So i’m sure you have seen a “Picnic Backpack”, a nice backpack with special pockets for plates/napkins/silverware for 4, a corkscrew, salt & pepper shakers, etc. All very overly pretty but not overly functional, not to mention heavy. This set alone is 85$ and 8lbs without a blanket.
While the idea is a good one, notice how the backpack is filled. Every little thing in it’s own little place nice and pretty and tons of wasted space. But i’m a practical kind of guy, the idea of excess space and weight in something i’m going to carry for miles and miles does not really appeal to me.
So, I set about making my own “functionality-inspired” picnic backpack. (NOTE! This is not a cheap set, it’s a design built for compactness and weight reduction not frugality)
1 backpack (just about anything will do) I went with a black Everest bag with 2 side pockets for water bottles – $19.99
4 lightweight Polypropylene REI plates – $2.75 ea.
4 sets of REI plastic utensils (I took out the big spoons, you can substitute titanium but the cost will go up exponentially) – $2.25ea. set
4 plastic collapsible wine glasses (The bottom unscrews from these and fits upside-down in the top) – $6.95ea.
1 “cork extractor” (I don’t like corkscrews, they mangle a perfectly re-usable cork too much) – $5 on Ebay
1 plastic orange peeler – $1.99
1 combination salt & pepper shaker – $3.95
1 cutting board – $3.00
1 decent quality knife (something that will hold an edge) – $9.99
5 cotton hand towels (4 napkins and one prep towel) – $9.99
1 Platypus bag for leftover wine – $7.95
1 Ikea Cotton Blanket – $29.99
1 sheet heavy dropcloth plastic (For wet or muddy ground) – $2.50
My grand total? $140
Total weight? 7lbs, 1oz (3lbs 12oz without the blanket)
Not too bad I figure, the blanket weighs a considerable amount on it’s own but the cotton doubles as a certain amount of padding. I could have gone with a poly “microfiber” blanket and saved alot of weight (and I still might).
Any ideas on what else I might want to add? I think I might go with a slightly larger backpack for rain gear, hiking goods, etc. The blanket takes up a considerable amount of space in this one (I bought the backpack before the blanket). I think i’ll add a Frisbee, or the Aerobie I have laying around.
The next project is a second backpack cooler that is both light and functional.
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