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What Is A Picnic Blanket Called


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Reina Liu



When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, few things are as delightful as a picnic. Whether it’s a casual gathering with friends, a romantic date, or a family outing, picnics offer the perfect opportunity to savor delicious food and soak in the beauty of nature. However, to truly elevate the picnic experience, one essential item stands out: the picnic blanket.


Often overlooked in its significance, the picnic blanket serves as the foundation for a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor meal. It provides a clean and cozy spot for spreading out a delectable spread of food and drinks, while offering a comfortable place to sit and relax. But what exactly is a picnic blanket called, and why is it an indispensable companion for any outdoor excursion?


In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of picnic blankets, exploring their history, the various types available, their uses, benefits, and the key features to consider when selecting the perfect one. By the end of this journey, you will gain a newfound appreciation for this humble yet essential accessory, and perhaps be inspired to embark on your next picnic adventure with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and preparedness.


History of Picnic Blankets

The concept of using a blanket for outdoor dining and socializing dates back centuries, with historical references to communal outdoor feasts found in various cultures around the world. However, the specific history of the picnic blanket as we know it today is a bit more elusive.


One can imagine ancient civilizations, from the Romans to the Chinese, utilizing rudimentary forms of blankets or mats to sit upon while enjoying meals in nature. As societies evolved, so did the practice of al fresco dining, leading to the refinement of outdoor dining accessories.


The modern picnic blanket, as a dedicated and portable item designed for outdoor use, likely emerged during the Victorian era in England. This period, known for its emphasis on leisurely outdoor activities and social gatherings, saw the popularization of picnics as a fashionable pastime among the upper classes.


During this time, ornate and intricately designed blankets made of wool, often with waterproof backing, became synonymous with the quintessential English picnic. These blankets not only provided a comfortable and clean surface for dining but also added an element of elegance to the outdoor affair.


As the practice of picnicking spread across the globe, so did the use of picnic blankets. Different regions and cultures adapted the concept to suit their preferences, leading to a diverse array of materials, patterns, and designs employed in the creation of picnic blankets.


Today, picnic blankets are available in an assortment of styles, materials, and sizes, catering to a wide range of preferences and outdoor activities. From classic tartan patterns reminiscent of traditional English picnics to modern, lightweight, and compact designs suitable for hiking and beach outings, the evolution of picnic blankets continues to reflect the ever-changing needs and tastes of outdoor enthusiasts.


Types of Picnic Blankets

When it comes to choosing the perfect picnic blanket, there is a diverse range of options to consider, each tailored to different preferences, activities, and environmental conditions. Understanding the various types of picnic blankets can help you make an informed decision based on your specific needs. Here are some common types of picnic blankets:

  • Traditional Wool Blankets: These blankets harken back to the classic picnic aesthetic, often featuring timeless tartan patterns and durable wool construction. While they may be heavier than other options, traditional wool blankets provide excellent insulation and a cozy feel, making them ideal for cooler weather picnics.
  • Waterproof Backed Blankets: Designed for practicality and convenience, waterproof backed blankets feature a water-resistant or waterproof layer on one side, ensuring that damp ground or light rain won’t dampen your picnic experience. These blankets are easy to clean and maintain, making them suitable for various outdoor settings.
  • Foldable and Compact Blankets: Perfect for on-the-go picnicking, foldable and compact blankets are often made from lightweight and easily packable materials such as nylon or polyester. They come with built-in carrying straps or bags, allowing for effortless transportation and storage. These blankets are popular among hikers, beachgoers, and those who value portability.
  • Picnic Rugs with Insulation: Ideal for picnics in colder climates or on chilly evenings, picnic rugs with added insulation offer an extra layer of warmth and comfort. These blankets may feature thermal linings or padding to keep you snug and cozy, even when the temperature drops.
  • All-in-One Picnic Blanket and Tote: Combining functionality and convenience, these innovative blankets often come with integrated totes or carrying handles, allowing them to be easily folded and transported. They may also include pockets for storing picnic essentials, making them a practical choice for picnickers who value organization and efficiency.

