Sponsored by HYDRO FLASK
By Becca Strassberg
Just because summer’s over doesn’t mean you have to pack up the picnic and head home. With the cooler fall season comes so many reasons to be outside, from late-season beach days and romantic date nights, to simply relaxing without sweating from each and every pore.
And with so much outdoor fun left to be had, you should be out there experiencing it instead of inside planning it. That’s why Bustle has teamed up with Hydro Flask to create a packing guide for every type of fall picnic; all you need to do is choose your activity, decide which Hydro Flask insulated tote is right for you (don’t worry, they all keep food cold for up to four hours!), and go on your merry way into the beautiful world of crisp air and social media-worthy foliage.
Since you’ll need a bit more than just your insulated tote and its food and beverage contents, this guide breaks down every other must-have — from compostable cutlery to a pocket-sized blanket — to extend picnic season far past Labor Day. Check out the list below, then head over to Hydro Flask to get the ball rolling on planning the best fall picnic ever.
Whether it’s July or September, great weather means the beach is always a possibility, but since many seasonal shops and food stands close after Labor Day, you might want to pack your own picnic. That’s where Hydro Flask’s 35L insulated tote comes in. The largest of their insulated totes, this model features lightweight insulation to keep food cold for up to four hours and has waterproof coated fabric and water-resistant zippers — making it both durable and super easy to clean.
Aside from your famous spinach dip, be sure to pack a waterproof speaker so you can bump the tunes without worrying about a sudden spill ruining your vibe, plus reusable food wraps which keep sand out of your food. This Hydro Flask insulated wine bottle lets you avoid any potential dangerous broken-glass-on-the-beach situations, and a sand-free picnic blanket made with patented weaving technology lets sand, dirt, and crumbs fall right through.
Fall is practically synonymous with apple picking. After a trip to an orchard, it's impossible not to come back with a haul of delicious, juicy apples. But then what do you do with them? Throw an everything-apple picnic, of course. Not only can you use your Hydro Flask 20L insulated tote to transport your apples back from the orchard, but when it comes time, you can use it to pack up a feast your friends won’t forget. This durable insulated tote is water-resistant, fully lined for easy wipe-downs, lightweight, and will keep your feast cold for hours.
Now, while you plan that menu, don't forget to pack more eco-friendly compostable bamboo cutlery, and an easy-to-fill “air chair” that saves you from having to get to the park early enough to score a coveted picnic table. Bring a super lightweight portable pie carrier to transport your homemade creation, and consider a portable espresso maker, which is compatible with pods you probably already have, and can serve piping hot coffee anywhere.
Who doesn’t love sitting on the grass at an outdoor concert? If you didn’t snag tickets, you can still hear all the action. And with snacks in hand, you don’t have to fight the crowd to get a good spot. Instead of paying for overpriced food and drinks in the venue, grab your Hydro Flask 20L insulated tote and pack yourself a little picnic in this brilliant bag that's ideal for you and your friends.
While you look up who’s playing in your area, consider some other accessories to bring to an outdoor concert like an insulated Hydro Flask cooler cup which can be used as a cup or as a can or bottle cooler. This pocket utensil set comes with a knife, fork, spoon, and bottle opener so you won’t have to waste plastic, and this brilliant full-size blanket is so light and folds so small that it can fit in your pocket. Complete your outdoor experience with a portable tree hammock which will help you kick back, relax, and really enjoy those jams.
With the weather cooling down, the fear of sweating through your shirt in front of your date magically disappears. Finally, you can grab a blanket, a sweater, and your Hydro Flask 8L insulated tote for a romantic picnic. The convenient size collapsable size means you can bring this tote to work then stop at the wine and cheese shop on the way to the park. Its lightweight insulation will keep your brie, olives, and prosciutto cold for up to four hours, while the coated waterproof fabric ensure that clean-up is a breeze.
Now you just need to grab a few more items, and might I suggest a portable table that comes complete with cup holders for your wine glasses (and the bottle!), plus doubles as charcuterie board? A battery-powered lantern will keep your romantic picnic going strong late into the night, and this portable game rolls up easily for travel, and provide tons of entertainment for you and your date. And last but certainly not least, this natural bug spray is a must-pack; it may not sound romantic, but then again, neither is a swarm of mosquitoes.