The word picnic is said to come from the French piquer — to pick or peck — coupled with nique, meaning a trifle.

Originally picnic referred to a meal that we would probably call a potluck, where every guest brought a different dish. Some items to keep stocked in the hamper in case of a sudden need to picnic:

  • Utensils, forks, knives, spoons, plates.

  • Non-perishable foods, such as dried fruit, peanut butter, crackers, nuts, etc.

  • Beverages — bottled water, juice boxes, etc.

  • Corkscrew and can opener or multi-tooled Swiss Army knife.

  • Salt and pepper

  • Small packets of condiments such as mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise.

  • Napkin, paper towels.

  • Matches, candles.

  • Garbage bags for cleanup.

  • A small self-sealing plastic bag containing sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellent, Band-Aids, wet naps.

  • A tablecloth or a blanket.

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