Do you ever find yourself stressing to get out the door in the morning, solely because you know you need to get home for lunch? I have, and it's not pretty. Nothing like rushing through your beautiful hike with the kiddos to try and get them back home before everyone turns into a hangry mess.
My solution to this has been to bring a picnic lunch. An extra 30 min of prep in the morning can add hours to your morning activity...and maybe give you a full day of fun! Here are some tips to make your al fresca dining experience a good one, no matter if you are picnicking out of the back of the car or out on a trail:
If you are going to be picnicking near/from your car - the sky is the limit. Grab your cooler and some ice packs (our hack is to freeze water in jugs/water bottles and then put them in the cooler to avoid soggy food) and load up! Anything goes for this style of picnic:
You have a way to keep things cold so the sky is the limit. You could also grab some take-out sandwiches and store them in your cooler to really streamline things for you.
Are you planning to be out and about all day? Here are some ideas for shelf stable foods to pack in your backpack that don't require refrigeration:
Nut butter sandwiches
Whole fruits (apples, oranges, peaches, plums, pears, bananas, etc.)
Crackers and hard cheeses (Parmesan or sharp cheddars are delightful)
Squeeze pouches (applesauce, etc.)
Dehydrated / dried fruits
Jerky (beef, fish...there are lots of options these days!)
We use Stasher Bags to transport our goods and spread it out over everyone's backpacks. Our kiddos typically carry their own water and some of the lighter food.
Remember to pack-in and pack-out all of your waste, even the peels/cores/pits from your fruits. It is much better to toss them in the compost than to leave them out on the trail. I cringe when I see orange peels sitting along the path on our hikes. Bonus points if you bring along a bag to collect trash while you are out and about. Don't forget the hand sanitizer :)
I hope this inspires you to pack a picnic for your next adventure - whether you are just out running errands or on a long-ish hike with the kiddos, having a picnic lunch with you can majorly up the fun factor of your day.
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Stay Wild and Free,