A picnic seems like the perfect way to spend an afternoon or evening in the park or your favorite outdoor location... until someone forgets the drinks, half the food is leaking, and, somehow, there are no napkins. It can be a messy business, those picnics, especially if there are no helpful hacks to guide the process.

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So, if your idea of a picnic is skewed based on a bad experience prior, fear not - there are some helpful tips and tricks to help everyone get the most out of their day bonding with nature. Spending time in parks and outside are things that everyone is getting more of a feel for this year and as we re-discover the beauty that exists around us, there's no reason that a packed lunch and some beverages should be part of it all. After all, there's nothing better after a long hike or after reuniting with a loved one than settling in for some good eats, right? We agree.

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Use Mason Jars For Drinks

Bottled drinks are easy but filling mason jars with homemade lemonade or iced tea is eco-friendly and convenient. The jars are heavy enough that they can sit on their own in the grass and won't leak if they tip over, and ice can be added to keep them cool on a hot day. Pro tip: to avoid watering down a drink, add frozen berries or fruit to make it taste good while the fruit defrosts in the drink.

Dessert Can Be In The Form Of Mini Cupcakes With This Easy Hack

Save your egg cartons! As it turns out, mini cupcakes fit perfectly into these recyclable cartons and also provide the perfect way to transport them. Plus, mini cupcakes are so much more fun than regular cupcakes come without the mess, and are easy enough to make for a group. Pack up a couple for larger groups and keep them secure with a rubber band or some tape.

No Outdoor Speaker? No Problem!

Anyone who has worked doing prep in an early-morning kitchen is likely to know about this hack. You don't necessarily need an outdoor Bluetooth speaker to project music loud enough for everyone to hear. All you really need is a glass big enough to hold your phone, and that's it! By placing your phone in the glass, the sound will be amplified and will sound much louder than it would just coming from your phone alone.

Muffin Tins Are Fast Condiment Or Drink Holders

For condiments such as ketchup, mustard, dressing, or even fixins' such as lettuce, tomato, or salad add-ins, use a muffin tin! These will keep everything secure and separated so that you don't need to dole out plate after plate for each individual item. It's also easy enough to pass a muffin tin around, so it's good for groups, too.

When In Doubt, Skewer It

Vegetables, fruits, meats, you name it, it can probably be skewered. Skewers are probably one of the best picnic foods because they leave behind minimal waste, are practically mess-free and can be eaten without any utensils. They're also easy enough to grill off prior to or at a picnic, making them entirely picnic-friendly, as well.

For BBQs, Aluminum Foil Makes Cooking Fast And Easy

If the goal is a BBQ picnic then go for the extra hefty aluminum foil. Packing up meats and veggies to grill, especially if they've been marinated or spice-rubbed, couldn't be easier with this hack. Simply wrap them individually and then grill away! Plus, it'll keep everything from actually sticking to the grill, which is always a plus.

Six-Pack Packs Can Be Used For Utensil Holders

If you happen to have an empty cardboard six-pack beverage holder around, use it! These can easily hold enough utensils for everyone along with napkins, straws, and any other paper goods. In order to keep everything from flying around if it happens to be a windy day, consider tying a rubber band or hair tye around each section. This is also super easy to carry with you due to a built-in handle.

Use Upside-Down Cupcake Papers To Cover Drinks

The aluminum-lined cupcake liners work best for this! If bugs getting into drinks is an issue (as it usually is during a picnic) this problem can easily be solved by placing a cupcake liner upside-down on the top of a glass, then poking a straw through the top of it. Not only will it hold the straw in place but it will also keep pests out of your beverage.

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