These 10 beach picnic essentials make packing up a last minute picnic easy, fun and as sand-free as possible.
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Summer is in full swing, let’s go to the beach! It’s the perfect time of year to drop everything, pack up a picnic and head out to the beach. Nothing says summer like a picnic at the beach, but the addition of sand, water and wind can make packing for it a bit tricky.
So I’ll leave the basics like sunglasses, sunscreen and bathing suits up to you and offer instead my must-haves for a picnic on the sand. Being properly prepared makes all the difference at the beach and so I’ve picked out for you my essential beach picnic supplies. It’s a streamlined list of basics that will hopefully make packing up a last minute picnic easy, fun and as sand-free as possible.
Weighing only 4.5 pounds this Portable Beach Tent has a 1 minute set up time, is water resistant and has UPF 50+ sun protection to shield you and your food from the sun’s rays and occasional gust of wind.
This genius sand-free beach mat allows any stray sand to fall through the fabric without coming back up, which comes in handy for keeping sand far away from your food. The mat also rolls up tight for transporting and has a convenient carrying handle.
The ice packs are built into the walls of this smart cooler bag so there’s no need for separate ice or gel packs, you just fold it, freeze it and in the morning it will be ready to fill. The top has a zip closure to lock in the cold and a shoulder strap to make it easy to carry.
This nesting lunch container set includes 2 separate compartments plus a smaller nesting snack container which can be packed inside the others or separately. Leak-proof and made from non-toxic stainless steel and silicone they’re the ideal way to transport food to the beach. Each person gets their own re-sealable box which means not having to deal with the wind blowing sand into open containers and plates while you’re picnicking.
Lightweight, strong and made from sustainable materials this Bamboo utensil set come in its own handy pouch for packing so you’ll never need to use plastic forks and knives again.
This sleek bottle keeps beverages cold for over 25 hours. It has a no-leak threaded screw top, stainless steel interior and a non-slip bottom. If you prefer to drink out of glasses then these triple-insulated stemless glasses work for everything from wine to water and have a spill resistant lid and silicone bottom to prevent sliding.
Give paper napkins the boot and use Turkish Tea Towels instead. Larger than a napkin, they cover more of your lap and are more absorbent for wiping up any spills or accidents. Get a set in some pretty summery colors. (Bonus, they get softer and more absorbent with every wash.)
While you’re at it also get a large one to sit on or wrap around your shoulders. You can never have too many of these, they’re great for the beach, the pool or getting out of the shower and can double as a wrap when you need one.
Last but not least a pack of sanitizing hand wipes makes it easy to wash up before eating and wipe up any sticky messes afterwards.
P.S. If you need some ideas for food to take to the beach, then check out these recipes.
Sylvie Shirazi is the recipe developer and food photographer behind Gourmande in the Kitchen. For the last 10 years she's been making eating more healthfully easy and accessible with gluten-free, grain-free, paleo and vegan recipes that are free from processed ingredients.