RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Road Food: Articles by Dennis Weaver
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Picnic Checklist Frame Studio, Inc.

Picnic Checklist


We suggest that you start a picnic checklist, improve it over time, and keep it handy for picnic or camping preparation. Here's a list to get you started. Scratch out the items you don't need and add others until you have the perfect list for your family. If you keep the list on your computer, you can print out a new copy whenever you need it.

We suggest keeping picnic and camping items in large containers in the corner of your garage where you can grab them in a moment and be ready for an outing.

  • Cooler
  • Ice for cooler (we prefer those "blue ice" blocks that can be frozen in the freezer and reused)
  • Eating and serving utensils
  • Tablecloth or picnic blanket
  • Cutting board and two sharp knives-a serrated knife for bread and a paring knife to cut vegetables and other foods
  • Napkins and paper towels
  • Cleaning wipes
  • Moist washcloth in a zipper-type plastic bag
  • Hand towel
  • Seasonings (we keep a small plastic tub filled with seasonings plus salt and pepper)
  • Sugar
  • Condiments
  • Vegetable oil for cooking
  • Grill and propane or charcoal and fire starter
  • Cooking pans and utensils
  • Camping stove if you use one
  • Drinking water
  • Beverages
  • A good book and family games with which to wait out a summer storm
  • Repair kit (we keep a tiny repair kit with a strip of duct tape, a sewing kit, a small pocket knife, and a length of pliable wire)
  • Matches
  • Flashlight
  • Can opener
  • Insect repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Calamine lotion
  • First aid kit
  • Roll of aluminum foil
  • Trash bags for refuge
  • Camera
  • Bathing suit
  • Folding chairs
  • Map
Dennis WeaverDennis Weaver -- having burnt food from Miami, Florida to Point Barrow, Alaska -- is RTA's road food expert. He has logged thousands of hours on the roads, trails, and waterways of America including many of Alaska's wilderness rivers and has consistently been elected the trips' "chief cook and bottle washer." Dennis is currently general manager at The Prepared Pantry, a company in Rigby, Idaho, that produces ready-to-eat meals and baking mixes packaged in Mylar. Weatherproof, bug-proof, and critter resistant, they're ideal for both roadtrips and back woods camping. Dennis may be reached at


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