While peoples thoughts tend to head indoors at the thought of cold weather, winter can be a beautiful time to head outdoors. Especially to enjoy a winter picnic.
Winter Picnic Ideas & Tips For Cold Weather Picnic Success
You may be lucky enough to enjoy temperate sundrenched winters or, look forward to all the activities that come with the first snowfall. Even if it’s waiting for a rare, crisp sunny day between winters rainfalls, there are plenty of great reasons to rug up and plan an alfresco winter date or two. After all, there’s nothing like cold weather to stimulate the appetite.
Picnics in the snow, wintery walks in the woods, game day tailgates, or even a chance to throw a rug down in a local park. Brisk winters days can be a lovely time to host a picnic as long as you plan ahead.
Below, we’ve rounded up all our best picnic tips to help you plan successful winter season picnics. From the best winter picnic food ideas to tips on how to stay warm and cosy and how to keep your winter food piping hot. We’ve even searched out some very handy picnic accessories to help make every winter picnic enjoyable.
There’s something nice about rugging up in your winter woollies and hitting the great outdoors. However, you still need to be prepared for an extended time outside and the possibility of a change in weather.
Make sure your picnic party have all the required clothing – Jackets, hats, gloves, scarves etc for the weather and any anticipated changes in weather. Also pack all the appropriate picnic gear to ensure your time outdoors is comfortable.
Do you need extra blankets, an umbrella (a large beach umbrella is very handy for winter picnics) or even a portable table to keep you off the ground?
Winter Picnic Essentials
Aside from your usual picnic essentials, there are a few things you should remember to pack in winter.
- Tissues for cold runny noses.
- Sunscreen, because winter rays can be just as harmful.
- A torch or lantern if short daylight hours might be an issue for you.
- Matches or lighter if planning a fire or bbq along with dry kindling.
- Something waterproof to sit on – even picnic benches can stay damp on a dry winters day.
We’ve got suggestions below for the best winter picnic worthy blankets to keep you warm and dry as well as some very portable accessories that will make winter picnics a much more civilised affair.
There is nothing better than enjoying a portable feast huddled around a bonfire. Head to a picnic spot where it is possible to have a bonfire picnic. Many beaches and nature reserves have dedicated fire pits where you can safely enjoy a bonfire picnic without having to go too far off the grid.
Local parks and often national parks also have wood grills which are perfect for a winter bbq picnic or even as an alternate fire pit to keep you toasty.
If you do decide to build a bonfire in the wilderness, always make sure you do so responsibly – make sure it is legal, you have taken the precautions to keep it contained, and you have fully extinguished it when you leave – leave no trace.
If you can’t snag a dedicated fire pit at your local picnic spot, we have included in our list a lightweight, portable, no trace fire pit solution perfect for winter picnics.
Maybe your picnic set doesn’t come with a flask and cups, you are planning a simple afternoon tea picnic or want a warming cup on a winter hike or while watching a game.
This is a fantastic portable coffee set which includes everything you need for tea and coffee, including dedicated leak-proof containers for milk and sugar all in a tidy, insulated carry bag.
Sometimes you just don’t want to sit on a picnic rug or need a table for laying your picnic food. This extremely lightweight and very portable picnic table with chairs easily adjusts to two heights depending on what you need it for—a great solution for picnicking in damp or cold conditions.
We’ve covered off on the best waterproof picnic blankets, but sometimes the weather calls for an additional personal blanket. It’s also often handy to have a second lightweight blanket no matter the season.
This waterproof and windproof blanket lined with super warm fleece is excellent for laying on picnic benches to keep you warm and dry or using as a wrap to keep you toasty and the wind out.
I love these little devices. They are a great, environmentally friendly alternative to the disposable hand warmers on the market. With three heat level settings, fast charging and a large battery capacity, these little winter warmers also work as a charging bank for your phone. Win-win I say.
Throw one in your pocket and stay warm no matter the weather. These make a great gift for people who love the outdoors.
Stadium cushions are a perfect winter picnic companion. Throw them on your picnic blanket for extra support or cushioning, put them on a picnic bench to keep you comfy and warm, or even plop them on top of the cooler for an impromptu seat.
Lightweight, with thick foam and waterproof backing, this portable cushion is perfect for winter picnics.
A bonfire picnic in winter can be a fantastic way to spend a day outdoors, huddled around a fire enjoying your alfresco feast. Take your winter picnics to the next level with this lightweight, portable fire pit.
It weighs less than 8lbs (3.6kg) and folds up to the size of a small camp chair. It sets up in under a minute and is designed to produce a maximum flame with 80% less smoke. Best of all, it leaves no trace. Ash and embers are contained entirely, and the unit cools quickly once the fire is extinguished. You can even throw a grill plate on top to use as a bbq.
If you think your picnic might take you into the twilight hours, which can happen quickly in winter, these collapsible solar lanterns are a great addition to any picnic pack (even in summer). Lightweight, they collapse down flat like a small Tupperware lid so will take up no room in your picnic kit. They will also make your picnic look enchanting.