Play It Safe
If you have kids along, be sure to choose a picnic site that will be safe for them. Don’t set up near busy roads, deep water, or cliffs.
It’s summer! Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but be prepared for a thunderstorm just in case. Know the rules of lightning safety, and be prepared to retreat to a place of shelter if necessary.
Swimming? There’s safety in numbers. Never swim alone, and for ultimate safety, bring life jackets for young children or inexperienced swimmers.
If hiking is part of your plan for the day, have all hikers wear a whistle they can blow if they get lost or separated from the rest of the group. (Those who blow the whistle for non-emergencies can be automatically assigned to after-dinner clean up.)
Be sure to pack a first-aid kit to take along, which includes sunscreen, lip balm with sunscreen, band-aids, calamine lotion, a pair of tweezers, and other products you may need for mini-medical emergencies.
Part of the fun of a picnic is the chance to spend time outdoors. One of the little inconveniences of picnics, though, is that the outdoors is generously populated with bugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends you use repellent anytime they go outside and has recently approved repellents with other ingredients, including a natural one, in addition to those containing DEET. Some insect tips:
Mosquitoes: Choose a higher, drier spot that’s in full sun and exposed to a breeze. Mosquitoes have trouble in the wind and don't like heat.
Ants: Draw chalk circles around your plates on the picnic table. If you’re on the ground, use non-talc body powder. Ants are reluctant to walk across either.
Bees: A sprig of fresh mint on your blanket will help ward them off.
It's easy to enhance your enjoyment of an outdoor picnic with the scents of essential oils like citronella and lemon eucalyptus. You can diffuse them into the air with a candle lamp or prepare sprays and lotions for your body or the air around you by combining the essential oils with other natural ingredients.
An Eco-Friendly Picnic
Be a good to the environment—avoid disposable paper and plastic products. Real plates, glasses and silverware will lend a special atmosphere to your outdoor meal, and by using more substantial dinnerware, you can avoid the stress of having a sudden burst of wind catapult your meal to the ground. When it’s time to go home, be sure to recycle glass bottles and aluminum cans, and restore your picnic site so that it’s clean and inviting for the next group stopping by.
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