J’adore Picnic Essentials

Ah, picnics! There’s truly nothing quite like unpacking a basket, cooler, or backpack of goodies in the embrace of nature! Mr. Misadventures and I picnic all the time! We find it is a great way to save money and explore local foods while traveling, but we also picnic at home!

When the sun is shining and the outdoors beckons, there's no better way to savor the day than with a well-planned picnic. Set up in a bustling city park, by a tranquil lakeside, or in the cozy confines of your backyard.

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What do you do when the weather doesn’t cooperate? Indoor picnics can be just as fun! Transform your living room or your car into a picnic spot with a spread of blankets and cushions. A change in scenery, even indoors, can turn an ordinary meal into a special occasion, offering the comfort of the outdoors without the worry of rain or wind.

All you need is a few essentials to elevate your picnic from a simple meal outdoors to an enchanting experience.

Pack Smart: Essential Picnic Gear

Transform a simple meal outdoors into a delightful experience with the right gear.

Picnic “Containers”

From chic, all-in-one picnic baskets that conjure the charm of a French countryside outing to ultra-light, compact accessories perfect for the adventurous trekker, the world of picnic gear is vast and varied.


SPARTER Portable Soft Cooler from Level8

Introducing the Level8 SPARTER Portable Soft Cooler: this cooler keeps items cold for up to 4-7 days! It holds 12 cans and 17 pounds of ice. The zipper ensures it's 100% leak-proof and airtight. The durable reusable ice pack is shock-proof and leak-proof. Its high-density, puncture-resistant shell protects against sharp objects, making it perfect for any picnic.

Blue & White Stripe Picnic Basket

Striped Picnic Basket

This sturdy yet charming woven willow picnic basket features a delightful striped lining that can be easily washed when those inevitable drips occur.

picnic backpack

Picnic Backpack

Includes a blanket, flatware, plates; wine glasses, a cheese knife, a wine opener, salt/pepper shaker, and a cutting board with an insulated cooler wine pouch.

Picnic Accessories

Outdoor Picnic Blanket Tote

A tote bag that unfolds to become a comfy, water-wicking outdoor blanket. Zips right back up to go! Love this!

Hydro Flask Insulated Food Jar

Fantastic for food prep! Insulated food jars keep food fresh (hot or cold!), no matter where the day takes you.

Reusable Travel Utensil Set

Love this portable cutlery set with chopsticks, a knife, a fork, and a spoon. We use them all the time.

Stainless Steel Sauce Cups

Don't forget the sauce! With leak-proof lids, these are perfect for dressing or dipping sauces!


Pack a small clean-up kit with supplies. It's important to leave the picnic spot as clean as—or cleaner than—you found it.

Reusable Paper Towels

Reduce your waste with these cotton flannel towels rolled onto a reusable cardboard paper towel roll.

Portable Trash Bag Holder

I love this! No excuses for not finding a trash bag, bring your own and stand it up with this holder.

Beeswax Food Wraps

The green alternative to plastic food storage. Keep your picnic leftovers fresh without plastics.

Battling those Insects

Picnics mean the outdoors (most of the time) and that's a battleground that requires an arsenal of bug sprays and insect repellents! Sure, those bugs can be annoying (and sometimes even scary!), but with a game plan and plenty of skills to combat them, there's no reason why insects should keep you from enjoying your picnic in nature.

The Lemon Citronella Line from Broken Top Brands

The Lemon Citronella Line from Broken Top Brands

Hello bugs, sorry to say, I hate you. I know you are good for the planet and all, but I am just not a fan! The most important item for your picnic has nothing to do with the food, it's bug repellent!

Don't let bugs invade your outdoor fun! Broken Top Brands has the perfect defense against annoying critters with their Lemon Citronella line including the Lemon Citronella Repellent Stick, an easy-to-apply stick that gives you full protection when enjoying nature.

You can keep the insects away by putting on key pulse points like wrists, neck & knees. Make sure to pack one before any of your future hikes or patio hangs – it'll repel those buggers in no time!

And P.S., they smell great!

