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The Modern Picnic

Everything you need to take the feasting outdoors

by CH Contributor in Design on 26 July 2011

When the weather complies, a picnic represents near ultimate sensory satisfaction. Snacking and sipping, mingling with the beauty of the great outdoors, and basking in the warm seasonal glow—the tradition has all the romance of camping without forgoing a shower. For an update to wicker hampers or all-in-one sets (both destined to rot in your closet), we came up with a few urban-friendly solutions for today's picnicker.

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Bringing all the goods along efficiently and easily calls for a carry-all. For snack overflow or to stash a frisbee, a cute and colorful Baggu Daypack does the trick perfectly for an easy $24. When you've polished off the rations, the nylon ripstop bag folds up neatly into its own pocket.

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A bunjee cord will also do in a pinch, but not with nearly as much style as Mjölk's leather Belfast Quilt Carrier ($126). The country leather straps perfectly compliment A.P.C.'s traditional 3B Quilt, conceived with designer Jessica Ogden ($665).

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Grill up the main course with the awesomely compact (just over seven inches wide) and portable City Boy Picnic Grill designed by Klaus Aalto. Powered by gas cartridges, the powdercoated steel cooker has an oak handle for convenient carrying. Pick it up from the Finnish Design Shop for €159.

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Best Made Company's P38 Can Opener ($5 for a set of five) is perfect for opening up a fresh can of gourmet sardines. The Tiffin Tin from Toast (£14) clips shut making it a great way to tote food to and from your picnic spot.

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Urban picnicking has its own joys. If you don't have the cash for a vintage Gucci set, Boxsal, makers of a new compostable cardboard tote, recognize their clientele as "folks who think a highrise can be just as scenic a backdrop for a picnic as a 100-year-old oak tree," merging city efficiency with the idea of an old-fashioned, pampered basket. The boxes come printed with cheeky graphics, parading as boomboxes or briefcases, for an elegantly utilitarian way to carry your own version of a happy meal. For $25, you get the box along with a set of compostable utensils, napkins and a trash bag from Boxsal.

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Dining al fresco shouldn't mean an excuse to throw environmental values out the door. Ecozips baggies conscientiously pack up goodies with their two-in-one design, adding a zip down the middle so that you can either keep items separate or open it up for a larger size bag. Boxes start at $4 each from Ecozip.

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No picnic adventure is complete without a refreshing bottle of something to wash it all down. Ruffino's palatable Prosecco will have everyone in high spirits. Made with 100% Prosecco grapes from the Friuli region in Northeast Italy, the $11 bottle of DOCG wine offers a mature flavor at a reasonable price. Sip out of Govino glasses (designed for wine and champagne) to get the most out of your outdoor experience.

Contributions from Karen Day, Shannon Lin and Ami Kealoha

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