Each type of picnic blanket offers unique advantages, catering to different outdoor scenarios and personal preferences. Whether you prioritize durability, portability, weather resistance, or multifunctionality, there is a picnic blanket perfectly suited to enhance your al fresco dining experiences.


Uses of Picnic Blankets

Picnic blankets are versatile accessories that extend beyond their traditional role of providing a comfortable surface for outdoor dining. Their functionality and convenience make them indispensable for a variety of activities and settings. Here are some of the diverse uses of picnic blankets:

  • Picnicking: Of course, the primary use of a picnic blanket is for picnicking. Whether you’re enjoying a leisurely lunch in the park, hosting a beachside feast, or having an impromptu outdoor meal, a picnic blanket creates a designated and clean space for dining and relaxation.
  • Beach Days: When spending a day at the beach, a picnic blanket provides a comfortable spot for sunbathing, reading, or simply taking in the coastal views. Its larger surface area compared to towels makes it ideal for accommodating groups of friends or family members.
  • Outdoor Concerts and Events: Attending open-air concerts, festivals, or outdoor events often involves sitting on grassy or uneven terrain. A picnic blanket offers a comfortable and clean seating area, allowing you to fully enjoy the entertainment without discomfort.
  • Camping and Hiking: For camping trips or hiking excursions, a durable and portable picnic blanket serves as a versatile ground cover for resting, picnicking, or providing an extra layer of insulation inside tents or shelters.
  • Children’s Play Area: Families with young children can use picnic blankets to create a designated play area at parks, playgrounds, or even in their own backyard. The soft surface provides a safe and clean space for kids to engage in various activities and games.
  • Yoga and Exercise: Picnic blankets offer a convenient and portable alternative to traditional yoga mats. Their larger size and cushioned surface make them suitable for outdoor yoga sessions, stretching exercises, or as a comfortable base for various workouts.
  • Outdoor Reading and Relaxation: Whether under a shady tree in the park or amidst the serene beauty of a garden, a picnic blanket provides an inviting space for reading, meditating, or simply unwinding in nature.

These varied uses highlight the adaptability and practicality of picnic blankets, showcasing their ability to enhance numerous outdoor experiences and activities. With their versatility and comfort-enhancing qualities, picnic blankets truly embody the spirit of outdoor leisure and enjoyment.


Benefits of Using a Picnic Blanket

Using a picnic blanket offers a host of benefits that elevate the outdoor dining and leisure experience, making it an essential companion for various activities. Here are some key advantages of incorporating a picnic blanket into your outdoor outings:

  • Comfort and Cleanliness: A picnic blanket provides a clean and comfortable surface for sitting, lounging, and dining, ensuring that you can enjoy your outdoor experience without worrying about dirt, moisture, or uneven terrain.
  • Protection from Ground Elements: Whether it’s shielding you from damp grass, sand, or rocky surfaces, a picnic blanket acts as a barrier between you and the ground, offering insulation and protection from potential discomfort.
  • Promotion of Relaxation: By creating a designated area for relaxation and socializing, a picnic blanket encourages a leisurely and unhurried atmosphere, allowing you to fully unwind and savor the outdoor setting.
  • Enhanced Hygiene for Dining: When used for picnicking, a blanket provides a hygienic surface for laying out food and drinks, minimizing direct contact with outdoor surfaces and reducing the risk of contamination.
  • Group Gathering Facilitation: A spacious picnic blanket accommodates groups of friends or family members, fostering a sense of togetherness and camaraderie during outdoor gatherings and celebrations.
  • Versatility and Adaptability: From impromptu picnics to beach outings, concerts, and camping trips, a picnic blanket adapts to a wide range of outdoor activities, adding comfort and convenience to each experience.
  • Protection from Moisture and Stains: Waterproof or water-resistant picnic blankets offer added protection against moisture, spills, and stains, ensuring that your outdoor dining area remains dry and tidy.
  • Connection with Nature: By providing a comfortable and inviting space amidst natural surroundings, a picnic blanket fosters a deeper connection with the outdoors, allowing you to fully appreciate the beauty of the environment.
  • Easy Maintenance and Care: Many picnic blankets are designed for easy cleaning and maintenance, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about extensive post-picnic cleanup.

