Pack The Perfect Picnic Basket

2 March 2016

South Africans are blessed with sunny summers, mild winters (especially along the KZN Coast and the Garden Route) and beautiful scenery. When you imagine our beautiful beaches, the lovely mountains and the grassy veld, it is hard to not think about having a fun-filled picnic with your friends and family.

We’ve compiled a list of items to pack on your next picnic as well as some inspiring snack ideas. Get your loved ones together, go on a hike, visit the beach or just have a laid back day in your own garden around your picnic basket.

Don’t forget to pack these handy picnic must-haves:

  • Picnic blanket: the bigger the better!
  • Wet wipes: to keep sticky hands and sticky faces fresh and clean.
  • Plates: paper plates will save you doing the dishes, but colourful melamine plates will add a dash of colour.
  • Glasses / plastic tumblers: you can even personalize each with a sticker so that everyone holds onto their cup for the day.
  • Serving utensils and forks: most picnic food can be enjoyed by hand or with a fork, but don’t forget serving spoons.
  • Frozen ice packs: this will help to keep drinks cool and prevent your food from going off.
  • Trash bags: this will help with a quick and easy clean up and ensure that you leave your picnic spot the way you found it.
  • Protection from the sun: pack the sunscreen, a hat or umbrella to protect yourself from the harmful rays.
  • First aid kit: nothing can spoil a day like a sting, a cut or a grazed knee. These are easily treatable and your day can go on without a hitch if you have the necessary items on hand.

The best part about a picnic is of course the snacks. After a day of swimming, hiking, laughing and playing everybody will be too happy when it comes to the food. Here are a few easy to prepare picnic treats:

  • Fried chicken: homemade or bought – fried chicken is a firm family favourite. If you’re health conscience you can of course go for a sticky marinade or zesty, grilled option.
  • Fresh salad: try something fresh and easy like sliced tomatoes, whole kernel corn, feta and baby spinach or go for a coleslaw or potato salad. If you’re using mayonnaise, remember to keep it cold and out of the sun.
  • Guacamole and nachos: This is a great snack because it will keep everybody fuelled and the avo is great for the whole family.
  • Homemade iced tea: If you’re worried about all the sugar in shop-bought drinks, make a big pitcher of iced tea and control the amount of sugar you put it.
  • Braai: Keep it simple and braai sausages, sosaties and wors. Serve it with fresh bread rolls or salad.
  • Sandwiches: Get really creative with your toppings. How about turkey or roasted vegetables? Get inspired by Italy and use tomato and mozzarella on a baguette. You can even swop bread for wraps or pitas to make for a self-contained, no-mess lunch.