Steppin’ Out Week With sun-drenched days upon us, the outdoors is your oyster. All this week, we’ve got tips and recommendations for everything from urban park excursions to backcountry backpacking, so let these guides help spark your next adventure.
One of the lowkey best summer activities is spending an evening in the park listening to a concert, watching a public movie screening, or just relaxing and having a dinner picnic. As long as the weather’s nice, there’s no way to truly screw any of those things up, but we found a few products that should make them even more enjoyable.
The blanket is the base for your entire night at the park, so it’s important to find one that will keep the bugs off without weighing you down. You’ll need those arms to carry food and drinks in, and garbage out, after all.
Matador’s pocket blanket, as you might have guessed from the name, can fit in your pocket, but unfurls into a 63″ x 44″ blanket that’s plenty big for two people. It even has tiny, built-in metal stakes at the corners to deal with wind, and an “easy-pack pattern” that allows mere mortals to fit it back in the pouch when it’s time to go home.
If you’re going to spend an evening laying on a blanket, a pillow will be a much nicer place to lay your head or your elbow than the ground. Nemo’s Fillo Pillow Elite packs down to roughly the size of a deck of cards, and with a few puffs of air transforms into a full 15″ wide throw pillow.
If you want a little extra back support, or need to see over the crowd at a concert or outdoor movie, a low-profile chair could be a better option than a blanket, or a great complement to it.
Tommy Bahama’s reader-favorite beach chairs will work perfectly well at the park as well, and include backpack straps for easy transportation from the parking lot. For an even more portable and shareable option, consider one of these inflatable “couches,” which fill up with air with just a quick swish of your arms.
All the expensive, buzzy coolers that you’ve been hearing about for the last few years boast about keeping ice frozen for a week or more. But for a night out at the park, portability is a much bigger concern than multi-day performance.
We’ve covered the Kawartha cooler bag before, and needless to say, it’s basically perfect for lugging to the park for a picnic. It has enough space for food and drinks for multiple people, and its sling design means that you can keep your hands free.
Maybe your local park doesn’t, strictly speaking, allow you to openly pull out a bottle of wine while you enjoy your evening out. Or maybe they do, but you just want to keep your bottle of white wine cold without bringing a ton of ice.
Enter Hydro Flask’s wine bottle. At 25 ounces, it’s perfectly sized to hold an entire bottle’s worth of red or white wine, and since it’s built from vacuum insulated stainless steel, it’ll maintain your vino’s temperature for hours on end, no ice required.
Whether we’re talking about wine, water, or anything in between, if you don’t want to drink straight out of a bottle, you’ll want to bring your own cups.
Obviously, any (non-glass) cup will do the job, but we particularly love Miir’s insulated Camp Cups. Available in a variety of colors with an included lid, they’ll keep drinks hot or cold for hours, and look great while doing it.