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Two women having a picnic outdoors.
Photograph: Ketut Subiyanto

Everything you need to have the perfect picnic outdoors

From comfy picnic blankets to baskets that double as cheese platters, these items will help ensure your picnic is a ten out of ten

Adena Maier
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Adena Maier
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When you think about what you need to plan a picnic, the first things to spring to mind are probably food and drinks. But what about all the other odds and ends that you can get to help elevate your experience and make it a picnic to remember? From cosy blankets that will help keep your food away from pesty bugs to fun outdoor games to play when you've finished chatting about all the things you've done to stay sane during lockdown, our comprehensive guide will ensure your picnic is a ten out of ten.

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RECOMMENDED: The best pre-packed picnics in Melbourne.

Don't risk getting grass stains on your clothes or sharing your tasty treats with the ants. Having a picnic blanket is imperative, and while you can totally just use an old blanket you have lying around, there are heaps out there made specifically for this purpose that are thick, comfy and easy to transport. This lambswool picnic blanket by Brunswick business Otto & Spike is super cosy, is lined with a moisture-proof backing and comes with a little handle for carrying. The blankets are all knit in a little factory in Brunswick using surplus wools and come in heaps of gorgeous colours. 

You'll need a vessel for carrying all of your snacks and drinks, and what could be cuter than a classic wicker picnic basket? This handmade basket by The Beach People has a lid that doubles as a removable cheeseboard, an insulated interior to keep everything cool and can fit a bottle of vino. When you're not using it for a picnic, it's also beautiful enough to be a decorative basket in your home that you can fill with produce or trinkets. 

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You can bring cutlery from home if you'd like, but you also have the option of getting a cute sustainable cutlery set like this bamboo one from Yellow Octopus that comes in a cotton pouch. It comes with a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, straw and cleaning brush, and is also great for camping. The pouch also makes it easy for you to keep your soiled cutlery from touching any of your other picnic supplies when you're packing up. 

We don't want to sound like your Mum, but sun protection is serious business. The sun hits differently in Australia and you should definitely be layering up on the sunscreen while picnicking. Try this SPF50 sunscreen by Sunbutter. It's moisturising without being too sticky, rubs in clearly and is very gentle on all skin types. The best part is that it's made using sustainable ingredients, is vegan and reef-safe so you can use it at the beach when summer comes around and it's made in Australia in a solar-powered factory. 

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Let's be real: most of the appeal of picnicking is sitting in the sunshine while gorging yourself on a fruit and cheese platter. But there are also heaps of games that work best outdoors and can be played with two people, such as Finska. It's a super fun lawn game that is pretty similar to bowling and it requires minimal setup. 

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You can quite literally elevate your picnic experience with one of these cute little wooden standing boards. It has a flat surface for holding all your cheese and charcuterie as well as a large hole for holding a wine bottle and four small slots to fit wine glasses. How cool is that? It's made from bamboo, is collapsible and is super easy to wipe clean after use. 

If you're unable (or simply would prefer not) to sit on the ground, bring along some camping chairs. This one from Outback Equipment is under $20 and folds up easily to chuck in the trunk of your car. If you want something nicer that has a cup holder or a more supportive back, you can browse the whole selection of camping chairs from Outback Equipment through the website.

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