It's picnic time!

In Sweden, summer days are long, cool and bright. After a long dark and cold winter, everyone wants to move outdoors and spend all their time in the sun! Almost every meal is a time to get out and refresh in the green. For most Swedes, summers include multiple picnics and in practically any location.The picnic may be at the beach, by the lakeside, in a local park, at a rest area, in the woods or even your backyard! Picnics are a fun time to spend with family. Why not invite some friends for a “knytkalas”? That is when everyone pitches in and packs something yummy. You then combine everyone’s contributions it and enjoy it all together! Here are some tips to get you going on your next picnic:

- Pack in a cooler! You don’t want your food to get warm and soggy and spoil in the heat.

- Bring lots to drink so everyone stays hydrated.

- If you are bringing condiments like ketchup or mayonnaise, pack in small travel bottles or containers. You can even use ziploc bags and just cut a slit in one of the corners to squeeze it out.

- Stick individual sandwiches in coffee filters. These will keep them intact and avoid hands getting too messy.

- If you are trying to keep your food hot you can use a regular thermos to keep it warm. You can also bring smoothies and pack them in a thermos.

- Bring food that doesn't spoil quickly in the sun such as dairy and mayonnaise-based salads.

- You always need a large blanket to sit on and spread the meal out on. Bring large garbage bags to place underneath if need be to keep blanket from getting damp or soiled.

- Pack plates and cups, and silverware. Disposable is the most convenient but is not the cheapest and best for the environment! Opt for something you can reuse and that is sturdier!

- Always bring a large bottle filled with water that you can rinse plates, cups, hands, etc.

- Since you don’t always know where the nearest faucet is, napkins will come in handy.

- Of course pack your wet-it to wipe things off with!

- A small knife and a mini cutting board is always handy to have depending on what the menu is. Just be sure the knife has a cover so it will not pierce anything else in the bag.

- You never know where the nearest trash can may be and you do not want to leave a trail of trash behind so pack a trash bag!

- Stay protected and apply sunscreen!

- Bring a fun game that everyone can play and enjoy.

Have a lovely time!