A Little Planning Goes A Long Way | A Day At The Beach!
First, decide what kind of beach picnic you want. Is this a romantic, sunset picnic for two or a large group of kids and adults who need to be entertained all day?
Next, take a look at your location (ahead of time, if possible).
- Is there a shelter, or can you bring one?
- Are you grilling, or will you bring pre-cooked food?
- Are there bathrooms, or are you going to have to send people out to the bushes?
- Is the beach sandy and smooth? Water shoes are always a good choice!
- Are there going to be bugs? Always assume yes so bring bug spray!
- Are people fishing right in your area? (If so, find a quieter place to picnic!)
Regardless of the size of your group, you’ll need the following essentials:
- Plenty of drinking water.
- Swimsuits & changes of clothes.
- Bug repellant.
- First aid kit.
- About twice as many large beach towels as there are people, and a big trash bag to put them in.
For a more luxurious beach experience, also bring the following:
- Food and drink. This can range from coolers of lite beer and potato salad to a picnic basket filled with red wine, chocolate (always in a cooler!), and pâté. Consider your audience—hot dogs for the kids and the good stuff for the adults.
- A ready-to-go picnic basket with dishes, salt and pepper shakers, etc., so all you have to do is throw in the food, check out our complete picnic basket sets. If you intend to grill, bring a grilling picnic basket complete with tools, such as our
Vulcan, one of our best selling
portable BBQ cooler combos.
- A picnic blanket to use as a tablecloth, ground cover, etc. (I have a picnic blanket that I use both for picnicking and as part of a winter emergency kit; I leave it in the car all the time.)
- If you'll have a lot of food, bring mesh food covers to keep the bugs out. (Otherwise, just return the food to its original containers.)
- A picnic tent, EZup or shade cover, and portable sports chairs for the adults. Part of the fun of a picnic at the beach is allowing yourself to be lazy enough to wallow in the sun all day without getting sunburned or a headache from the bright sun. Setting up some shade is the next best thing to having a cabana boy and cost a lot less.
- Outdoor Games that are easy to set up, such as our bean bag toss (cornhole), ladder toss, and oversized checker set. There will always be people in the group who can’t relax unless they’re in motion. If you don’t have an outdoor game or football for the beach, then bring a Frisbee, croquet set, or challenge them to races.
- If you're bringing pets, make sure to bring food and plenty of water for them—and plastic bags to pick up any waste. Also bring a ball or a toy they can chase and have fun with.
- Firewood, lighter fluid, and matches. There’s nothing better than a bonfire on the beach in the evening, but make sure it’s legal. You might think you can find firewood at your picnic site, but if you are allowed to burn fires on the beach, chances are that a lot of other people have, too, and have used all the dry wood so come prepared. Make sure your fire is completely out before you leave the beach.
- A cheap rug or bit of carpet to serve as a de-sanding station. Towels aren’t heavy enough; if you’re going to go to the beach on a regular basis, throw a carpet sample in the trunk. You’ll still have to vacuum out your car or RV, but it won’t be nearly as bad.
With a minimal amount of organization, your beach picnic will have all the essentials you’ll need for a lazy sun-filled day of bliss. Remember, the more you have packed ahead of time, the faster you can escape at the spur of the moment!
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