Living in Britain, we have to make the most of summer as and when it decides to make an appearance (so far this year it seems we saw the sun a couple of times over the Easter weekend, but because we’re an optimistic-type nation, we’re hoping we might get a sudden heatwave we all grumble about in July, and then perhaps a third crack at it at some point in August).
With these nifty gadgets, you can have an emergency picnic kit bag ready and waiting by the door the moment the sun gets his hat on (hip, hip, hip, hooray!).
First things first – everyone knows that if you don’t have a blanket to sit on as you eat your hastily put-together sandwiches and Scotch eggs, then you’re not having a picnic, you’re just eating lunch on the floor.
But if you don’t want the picnic blanket to take up too much space in the hamper (understandably, that space needs to be left for the aforementioned sandwiches and Scotch eggs), you’ll need to find one that fits into your pocket.
Essentially, what you need is a pocket blanket (£24.99 from Amazon) – this one folds out to cover a space of approximately 140cm x 153cm, and whilst it isn’t as waterproof as a sturdier blanket might be, it will do a good job of keeping you away from the ants.
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Insect Repeller with Compass
This solar powered insect repeller (£5.09 from Amazon) keeps mosquitos and other unwanted buzzers away by emitting a sonic whine that they don’t appear to like.
It clips on to your picnic bag strap and charges up whilst you walk to your favourite picnic spot – and if you end up getting a bit lost as you trek across a field to that shady bit out of earshot of the motorway, the inbuilt compass will come in handy.
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Admittedly, you’ll need to keep this wine cooler (£6.49 from Amazon) in the freezer rather than in your picnic kit bag, but so long as you remember to grab it just before you leave, you won’t have to worry about keeping a bottle of chilled white in the fridge for emergencies.
And not only does the cold stainless steel work like an ice cube to rapidly cool your tipple down, it also works as an aerator and pourer.
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4-In-1 Camping Utensil
The trouble with a spork (a spoon-fork, obviously) is that, whilst excellent for either spearing food or scooping food, it’s not great if you need to cut food. If you’ve managed to cut your food before embarking on the picnic then a spork will come in very handy, but what if you simply haven’t had time?
That’s where the 4-In-1 Camping Utensil (Spoonifrk? Kniforkoon? No, you can see why they gave up and went with spork-knife). It incorporates the already established spork design with a serrated edge for cutting – making it a very handy piece of kit (£8.99 from Amazon), picnic-wise. It basically does what it says on the tin, which happily (sadly?) for all concerned, is not ‘kniforkoon’.
If you store all of these gadgets together, you'll need something to keep them in - so why not chose a backpack that will also charge your phones and other electronic gadgets? If you've ever been in the middle of nowhere and had a panic due to your phone's battery flashing red, you'll definitely appreciate the multi-tasking Beam Backpack (£118) - as you trek through the fields or hills to your picnic destination, the sun's ray will hit the backpack's flexible solar panel and keep your phone charged.