The Ultimate Outdoor Picnic Guide

By Byron Jonas

Our great Australian nation is full of outdoors lovers with big appetites, which together can only mean one thing: that we are the land of picnics. And in light of the fact that our natural scenery is among the most prized and visited in the planet, bringing millions of tourists to our shores on a yearly basis, our propensity for outdoor picnicking is only that much more resolute.

Out of honor for this nationally endorsed pastime, here we've put together a simple checklist that will surely help anybody looking to enjoy some quality time in the outdoors with family and friends put together an unforgettable and incomparable picnic.

First of all, a good destination is in order: a picnic can only really be as good as the surroundings in which it is carried out, so be sure to find an inviting venue. Given our country's natural endowments, this is perhaps the easiest item on the picnic checklist.

Next up on the list is what to eat: after all, a picnic implies filling bellies, or at least that's what it ought to imply. One traditional and classic option is simply to put together some sandwiches and other such fingerfood items and cram them all into a basket or a cooler, as the food requires, which is perfectly acceptable and is sure to put smiles on people's faces if done properly. Otherwise, there is always the option of packing a portable grill into the back of your vehicle along with a little charcoal and preparing some steaks and shrimp on the traditional Aussie barbie--sure to provoke serious appetites and put gigantic grins on participants' faces.

It goes without saying that a picnic demands the participants to engage in some sort of physical exercise, which means that it is fundamental to bring along a rugby or football, a frisbee, or cricket bat--whatever you fancy. Your sandwiches, or more emphatically your steak and shrimp, will demand that you go ahead and work up a healthy appetite beforehand, so be sure to wear yourself out a bit.

Next, in a country with as much viticulture as ours, it's a perfectly good idea to pack a bottle or two of wine into your picnic basket. Whereas a picnic on a relatively cool day will oblige you to bring along a comforting and filling wine such as a Pinot Noir, a picnic on a scorching summer day will be simply begging you to pack a chilled white wine like a Chardonnay.

Finally, any good picnic requires a good amount of protection from the sun and the elements. While bringing a bottle of sunscreen is in order, there are better ways to find some refuge from the relentless southern sun and further natural conditions, such as with a quality Marquees.

These instant outdoor shelters come in many different varieties, many of which require minimal effort in order to erect them. They not only protect against the sun but furthermore against the wind and even water, depending on the weather that besets your picnic. With rugged walls and roofing made from durable PVC and equally tough aluminum frames and nylon brackets, these Marquees will offer countless years of protection. With capacity for several picnickers, they can be erected in no time at all--about a minute to be precise. And thanks to their clever telescopic legs and easily fold-able design, they can be quickly and tidily squeezed into a carrier bag, guaranteeing total convenience in use. - 29857

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