I tried the entire line which includes:

Craft a Delectable Menu

Creating a menu that delights all senses is crucial to the success of any picnic. Here are some ideas that cater to a variety of tastes and are simple to prepare, serve, and enjoy in any picnic setting:

1. Finger Foods: Start with easy-to-eat finger foods. Mini sandwiches with a variety of fillings such as cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon, or classic ham and cheese are always a hit. Skewers with cherry tomatoes, cheese, and olives make for colorful and tasty treats.

2. Fresh Salads: Bring along a couple of refreshing salads. A vibrant Greek salad, a hearty pasta salad, or a quinoa salad with mixed veggies offers both variety and health benefits. Dressings can be transported in separate jars to keep everything crisp until it's time to eat.

3. Savory Selections: For a more substantial fare, consider portable options like empanadas, quiche slices, or savory puff pastry turnovers. These can be made ahead of time and are perfect for sharing.

French Charcuterie Board 1

4. Charcuterie Board: Assemble a charcuterie board for a touch of sophistication. Include a selection of cured meats, various cheeses, nuts, dried fruits, and a few types of crackers or artisan breads. This not only adds elegance to your picnic but also offers a rich mix of textures and flavors that guests can customize to their liking.

5. Sweet Delights: No picnic is complete without something sweet. Cupcakes, cookies, or brownies are always beloved choices. For a lighter option, a fruit salad with a touch of mint or a yogurt dip can refresh and satisfy.

6. Beverage Options: For drinks, homemade lemonade, iced tea, or fruit-infused water are excellent for hydration and enjoyment. If the picnic is an adult gathering, a chilled bottle of rosé or a craft beer selection could add a festive touch.

These menu items not only ensure that there's something for everyone but also keep well in picnic conditions, making them ideal for a hassle-free and delicious outdoor meal.

Andi watching the baseball game from her Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel room
Watching the Charlotte Knights warm up with my Level8 SPARTER Portable Soft Cooler and champagne – bien sûr!

With these tips in mind, you're well on your way to hosting memorable picnics that you and your companions will cherish. Remember, the essence of a great picnic lies in the simplicity of enjoying nature’s bounty amidst good company and delightful food. So, pack up your basket, step outside, and enjoy the splendid simplicity of dining al fresco!

How about you? Do you have a favorite picnic essential that you would like to share? Do tell!

Don't forget to pin this for later!

picnic setting

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  1. Amber Myers says:

    This is such an awesome list. I haven’t been on a picnic in ages and should go on one.

  2. Great article! Your picnic essentials list is fantastic, covering everything from gear to menu ideas. The tips for dealing with insects and the emphasis on cleanup are especially helpful. This guide makes planning a perfect picnic easy and enjoyable. Thanks for the wonderful recommendations!

  3. tara pittman says:

    A picnic sounds like a great option for meals when traveling. These items look great for transporting the food.

  4. I’m loving all these great picnic ideas. I especially love the striped picnic basket. You can’t have a picnic without a basket.

  5. I haven’t been on a picnic in a long time, and reading this post made me really excited to plan for a picnic with my husband and daughter. Thank you for all of the ideas and recommendations!

  6. Yes, bring a quinoa salad and a pasta salad!! Two crowd pleasers!!

  7. Thank you so much for the great information about J’adore Picnic Essentials, Andi! Your tips and product recommendations are super helpful. I appreciate all the practical advice. Looking forward to trying out some of these ideas on our next outing!

  8. Melanie E says:

    Loving the picnic essential suggestions. A charcuterie board can be a nice, easy option and always goes down with my guests. Of course, this is followed by something sweet.

  9. Those are some great points to keep in mind when going on a picnic and important as well. It’s better to prepare everything beforehand to avoid future problems.

  10. Now that the weather has cooled off for a few days a picnic sounds great! I must say your picnic essentials list is on point. Love this post.

  11. I love all the suggestions; I can see you having a picnic with my boys. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great list of essentials! I would love to do some picnics this summer with my teens and husband.

  13. So many great ideas here! I want one of those STARTER portable coolers!