We here at PBN are big fans of celebrating Thanksgiving in the great outdoors. If you’re hoping to give thanks with a meal set in nature, then we hope you’ve checked out our recipe guides from years past offering the best campfire-friendly Thanksgiving fare around.
If you’re good to go with the food but need a few pointers on how to enjoy an outdoor meal when Thanksgiving temperatures can be too cold for comfort, then this blog post is for you! Hold onto your turkeys, grab a mug of cider, and cozy up to our cold weather picnic guide.
Remember the basics
The season may have changed, but the general picnic pointers haven’t. Brush up on our original picnic guide to make sure you cover all your bases. Use your Pocket Ranger® app to find the perfect destination, prepare a mouth-watering menu, set the mood with your favorite music, and, of course, clean up once you’re done. Hot weather and cold weather picnics are actually pretty similar.
Keep your food warm
It would be a real shame to whip up a delicious Thanksgiving meal only to see it turn ice-cold once it hits the chilly autumn air. However, keeping food at its proper warm temperature is a real challenge come late-November. Insulated coolers are the go-to method of maintaining food temperatures, but if you want to really ensure things stay warm, try this trick: Wrap clean bricks in foil, then warm them over the fire. Then place the warm bricks in the bottom of the cooler, making sure to keep them separated from the cooler so that it doesn’t melt (you can use towels or small pieces of wood). Viola!
Pack plenty of blankets
You’ll likely be packing blankets anyway so that everyone has something to sit on, but don’t forget that your guests may need a blanket to wrap up in too! Being able to snuggle up with a warm blanket will add an extra cozy touch to your cold weather picnic.
Toast those tootsies
Have you ever noticed that when your feet are cold, your whole body is cold? Likewise, when your tootsies are toasty, you are likely to be warm as well. A super simple way to keep your feet warm is by tucking chemical heat packets (colloquially called “foot warmers”) into your shoes. Your toes, and you, will stay warm for hours, so you can spend less time shivering and more time digging into the food.
Serve hot drinks
Sure, there are foot warmers and blankets and campfires to warm you from the outside, but do double-duty on staying toasty by drinking a hot beverage to warm your belly on the inside too. Need some inspiration? Try these 5 hot drink recipes to start.
Don’t forget about indoor picnics!
No matter your options for creating a killer cold weather picnic, eating a big meal in the great, cold outdoors is just not for everyone. If you don’t want to give up on your picnic dreams just because the weather outside may be frightful, consider an indoor picnic.
Lay a picnic blanket down on the floor and bust out the casual dining ware. Give your favorite picnic foods a Thanksgiving twist. Love fried chicken? Consider serving a deep-fried turkey. Can’t get enough of potato salad? Try sweet potato salad instead. After years of traditional Thanksgiving feasts, an indoor Thanksgiving picnic will surely be a meal to remember!
While this guide will help you plan the perfect outdoor meal this Thanksgiving, you can use it all season long. Have you ever had a cold weather picnic? Is it on your to-do list? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!