooler pockets and an insulated food compartment, as well as complete dining service for four people.


If you are taking the time to plan a picnic, chances are it is either a beautiful day or you are in a beautiful and scenic location, so you’re going to want a camera either way. If you are taking a romantic interest, why not capture your memories and have some fun documenting your day. A micro four-thirds camera like the Olympus E-PL2 ($599) will give you a lot of the camera quality of a DSLR without the extra bulk and difficult manual settings. This camera from Olympus takes great photos, is easy to use, and has tons of built-in effects that make for fun experimenting with friends.

Light jacket

Even if it’s a beautiful sunny day, you never know when the weather might change for the worse. Show your date you have style and are prepared with a lightweight cotton or twill casual jacket like this Bomber Jacket by Gant ($368) or this Fireman’s Jacket from J.Crew ($198). Navy keeps things classic but still casual. Bonus points if it rains or gets cold and you get to play the knight in shining armor with a jacket to the rescue.


Your picnic will be even more enjoyable if you can catch some rays while you relax. Keep the classic aesthetic going with a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers ($139) in tortoise shell.

Beer koozie

If beer is your beverage of choice for the day, you might want something to keep your can or bottle (we’d suggest spicing things up with a new microbrew to taste) crisp and cold. This Goldman Leather Koozie from Wheelmen & Co. ($25) will keep your hands comfortable and your beer cold, all the while making you look very classy. What’s not to love?

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