How to plan the most delightful picnic

Choose the right cooler

A good cooler is a must. You have so many choices these days—soft-sided coolers, backpack coolers, and hard-shell coolers with wheels. Soft-sided coolers are often lighter and easier to carry and tote around. But hard-shell coolers are more durable and tend to keep foods colder longer. Choose one based on the size of your party, the amount of food you’re packing and how long you’ll be out. You want to find the right balance; ice should take up roughly 50 percent of the space, but keep in mind that bigger isn’t always better. A tightly packed cooler stays colder longer than one that’s more loosely packed. The extra air space in a cooler will heat up quickly and can make it hard to keep foods fresh and cold.

This backpack cooler is great and easy to carry for short outings and small food hauls.

This soft-sided cooler comes in a variety of sizes and colors, and has a lot of cool features.

And this hard, wheeled cooler is great for bigger crowds.