Picnics and outdoor movies are some of the best parts of summer — and we like to be ready for them at a moment's notice. You can take care of all the food you need with a quick 15-minute trip to the grocery store, but it's best to have a few essentials tucked away in the trunk of your car so you can be ready to head to the park whenever the mood strikes.
1. Picnic Blanket
You might be lucky enough to find an empty picnic table, but if you're flocking to the park like everyone else, you're better off having a picnic blanket. This ground cover from L.L. Bean is made from microfleece with a waterproof nylon backing. So even if the ground is a bit damp, it won't put a damper on your picnic.
Our Pick: Waterproof Outdoor Blanket, $50 from L.L. Bean
2. Bug Spray
Especially with the concern about the Zika virus this summer, insect repellent is more important than ever for those impromptu picnics. Our friends at The Sweethome tested several bug sprays to see which is the most effective. Just make sure you step away from the picnic blanket to apply it.
Our Pick: Cutter Backwoods Dry Aerosol 25% DEET, $8 from Amazon
3. Knife + Corkscrew Combo
The last thing you want is to get to your picnic destination and discover that you have no knife for slicing up the cheese and hard salami, and a wine bottle that has a cork and not a screw-top. A corkscrew folding knife solves both problems with one tool.
Our Pick: No. 10 Corkscrew Folding Knife, $30 from Opinel
4. Small Cooler
Keeping a cooler in your trunk makes last-minute picnics incredibly easy. When you're grabbing your snacks and drinks at the grocery store, simply add a bag of ice. That way you can keep everything cool en route to your favorite park or picnic spot. We like this roomy cooler that can hold two 12-packs of soda, and still have room for more. Plus, it's the perfect place to store all your other picnic supplies when they aren't in use.
Our Pick: evrgrn Cold Case Cooler, $55 from REI
It's not a bad idea to have sunscreen in your car year-round. Even on cloudy days, you can end up with a sunburn. Once again, we're taking a cue from our friends at The Sweethome for their favorite sunscreen pick. Just be sure you replace it annually since the SPF does have an expiration date.
Our Pick: No-AD Sport Sunscreen, $13.50 from Amazon