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Spontaneous or planned – 6 tips for your first Picnic.

Welcome to Journey On.  Here we will share a few tips and tricks to getting there, adventurous ideas once you are there, and hopefully making memories that you will share with us after you have been there!!

It is fun to be spontaneous and just go, however, we have found that spontaneity does require some planning or at least some basic understanding of the journey and what is needed to have the spontaneous adventure!

1 - LOCATION

            A picnic can be a family fun event with a large squad, a gathering of just close family and friends, a small family outing or a romantic beach sunset picnic.  No matter the size of the squad, the location plays into many factors and considerations. For instance, if you have small children, older members of the family or those with limited physical capabilities attending, a strenuous hike to a beautiful mountain lookout might not be the best location for a picnic!

2 - GEAR

            A picnic basket and cooler or similar food containers for transporting food and drink are essentials.  If the location has a picnic table, bringing a vinyl tablecloth guarantees a clean surface.  If no tables are available or provided, you might want to have a picnic blanket or you might even consider bringing your own table and chairs! Plates, utensils, napkins (paper or reusable) and wet wipes are a must. Plus to bring along an extra roll of toilet paper might not be a bad idea. These are some of the basics but there are things to consider.

              If you’re preparing food, a barbecue grill or a camp stove and an outdoor canopy or beach umbrella for shade will come in handy! If your picnic goes on until sunset, you might consider flashlights for everyone or a couple of lanterns.

3 - FOOD & DRINK

                Now that you have decided on your location and who will be attending, let’s talk food!  You can prepare foods at home and it can be as simple as sandwiches or a favorite family meal. You can have a gourmet meal prepared outdoors or a fun barbecue with burgers and hotdogs.

                Let us consider some basics about food.  If the food needs to be kept at a certain temperature, ensure that it is in a sealed container that can be kept on ice or at minimum in the shade. When it is a large gathering, split up the food responsibilities. Allow everyone to participate in contributing their favorite dish. Just remember to keep a list so you do not end up making the same dessert!  Although, ALL DESSERTS, would be a fun picnic food theme and an outdoor nap after a sugar rush sounds great!

4 - FUN & GAMES

                Now that everyone has arrived, food and drink have been addressed, what next? How about horseshoes or volleyball? Any type of ball is fun or a frisbee! What about a kite?  For the less physically able, how about a deck of cards or a board game...backgammon is so fun!

                If your picnic is at the beach, consider bringing extra towels for when you leave. Baby powder helps remove all that sand before you get in the car.  Get out there, enjoy each other's company and create great memories!  

5 - THE PEST PLAN

                When outdoors always be prepared for ants, flies and/or mosquitoes.  Depending on the selected location, you may have uninvited guests that arrive empty-handed but leave with full bellies! Always be prepared with repellents that can be applied to the skin, sprayed in the air, or burned, such as sage or citronella.  Natural repellents such as mint, lavender, basil or rosemary are great alternatives to chemical repellents and can also act as table decor!

Always be prepared!                     

6 - LEAVE NO TRACE

                  The most important part of enjoying the great outdoors...LEAVE NO TRACE!!  Always take everything you brought in and leave only footprints. Bring extra trash bags in case there are no trash cans at your picnic location.  Keeping our great outdoors as pristine as possible is a wonderful goal!