July is ‘Picnic Month’ and with the summer holidays looming what better way to enjoy the great outdoors than packing a picnic and taking off somewhere picturesque for a walk and a relaxing brunch, lunch or afternoon tea? Imagine the scene, sat outside, blanket spread out and you realise you’ve forgotten the plates! Nightmare! Some things you’ll forget and some things you won’t realise you’ll need until you need them! Here’s our handy checklist of items to bring with you so that you have every eventuality covered! 1. SUNSCREEN Wishful thinking considering the weather we’ve had so far this summer but you never know. While lunching under an umbrella or tree can reduce the impact of UV rays, skin damage is still possible in the shade. 2. BABY WIPES Even if you’re without kids, baby wipes are a godsend for all those unforeseen spills and sticky hands. While hand sanitizer also kills off bacteria, wet wipes can remove dirt and stains. 3. BUG SPRAY Reduce the chances of insect bites by taking along and liberally applying bug spray. Remember to apply after sunscreen. 4. BLANKET It’s easy to opt for picnic destinations that have chairs or tables provided, but on a beautiful day, seating might be limited. Don’t forget to bring along a blanket for both seating and spreading your food out on. 5. BOTTLE OPENER Keep from resorting to desperate measures by remembering to pack a bottle opener for those bottles with pry-off lids. The same goes for another picnic essential: the corkscrew. 6. KNIFE A small knife can be one of the most versatile tools in a picnic basket, used to spread condiments, slicing fruit or cutting sandwiches at your picnic destination. Small blades that fold or come with sheaths are best for packing away as they are safer. 7. FIRST AID SUPPLIES Whether your picnic includes a hike in the woods or just a day at the local park, a first aid kit is a must. Basic supplies like bandages, paracetamol and bite and sting salves will keep you prepared. 8. MINI CONDIMENTS AND SEASONINGS Instead of lugging the whole bottle of ketchup or mayonnaise, why not fill mini plastic takeaway tubs (think pickle tray) for ease of dipping when you’re out in the wilds. 9. KITCHEN TOWEL While napkins or paper towels are easy to pack and dispose of, a sturdy kitchen towel offers more versatility. Towels can be used to cover foods from bugs, provide extra protection when wrapped around wine glasses or bottles, and can do a better job of sopping up spills than handfuls of paper napkins. 10. RUBBISH BAGS You don’t have to be a scout to follow the rule of leaving your picnic site “cleaner than you found it.” Bin bags can also double as rain ponchos in case of unexpected summer storms, or if sliced open, can lay under your blanket to keep wet grass from seeping through.