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Come September 13, the fully vaccinated in NSW will be able to gather in groups of five in outdoor settings. And as formal as that sounds, it means that we're on the precipice of a Spring picnic boom.
While the season of regeneration has always been a great time to emerge from our winter hybernations and indulge in some alfresco dining, you can expect to see a swarm of curated spreads on your socials when the vaxxed get their day in the sun, and the good vibes are bound to permeate across all states. Whether it's a gingham cottagecore dream or a more relaxed, minimalist beach spread, there's an art to a good picnic setup.
But all of the possibilities can be overwhelming, and if you're anything like us, you've felt the pull to add everything you never knew you needed to your cart for the sake of optimising our outdoor hangs — god knows we could use something to channel our energy towards.
So, as we are always here to help, we've compiled a succinct list of everything you need to elevate (not including your favourite beverage of choice) your government-sanctioned outdoor soirée. Scroll on for our essential picnic items.
Of course, a picnic isn't complete without a woven basket. But this doesn't mean you have to lug around a clunky old-school version. If you're bringing packaged snacks that don't require too much careful handling, opt for a more modern iteration of the basket. Those who love the finer things in life might invest in this Loewe tote that can also double as an everyday summer tote, while the eco-conscious will love this recycled woven tote that'll easily fit some Tupperware and a bottle of wine (or two).
Party and picnic gear are notorious for generating a heap of waste. But with many of us forced to put our eco-efforts on hold during the pandemic, picnics can easily be made sustainable with a few simple swaps.
Try to bring as much home-prepared food as you can — here's where all that pickling you mastered during lockdown really pays off. This way you can use Tupperware and reusable cutlery instead of dealing with takeaway containers. We love this all-inclusive set from GSI Outdoors, as well as this bamboo cutlery set that rolls up into a travel-friendly cloth.
Travel-friendly wine glasses
What would a picnic be without some beverages? Whether you're busting out the natural wine, some ciders or even just some fresh juice, reusable cups and glassware are non-negotiable. If you don't want to have to worry about empty bottles, invest in these reusable wine bags that you can just fold up and throw in your handbag after the last drop.
Something to sit on is the literal foundation to any picnic, especially if you're boasting some new spring attire that shouldn't be sullied by grass stains. Choosing the right rug really comes down to the terrain. If it's more on the grassy side, you'll want to go with something waterproof in order to avoid dampness seeping through. If the ground's a bit rockier, it goes without saying that you should opt for something with a soft side for sitting as well as a side made up of tarp that won't get damaged.
If you're on soft ground or sand, you can even opt for a simple linen throw like this heavy-weight, pre-washed throw from Bed Threads.
Tables and Chairs
If you're planning a more intimate event, having a low-rise fold-out table is great for making the food and wine setup easy to manage.
And if you're not one for sitting uncomfortably cross-legged for hours on end, go on and get yourself a collapsable chair that you can kick back in. Floor cushions and stools also work a treat.
Not to sound too parental, but picnics usually involve ample sun exposure — both a pro and a con. It's essential that you prepare for those UV rays with the appropriate sun protection. We're talking brimmed sunhats, sunglasses that actually cover your eyes (no, not those novelty micro styles) and plenty of SPF.
NB: Head to your local state government site to find out exactly what restrictions apply to you.