Lisa Laughlin

10 Things to Pack for the Perfect Summer Picnic

first published June 10, 2019

You can hike to a secluded meadow near the mountains, picnic while on vacation to save money and eat al fresco, or head to the town park. Your outdoor picnic can be elegant, romantic, or casual. No matter your vibe, we’ve got you covered with a list of essentials so you can be your spontaneous, adventurous self.


You knew we’d say wine, right? As long as your picnic spot is in a legal outdoor drinking area, wine is our first essential. And our line of NAKED Outdoor Vino wines are the perfect picnic partners! With a BPA-free plastic bottle that’s way lighter than glass and can be reused or recycled, Outdoor Vino is ready for any picnic adventure. Choose from Wanderlust White, Rambling Red, or our Outdoor Vino Pino Gris or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you’re not using one of our slick, screw-top Outdoor Vino wines, be sure to pack a corkscrew!

If you’re not using one of our slick, screw-top Outdoor Vino wines, be sure to pack a corkscrew!


Forgetting to pack a glass will leave you chugging out of the neck of a wine bottle, which can be awkward if you’re not that close to your blanket-sharing buds. We recommend an insulated tumbler like our Naked Hydro Flask Wine Glass or Ultimate Camp Mug to keep white wine chilled while you’re having fun in the sun. An added bonus is that most wine tumblers come with a lid, keeping the fruit flies at bay. If you’re extra fancy, bring wine glass picnic stakes for your traditional stemmed glassware so you can go hands-free without risking your wine wobbling over in the grass. A pack-it-in pack-it-out reusable glass means you don’t have to worry about waste!


Any blanket will do, of course, but choosing a blanket that’s water-resistant and easily portable will make for smooth set up and tear down. We love this Lightspeed Outdoors Folding Outdoor Blanket, which folds into a roll secured by Velcro and has a built-in strap for easy carrying. It’s 5 x 7-foot dimensions weigh less than five pounds, so it’s the perfect summer packer to lounge out and stargaze or host a circle of friends. 


It wouldn’t be much of a picnic without food, though we’re not above saying that sitting out with a blanket and wine bottle sounds good enough. Packing a variety of carbs, proteins, and fats will keep your picnic lively and ready for a discussion on wine pairing (if you’re into that kind of stuff). Keep it casual with a box of crackers, cheddar cheese, a bundle of grapes, and some chocolate chip cookies. Kick it up a notch with a mobile charcuterie board, packing a variety of olives, artisan cheeses, cured meats and whatever else delights your antipasto heart. Take your next brunch with friends outdoors by packing scones, strawberries, savory quiche, and coffee cake. Pro tips: Prep your food before you go. Slice cheese, cucumbers, or apples at home so you don’t have to pack a knife. Choose foods that are easy to transport and bring an ice pack if needed.


Ditch the traditional wooden basket that Yogi Bear might stumble upon in the woods—unless you start out close to your picnic destination, an insulated bag or backpack will be much more effective in keeping your food (and wine!) appropriately chilled. A bright blue cooler pack may not be Instagram-worthy, but you’ll be glad you opted for practicality when it’s time to dig in. No one wants to eat sweaty cheese on a date.


The casual picnic-goer will be fine passing around the Tupperware, but if you’re going for glam, make sure you pack a wooden cutting board or flat tray to create a sturdy centerpiece for your food. Consider bringing lightweight, individual plates if you’re in an area where picnic guests may want to roam off-blanket with food in hand.


The best entertainment might be watching a sunset while you pinpoint tasting notes for your wine. Or gazing at the stars while sipping Oh! Orgasmic Nebbiolo with no conversation other than what the crickets are offering. But if you’re picnicking with a group, a deck of cards is a great way to engage, get to know new friends, and keep folks away from their smartphones. You can #picnicparty later.


We know you remembered the wine, but its counterpart water is another essential, especially if you’re hiking out and packed the olives with extra brine. Bring an insulated, reusable water bottle filled halfway with ice to keep cool and hydrated.


No picnic is sexy if you’re slapping mosquitos off your partner and getting sunburnt. Pack a good-smelling, reef-friendly, paraben-free sunscreen like Sun Bum and an organic bug deterrent to enjoy the outdoors without the pests. We can’t recommend anything to prevent ants, but, well. . . they seem picnic-y anyway!


When you’re finished soaking up the sights, wine, and living in the moment with your friends, you’ll want an easy clean up. Pack a container or bag to hold food waste and wrappers so trash is easy to compile and throw away when you get home. If you’re picnicking with kids (or high-spirited adults), bring a pack of napkins or wet wipes so you’re sticky-free on the way home. We hope at the end of your picnic you’re happy, full of wine and smiles, and have made a few memories!

Cheers 🥂,
Naked Winery Team | Lisa Laughlin

Originally published October 9, 2019, updated October 9, 2019