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A winter picnic can be a great way to have fun and connect with others, as well as nature.
When most people think of picnics, they may conjure up lazy summer days sitting in the sun and think, “Why would I ever do that in winter?” It may not be bikini weather, but there are some wonderful things about a winter picnic that can be just as memorable a summer picnic.
In the summer, the grueling heat can not only spoil the mood, but can wreak havoc on food as well. You have to be cognizant of keeping certain perishables cold while battling the sweltering summer sun. With a winter picnic, you have the luxury of a cold environment to transport perishable items. And though you should always observe food safety rules, food can keep a lot better in hard packed snow than sitting on the grass during a hot day.
Another bonus of a winter picnic is you don’t have to worry about the bugs! No swatting away persistent buzzing flies or spraying on tons of repellent. Also, winter provides a way to incorporate the natural elements (snow!) into your picnic activities. If you’re planning more of a social gathering, sledding, building a snow man and snow fights can bring lots of fun and stir up memories of childhoods spent running through the snow. If you’re planning more of an intimate occasion, winter is the perfect setting for a romantic rendezvous.
However, be sure to do a bit of prep work before your big winter picnic. Though a little bit of a chill is expected, plan your picnic on a day that won’t be dangerously cold and doesn’t have an extremely low wind chill factor. Checking your local weather forecasts will keep you apprised of approaching blizzards or snowstorms. You don’t want to be caught unaware, especially if you or your guests are driving some distance to your winter picnic destination.
If you’re going a bit farther than your backyard, pack some essentials to bring with you. In addition to the food items, pack some blankets, throws, pillows and extra hats, gloves, wool socks (cotton soaks up moisture, while wool wicks it away), mittens, and shirts. Bundle up and dress appropriately for the temperature. If it’s a sunny day, be sure to pack some SPF lotion. Even on a cold winter’s day you want protection against sunburns. And if you’re planning on building a fire, play it safe and observe the area’s rules regarding fire activity.