For many of us in Ireland, summer has taken its time reaching us. The cruel fingers of winter have very slowly released their grip. Gentle warm breezes stir the foliage. With apple trees budding, birds singing and plants flowering, it is time to think of spending relaxing, free moments outdoors. Time spent outdoors is soothing for the soul. As Edward Fitzgerald said, "A book of verses underneath the bough, a jug of wine, a loaf of bread-and thou."
Picnics, countryside walks or strenuous hikes can be relaxing, enjoyable and romantic with planning. A picnic can be a very spontaneous event as in a “pick up and go” style. Throw a few items in a bag and pick up a blanket on the way out the door. However, if you will be traveling any distance or over rough terrain, it is better to have a plan. Decide where you are going and discover the regulations regarding picnicking and beverages. Check the weather forecasts and make accommodations if necessary. Choose how to pack supplies, food etc.
Check to see if there is room for additional settings. Consider the weight of the picnic if you are hiking for an extended period. Carrying extra weight can tire you out quickly. Check to see if the straps on the picnic fit comfortably. Can you adjust the straps in case you need to wear a jacket? Will the picnic carrier allow you to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot?
In addition to picnic supplies, there are other items to carry. Think of packing sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Bottled water may be needed while hiking long distances, along rugged terrain, up elevations and down slopes. Take a camera so you can take memories back with you.
Everyone has different ideas of where to walk, hike and picnic. Choose your favourite spot and enjoy.