Living in the South, we often have the elements to deal with when we take the party outside. I always create a survival kit handy for any outdoor party. I try to include items I think will make guests feel more comfortable, especially when the weather is really hot or humid. Here are my suggestions for a survival kit for your summer parties; these are especially important for late afternoon weddings in the summertime. I’ve seen people actually start to melt in the blazing sun during a late afternoon outdoor wedding ceremony. Your guests will thank you for being so considerate and so smart. (You can thank me later:-)
MARTIE’S OUTDOOR PARTY SURVIVAL KIT SUGGESTIONS
I find little baskets or containers to match the party theme and fill them with essentials for summer fun when it is hot outside. Depending on the time of day, you might want to include some of the following:
- Insect Repellant
- Band-Aids and a First-Aid Kit
- Burn ointment (especially if you are grilling or making S’mores)
- Paper fans
- Aloe Vera or other post sun lotion
- Flip flops (especially important if the ground is soft; ladies can exchange their high heels for a more comfortable option)
- Mini-flashlights (if the party goes after dark; especially important if there is not a lot of light)
- Chilled hand towels (directions below, especially nice if you have a shrimp boil or buttered corn)
- Hand-warmer packs (for cold weather, available at sport goods or camping supply stores)
- Chapstick (for cold weather parties; let guests take one home as a party favor)
CHILLED HAND TOWELS
That’s me above, on the set of Food Network Star with a tip for outdoor entertaining… I suggested providing a bowl of ice with rolled paper towels or paper hand towels so guests can freshen up. I like to put cucumber or lemon in the ice; makes the towels smell so fresh. These are a great idea if it is really hot, if you plan on playing games outside or you are serving something like corn on the cob with lots of butter!
ANT AND BEE STINGS
Ants and bees always show up for the party when there is food. One important thing to consider when you have an outdoor party or event is the possibility of guests with bee allergies. I’ve seen people go into extreme shock after a bee sting so I’m acutely aware of the need to have a Bee Sting kit handy and to recognize the symptoms. You can find bee sting kits at most drug stores but some require a prescription from a doctor. Benadryl can help with some symptoms but often, the victim’s throat will swell closed and prevent them from swallowing a tablet. Have the number for the National Poison Control Center handy just in case you need it. 1-800-222-1222. Call 911 immediately if you notice hives, swelling, inability to breathe, dizziness or other symptoms after a bee or ant sting.
This is probably just the former cop in me or maybe all those years in the Girl Scouts but I like to be prepared for any situation if I’m hosting a party or event… just in case!