Summer Picnics & Barbecues

It’s that time of year again—graduations, Father’s Day, baseball games. The weather is getting warmer, and that means picnics and barbecues. Did you ever find yourself at one of these events, only to discover that you forgot the knife to cut the watermelon, or the buns for the hot dogs? Here is a checklist of items you should pack so you won’t leave anything behind.


  • Paper or plastic plates/bowls
  • Napkins
  • Paper cups, glassware
  • Eating utensils (forks, spoons, knives, corn cob holders etc.)
  • Serving utensils (spoons, dishes, etc.)
  • Can/bottle opener · Corkscrew
  • Cutting board and small knife
  • Large knife 
  • Grill
  • Grilling utensils
  • Charcoal and lighter fluid or propane for grill
  • Lighter or matches
  • Baking soda in case of grilling mishap


  • Bottled water
  • Beverages—non-alcoholic (soda, juice, etc.)
  • Beverages—alcoholic (beer, wine, etc.)
  • Main dish and associated items (i.e., buns for burgers)
  • Side salads
  • Snacks
  • Condiments (mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, butter, mayo, relish, sugar or sweetener, dressings)
  •  Marshmallows and skewers for roasting
  • Dessert—watermelon or other fruit, brownies or cookies
  • Candles for cake if necessary


  • Portable radio or CD/Tape player
  • Extra batteries
  • Sports equipment (volleyball and net, baseball and mitts, soccer ball and cones, etc.)
  • Outdoor games (yard darts, Frisbee, croquet set, jump rope, water gun, etc.)
  • Deck of cards
  • Camera and film


  • A blanket or tablecloth—plastic if grass is damp
  • Portable chairs or cushions
  • Cooler and ice for beverages
  • Cooler and ice for food
  • Insect repellent
  • Citronella candles
  • After-bite medication
  • Sun screen
  • First aid supplies
  • Flashlight
  • Cellular phone
  • Apron
  • Sweater or jacket
  • Change of clothes if you’ll be around water


  • Plastic wrap or baggies for leftovers
  • Aluminum foil for hot foods or cooking
  • Large trash bag for garbage
  • Paper towels
  • Baby wipes or wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer

Stay safe by washing hands before and after food preparation, keeping cold foods cold, refrigerating leftovers immediately, cooking meat thoroughly, and dousing all coals or fires before leaving the area.

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