These benefits underscore the practicality and enjoyment that a picnic blanket brings to outdoor excursions, enriching the overall experience and contributing to memorable moments shared with loved ones amidst the splendor of nature.


Features to Look for in a Picnic Blanket

When selecting a picnic blanket, considering the following features can help you choose the most suitable option for your outdoor activities and preferences:

  • Size and Seating Capacity: Determine the size of the blanket based on the number of individuals it needs to accommodate. Whether for a couple’s picnic or a gathering with friends and family, opt for a size that provides ample space for everyone.
  • Portability and Compactness: If you plan to transport the blanket frequently, look for one that is lightweight and easily foldable. Built-in carrying straps or a compact design can enhance its portability.
  • Weather Resistance: Consider the outdoor conditions you are likely to encounter. A waterproof or water-resistant blanket is ideal for areas with high humidity, frequent rain, or damp ground, providing protection from moisture and ensuring a dry seating area.
  • Durability and Easy Maintenance: Choose a blanket made from durable materials that are easy to clean. Stain-resistant and machine-washable fabrics simplify maintenance and contribute to the blanket’s longevity.
  • Insulation and Comfort: For picnics in cooler climates or on evenings when temperatures drop, opt for a blanket with added insulation or a soft, plush surface to enhance comfort and warmth.
  • Design and Aesthetics: Select a blanket with a design that reflects your personal style and preferences. Whether you prefer classic patterns, vibrant colors, or minimalist aesthetics, choose a design that resonates with your outdoor ambiance.
  • Additional Features: Some blankets come with integrated accessories such as carrying totes, pockets, or securing stakes to anchor the blanket in place on windy days. These additional features can enhance convenience and functionality.
  • Multi-Functionality: Consider whether the blanket can serve multiple purposes, such as converting into a tote or beach mat, or incorporating features that make it suitable for various outdoor activities beyond picnicking.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: For environmentally conscious individuals, seek out blankets made from sustainable and eco-friendly materials, contributing to a greener outdoor lifestyle.

By evaluating these features, you can make an informed decision when choosing a picnic blanket that aligns with your specific needs, ensuring that it enhances your outdoor experiences while offering practicality, comfort, and style.



In conclusion, the picnic blanket, often overlooked in its significance, emerges as a versatile and indispensable companion for outdoor leisure and dining. With a rich historical legacy and a diverse array of types and features, the picnic blanket embodies both practicality and elegance, enhancing the enjoyment of al fresco experiences.


From traditional wool blankets that evoke a sense of timeless charm to modern, waterproof designs that cater to practicality and convenience, the world of picnic blankets offers options tailored to a wide range of preferences and outdoor activities. Whether used for picnicking, beach outings, outdoor events, or as a comfortable ground cover for various leisure pursuits, the picnic blanket serves as a multifaceted and adaptable accessory, promoting comfort, cleanliness, and connection with nature.


By understanding the benefits of using a picnic blanket, including its role in providing comfort, protection, and a designated space for relaxation and dining, outdoor enthusiasts can fully appreciate its value in enriching their outdoor experiences. Furthermore, considering key features such as size, portability, weather resistance, and design aesthetics empowers individuals to select a picnic blanket that aligns with their unique needs and preferences.


Ultimately, the picnic blanket encapsulates the spirit of outdoor leisure, fostering memorable moments and cherished gatherings amidst the splendor of nature. Whether enjoying a romantic picnic for two or hosting a lively outdoor feast with friends and family, the picnic blanket stands as a symbol of comfort, practicality, and the joy of savoring life’s simple pleasures in the great outdoors.