My husband and I like to take trips in the summer and when we do, it is nice to have a picnic basket that is pre-packed with all of the essentials. Last weekend we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula and stayed in a rustic cabin for the weekend. We just put the picnic basket in the car and we knew we would have everything we needed for a picnic should the occasion arise. We ended up using it to have a very nice breakfast in the cabin every morning, instead of having to navigate the brunch crowd in town.
Our picnic basket is the Longaberger Large Picnic Basket, which can be bought used on Ebay. I like this basket because it’s sturdy and I think it will just get prettier with age, and I like that the top can also be used as a small table. I also like the way it opens, since it is very easy to access everything in the basket. The downside of this basket is that it is not easy to carry over long distances, especially if you have a lot of floaties and other things you are taking to the beach. But it’s other good qualities more than compensate for this.
The liner is the Sunny Day liner. I like this liner because it has pockets, and I like the colorful stripes, but really any of the cloth liners for this picnic basket would work. Often these baskets also come with a plastic liner, but I am not a fan of these as I think they are unnecessary.
Now for what I keep in my basket. First, I found some sturdy acrylic wine glasses and put two of these in the side pockets. In the other side pockets I put some one-gallon Ziplock bags and a bunch of plastic grocery bags, which are nice for garbage and dirty dishes. I added four sturdy, unbreakable plastic plates and a cutting board that could be used as a serving platter (mine is 8.5″ x 11″ bamboo, the middle size of these).
There are lots of little odds and ends that are nice to have in the basket, and I searched for awhile until I found something to hold all of these things. What I found is actually a first aid kit from Target, which you can see open in the last picture above. I was a little surprised that I couldn’t find something made for this purpose but I have found that the first aid kit is really perfect. I wanted something that could open up and allow easy access to everything inside it. On one side, which is just a zippered pocket, I put napkins, thin closeable plastic sandwich bags (we use these all the time), and burger basket liners (you can use these on your plates and serving platter to minimize cleanup- I think these are nicer and generate less garbage than paper plates). On the other side, which has divided pockets, I put lots of plastic utensils (I usually throw these in the dishwasher when I get home, and I find they can be re-used many times), the Opinel Stainless Steel No. 8 Knife in Olive Wood, a Waiter’s Corkscrew, the MSR Alpine Salt and Pepper Shaker, and some individually packaged wet wipes.
Believe it or not, there is still plenty of room in the basket after all of these things for a picnic.
I have found that the picnic basket is constantly evolving, and after our trip this last weekend we have decided to add a tea ball (so that we can drink our nice loose-leaf tea when we are on vacation), and possibly some camping mugs.
We’ve really enjoyed using this picnic basket on our travels, and have had some wonderful picnics with it. What’s in your picnic basket?