When planning for your next picnic, it is important you have all the essentials.

As summer comes to a close, you still have the chance to enjoy a nice picnic especially as the weather begins to cool down. Whether you decide to have a picnic in your backyard, at a local park, or travel to your destination, you’ll need to plan ahead. To have a great picnic, it is important that you pack the essentials, most of which you can find at your nearest Alon or DK store. For a safe and memorable picnic, here are a few essentials to bring with you:


Taking care of your skin is always a good idea especially if you plan on being outdoors for an extended period of time. Picking up sunscreen from the closest Alon or Delek location can help block harmful rays, and help to prevent sunburns and potential skin damage, which could put a damper on your picnic experience. When choosing the right sunscreen, it is important to follow American Cancer Society guidelines such as picking one that is water resistant, protects against UVA and UVB rays, and has an SPF of 30 or higher.

Bug Spray

Regardless of what part of the country you live in, having bug spray handy will be a life saver for your next outdoor picnic. This is especially true as new mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile Virus, and Zika are becoming more common in the U.S., making bug spray a necessity. However, not all bug sprays are created equally, nor do they provide the same benefits. The CDC has a great tool to help you find the right and most effective bug repellant for you.

First Aid Kit

“Be Prepared” has been the motto of the Boy Scouts since its inception, and should be yours as well. Although no one hopes for, or expects an emergency to occur while on a picnic, a possibility always exists, especially if you’re out in nature at a state or national park. The American Red Cross recommends having a few key essentials packed – such as bandages, aspirin, and sterile gauze pads – can help keep you prepared, should an emergency arise.

Bottled Beverages

Even though it may seem like making a pitcher of your favorite drink is the smart thing to do, using bottled beverages actually is the best way to go. By using bottled beverages, they can act as icepacks, which can keep temperature sensitive food colder longer. They also prevent the need to bring cups, as well as help to prevent spills by more clumsy picnic goers, which is one less thing you’ll have to bring or worry about on your picnic. Plastic bottles are also safer to travel with and use. If broken, glass bottles can leave a dangerous mess and increase the chance of someone getting injured.


Perhaps the most important part of a picnic is the food. When deciding what to bring, don’t over think it. Keep your menu simple, and stay away from bringing anything sophisticated, and that requires a lot of ingredients to make. Hamburgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and chips are great go-to food options for a picnic. Don’t have everything you need at home?  Stop by your local Alon/ DK store to pick up your favorite snacks along the way.


If traveling to your picnic, having the right cooler will be key in determining whether your temperature sensitive food and drinks make it to your desired spot. When picking out a cooler, you’ll need to make sure it is durable, has the right amount of insulation, and is the right size for what you’ll need to pack. If you don’t already own one, you’ll need to decide whether purchasing a less expensive cooler that may serve a one-time use, or something that will cost more but be reused multiple times is right for you.

Regardless of the cooler you choose or already own, you’ll need to properly pack your cooler to ensure you get maximum use from it. This means chilling the cooler overnight to keep it cold. You’ll also want to make sure your food is cold before putting it in the cooler, and ensure it stays cold regardless of how far you’ll be traveling for your picnic. In addition, keep different types of food separated to prevent cross contamination, and make it easier to find things when you arrive at your destination.

Trash Bags

Whether you’re in your own backyard, nearby at a local park, or at a campground outside of your hometown, it is not only courteous, but also environmentally friendly to pick up your own trash. Having trash bags makes it easy to pick up after yourself, and ensures you actually do so. In addition, trash bags can double as a poncho should there be any unexpected rainstorms, or used underneath a blanket to prevent wet grass from getting your clothes or picnic items damp.


Even though picnics usually center around food and drinks, you still want to make sure you have an activity to do, to keep you and your fellow picnic companions entertained. Items you can bring include: a frisbee, sports ball, kite, deck of cards, or your favorite board game. You can also choose to bring other items besides those that promote physical activity. Spending time reading or drawing the scenery can be a great way to relax and enjoy your picnic.

Though not an essential you can pack, you’ll still want to be sure to follow health and safety guidelines for COVID-19. Some parks have even enforced precautionary guidelines to create a safe and friendly environment for picnic goers. To ensure your health and safety is top of mind, we have implemented specific guidelines as recommended by the CDC so that as you are picking up items for your next picnic, your shopping experience at any Alon or DK store is as safe, and pleasant as possible.

As you pack up and head out for your next picnic or road trip adventure, remember to stop by your nearest Alon or DK store to fuel up, and pick up any forgotten snack essentials along the way.