If you will be spending a day at the beach, you may be packing a picnic lunch so that you can continue to enjoy the sun and surf all day uninterrupted.
While a picnic on the beach can be delightful, it does pose some obvious logistical challenges involving both sand and wind. Following are some tips to help you pack and prepare so that you can enjoy the perfect picnic on the beach.
Know the rules
First of all, look at the rules and regulations for the beach where you are intending to enjoy your picnic. While many beaches allow you to eat or drink what you wish, many have restrictions on alcohol. Some also have restrictions on other foods and beverages. You should check to see if the rules mention anything with regards to tents or umbrellas as well.
Pack finger foods.
There is no reason to overcomplicate your packing or haul more supplies then you need to. Instead of bringing along a lot of utensils, just pack foods which you can eat by hand.
Bring plenty to drink
Getting dehydrated on the beach is as effortless as showing up and sitting down. Even if you are not running around in the hot sun or swimming, you will probably lose a lot of fluids quickly.
So pack more beverages than you think you will need. Not only will they quench your thirst, but they should also help you to function at your best so you can make the most of your day at the beach.
Pack plastic or paper dishes
Think about bringing some plastic or paper plates with you. Even if you are only eating finger foods, keeping them in their plastic wrap between bites will not necessarily help to keep sand out of them.
While you are at it, consider packing a small bag for trash so you have somewhere to throw your dirty dishes without having to walk to the nearest trashcan right away. This also prevents you from having to take multiple trips to the trash. You can just take care of your garbage when you are ready to pack up and leave.
Do bring a cooler or frozen water bottles
If you will be spending a full day at the beach, you will want a way to keep your food and beverages cool and unspoiled. To make this happen, simply pack them in a quality cooler which can protect them from the hot sun for hours.
If you do not have a cooler, or simply do not feel like lugging one around, one good idea is to put your water bottles in the freezer for a few hours before you head out to the beach. That way, they will start out as ice. By the time you're ready for a drink, hopefully they will have thawed enough for you to do so, but still be cold enough to be completely refreshing.
Most of this advice assumes that you will be at the beach on a hot day. But this may not be your plan. You might be planning a picnic on a beach which is cool or even cold, especially in areas subject to heavy winds.
So that you can eat comfortably, bring layers of clothing. Even if the sun is shining and it is relatively warm away from the water, it could be quite a bit cooler than you expect on the beach. A warm hat can go a long way toward keeping you comfortable as well.
Bring a picnic blanket
One of the single best things that you can do to keep sand away from your food and plates is to sit down on a surface other than sand. It is well worthwhile to pack a full-size picnic blanket for your outing.
Don’t have a picnic blanket? That’s okay—there are other options which are just as easy. If you have an extra tablecloth, you can sit on that. If that doesn’t work, you can bring some large beach towels to sit on instead.
Sit underneath a canopy tent
What is over your head matters just as much as what you are sitting on. You are going to need a way to keep the sun from beating down on you all day. Assuming you’ve checked the rules and regulations and you are good to go, consider bringing along a canopy tent.
Why is a canopy tent the best choice for the beach? The tent gives you shade, protecting you from UV rays and making your picnic spot more comfortable when the sun is high in the sky. At the same time, the open sides allow unobstructed airflow, keeping your site breathable. You also get to enjoy your view of the waves unimpeded while you eat.
Bring along some baby powder
No matter how many precautions you take to keep sand from getting all over yourself, your clothes, your picnic blanket, and your other supplies, it is a guarantee that it is going to happen.
The best way to deal with it is to pack some baby powder. As unusual as it sounds, it can help you to clean up sand quickly and easily.
Baby powder has absorbent properties. Those properties help it to soak water out of wet sand. It is the water which makes the sand so sticky. So when you dust a surface with baby powder, it dries the sand out a bit, making it easier to wipe off.
The Key to the Perfect Picnic at the Beach is to Arrive Well-Prepared
If you just stuff some food in a bag and make your way to the beach, you might have a good time. But what you really want is to have the best picnic at the beach ever. With a canopy tent to provide you with shade, finger food which is easy to eat and clean up, plenty of cold water to stay hydrated, and baby powder to clean up sand, you can truly look forward to the perfect picnic.