Soak Up Those Remaining Rays: Everything You Need for a Golden Hour Picnic

Soak Up Those Remaining Rays: Everything You Need for a Golden Hour Picnic

This article was created as part of a sponsored partnership with AllTrails. We take pride in selecting partners who align with our mission to get more women outside. Thank you for supporting this collaborative effort!

It’s officially that time of year where my sunshine scarcity mindset starts to kick in. You know the one, where every “end-of-summer sale” sends ya into a full on spiral. While I love every season and I’m already looking forward to those crisp, leaf peeping weekends this fall, I can’t help but feel like the  summer months have suddenly slipped away from me. 

In a last-ditch effort to course-correct my mindset and make the most of these remaining rays, I go a little calendar crazy packing in every square inch of sunshine with a coordinated outdoor activity like last minute camping trips, hitting the farmers market every Sunday, and starting each day with a morning walk (thank you, Andrew Huberman). My favorite way to spend summer evenings though? A golden hour picnic. Picture your favorite weekly happy hour sans the crowded restaurant…oh, and add a killer view. 

Because we know you’ll want to make the most of these remaining rays too, we’ve teamed up with the folks at AllTrails to share everything you need to set-up a golden hour picnic—including some swoonworthy trails (and views) to get ya there!

Our favorite trails for catching the sunset in New York, Denver, and Los Angeles.… 

Our 8 Must-Haves for a Sunset Picnic: 

Trail Map: AllTrails App, $36.

Before you pack up, we recommend first mapping out your destination on AllTrails. If you aren’t familiar with it already, AllTrails is an app that helps you find your way outside with detailed reviews and inspiration from a global community of trail-goers. I’ve been a long-time AllTrails user and I never leave home without downloading my trail map first. This allows me to follow the trail map with or without cell service—an absolute must in the mountains of Colorado! We’re also LOVING their new “trail conditions” feature which shows you the weather, ground conditions, and mosquito activity along the trail. 

Food Storage Container: Bento Bite Dual, $41.

Call us basic, but we firmly believe no happy hour is complete without a robust charcuterie board. That said, hauling a full-sized butcher block up a mountain, or even a small hill for that matter, is not ideal. For this reason, we recommend bringing your cured goods in a more compact platter. These bento box containers are great for achieving the aesthetics of a stationary charcuterie board without compromising on space. 

Beverage Container: Insulated Canteen, $38.

At first glance, you might see this canteen and immediately think of hot cocoa on a cold day. Don’t worry, I totally thought the same! But I’m happy to report, this baby is just as good (if not better) at keeping bevies cold on warm days. I recently brought this insulated canteen on a camping trip so I could have iced matchas in the morning (don’t @ me), and it performed perfectly. Plus, it’s pretty damn cute! I’d recommend whipping up your favorite batch cocktail (or mocktail) and storing it here for safekeeping on the trek. Pro tip: since this only comes with one attached mug, you’ll likely want to bring an extra cup or two for your friends.

Backpack Cooler: Cooler Bag, $260. 

For an adventure like this, you’ll obviously need a cooler to store your consumable goods, and you’ll want your hands free— both for basic comfort, and to review the map along the way. Enter: the cutest backpack cooler you’ve ever seen. If you thought the canteen above was cute, can you even imagine how good these two look together? It’s almost alarming. This cooler is pretty spacious, so as long as your consumables are properly sealed, you can tuck all of your belongings in here as well!

Picnic Blanket: Original Puffy Blanket, $110.

No picnic is complete without a picnic blanket, and per our previous email, convenience is the name of the game here. We love these Rumpl blankets because they 1) are stain and water resistant 2) pack away easily in their stuff sack and 3) can clip onto any of your gear, like the aforementioned backpack cooler (should you run out of space within). 

SPF: Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Stiq, $38.

If there is one thing we take seriously here at PLEIN AIR, it’s our SPF. Yes, even after 5pm when the UV index starts to dip. Skin. damage. is no. joke. While we’re all about soaking up the sun, we’re not about doing it sans protection. For applying sunscreen on-the-go, we love the Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Stiq from Utu. Unlike other mineral sunscreens, this one doesn’t leave a thick-white film so you can swipe it on without worrying about the finished product.

Bug Spray: So Long, Suckers Spray Serum, $16

Remember earlier when we said AllTrails now has a feature where you can check the mosquito activity along the trail? Well, considering it’s still summer (yay!) there’s a good chance that activity might be high (meh). If so, you’re going to want to pack some bug spray. Lucky for you, All Better Co. has made a natural spray serum with hemp-derived CBD and other nourishing botanicals, so we can ~calmly~ stay away from bugs and enjoy our picnic in peace. 

Camera: FUJIFILM INSTAX SQUARE SQ1 Instant Film Camera, $159.

Did you really have a pinterest-worthy picnic if you didn’t take any golden hour photos? We think not. Have your picnic and capture it too with this oh-so-cute instant film camera by Fujifilm. You can thank me later (when the sun sets at 5pm and you have these photos to return to.)

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