You only get one summer each year. Before you know it, we’ll be back to bundling up in sweaters and huddling by fireplaces. So get outside and enjoy the fresh air as often as possible. One great way to take advantage of summer is by going out for a picnic. With this list of tips to plan the perfect picnic, there are no excuses for not doing it.

Plan the menu. Check out the The Perfect Picnic on Cookmore for recipe suggestions. Prepare your food in advance to make the picnic day more relaxing. (Of course, you’ll want to make sure you keep foods that will spoil well chilled. Check out the food Danger Zone page on the USDA website for more information.)

Find the location. Whether it’s your backyard, the city park or one of National Geographic’s World’s Best Picnic Spots, scope out your location in advance. If you’ve chosen an area that tends to get crowded, be sure to arrive early to stake your claim.

Prepare for the unexpected. Drinks will be spilled and a little rain might drift your way. Be prepared with extra towels, napkins and umbrellas. And don’t forget about pests! Take along some bug spray or make some DIY citronella candles in advance of your picnic.

Pack up the supplies. While picnic baskets are a nice touch, canvas bags and other totes work just as well for gathering your supplies. Stash your refrigerated items in a cooler (like this Craftsman 50 QT Wheeled Cooler) and everything else in bags, baskets or totes. You can also tie essentials inside a blanket for easy dual-purpose portability. For a little more help, check out Kari’s video on How to Pack the Perfect Picnic Basket.

Encourage unplugging. There’s no better time than a picnic to unplug from the world. Leave the phones in the car for the day and soak up everything that Mother Nature has to offer.

For outdoor entertaining in your own backyard check out the full line of Kenmore grills and grill accessories. From big 6-burner grills that will feed a small army to patio grills suited for small spaces, outdoor food prep has never been easier.

Image credit: Crystal Marie Lopez via Creative Commons