The Ultimate Planning Guide For A Long Weekend In The Park

The Ultimate Planning Guide For A Long Weekend In The Park

2023 Jun 15th

There's no better way to relax and reconnect with nature than by spending your weekend outdoors. Whether you're yearning for a peaceful retreat a short drive away or planning a fun-filled adventure with your loved ones, proper planning is key to maximizing your enjoyment.

In the lead up to Father’s Day and the Canada Day long weekend, we’ve created this guide to cover the essential steps, from packing the necessary items to selecting the perfect picnic spot and even preparing delicious snacks.

Plus, we’ve included a free (printer-friendly!) download: The Ultimate Weekend Outdoors Packing List. Our weekend trip packing list is designed to help you pack for a weekend camping or for a day picnic.

A woman lies in a bed reading a book, in a leafy park setting. Bed styled in neutrals, with undyed and unbleached organic cotton sheets, 'Pura Vida' quilt set and organic cotton duvet cover in 'Stone'.

Spending a weekend in bed never sounded better!

Packing Tips: What You Should Bring

Packing efficiently is crucial to ensure you have all the necessary items for your day. Here are some essentials you should consider:

a) Picnic Basket or Bag: Invest in a sturdy picnic basket or bag that can hold your food, drinks, and other supplies securely.

b) Blanket or Mat: Choose a large, comfortable blanket or waterproof mat to sit on. Ensure your outdoor textiles of choice are spacious enough to accommodate everyone attending. We stock some excellent choices you can use as a picnic blanket, like our checkered Plaid Sherpa Blanket, our Canadian-themed Purcell Cotton Quilt, and our tropical Fronds Recycled Polyester Coverlet. For added seating comfort, take along some cushions!

c) Utensils and Plates: Opt for reusable plates, cups, and utensils made from durable materials such as plastic or bamboo. Don't forget tea towels, napkins and a small cutting board.

d) Sun Protection & Insect Repellent: Remember to pack sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses to stay protected from the sun. Keep pesky bugs at bay by carrying an insect repellent.

f) Trashbags: Leave the environment as pristine as you found it! Remember to bring extra bags to clean up if you’re planning on taking food and drinks.

Tip: We love using our Solubag totes to transport food and drink and then use as a trashbag at the end of the day. Dissolvable and biodegradable, they’re so convenient and a great eco-friendly alternative to plastic trashbags!

Camping or Travel Packing?

For overnight expeditions, we recommend our TENCEL™ Modal Sleep Sack and Packable Down Blanket for compact, travel-friendly comfort on-the-go.

The back of a truck loaded with beach towels, packable down blankets and a cooler.

Festively patterned beach towels – check! Conveniently packable down blankets – check!

Location: How To Choose The Best Spot!

Selecting the perfect location is undoubtedly a crucial element that establishes the ambiance for your day. Take into account the subsequent factors while choosing the ideal spot:

a) Scenic Beauty: Look for a picturesque location such as a park, beach, or lakeside. Immersing yourself in nature can have a profound impact on your mental well-being, promoting a sense of calm and rejuvenation.

b) Amenities: Check if the chosen location offers amenities like restrooms, picnic tables, and grilling facilities.

c) Accessibility: Consider proximity, parking availability, and any special requirements of your group before settling on a spot.

d) Privacy: If you desire a more intimate experience, select a secluded spot away from crowds.

e) Weather Considerations: Keep an eye on the weather forecast and choose a location that aligns with the expected conditions. You might opt for a location that has shaded or covered areas in case of sudden changes.

Our 'Purcell' cotton quilt set being used as a picnic blanket in a park, accompanied by our navy bamboo cotton waffle blanket. Accessory cushions in coordinating shades of red and beige.

If you were looking for a sign to visit a QE Home store, this is it!

Food and Drink: What To Eat When Packing Light

Whether you're organizing an elaborate picnic or a casual get-together, it's essential to ensure that your food and hydration requirements are met so you can unwind and enjoy your time to your heart’s content. Although the convenience of buying ready-made snacks may be tempting, there is a certain sense of satisfaction in preparing your own food! Here’s our tips:

a) Portable and Easy-to-Eat: Opt for finger foods, sandwiches, wraps, and salads that are easy to handle and easy to share. If providing food for others, do your best to accommodate any allergies, intolerances and preferences - and be mindful of cross-contamination during preparation!

c) Preparing in Advance: Save space and minimize the need for on-site cooking, assembling, and cleaning by preparing as much as possible in advance. Remember, this is your precious time to unwind! Pack your items in airtight containers to preserve their freshness. For distances longer than an hour drive, store any perishables in a cooler!

d) Beverage Options: Bring a variety of drinks to cater to different preferences. Water, iced tea, lemonade, and infused water are refreshing choices. Don't forget to pack a cooler with ice to keep beverages cool.

e) Sweet Treats: Add a touch of sweetness with desserts like cookies, pastries, or brownies. They can be made ahead of time or purchased from a local bakery.

Overhead shot of a picnic table loaded with various dishes.

Tip: If you’re looking for some picnic-ready recipes, we’ve got you covered! Our staff recipe guide features several great easy-to-make dishes, so you can serve both great flavours and flair to your friends and family.

Entertainment: Make Your Day Extra Fun

Relaxing outdoors and soaking up the natural environment can be an incredibly fulfilling experience in itself. However, when enjoying the day with others, bringing additional entertainment options guarantees a fantastic time. Consider the following ideas to enhance the day:

a) Outdoor Games: Pack some outdoor games like Frisbee, badminton, or a football to encourage physical activity and friendly competition.

b) Music and Speakers: Create a playlist of everyone's favorite tunes and bring portable speakers for background music. Always be mindful of others enjoying the park.

c) Reading Material: If you prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, bring books, magazines, or puzzles to enjoy during downtime.

d) Nature Exploration: Plan nature-based activities like bird watching, fishing, or a nature scavenger hunt to make the most of your surroundings. 

Two people play cards in the park while sitting on our cotton beach towels.

Embrace simplicity and make the most of your surroundings and company!

Happy Adventuring!

We hope our tips help you plan a relaxing and fun day outdoors! Download our printable checklist for your next picnic or outdoor adventure, and enjoy an easy packing process! It also doubles as a handy gift guide for your adventure-loving loved ones!

Download The Ultimate Weekend Outdoors Packing List (PDF)

For more long weekend ideas, check out our blog: 5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Long Weekend.

When you bring any of your beloved QE Home products along on your next park outing, remember to tag us on Instagram at @QEHome or use the hashtag #MyQEStyle!

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