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Picnic season has finally arrived. In Chicago, where I live, we only have a few good weather months a year. So, I plan to spend all of October outdoors now, mostly lying on a blanket by Lake Michigan with a drink and a book in hand.

I became a picnicker early in the pandemic, when reuniting with friends in the relative safety of fresh air seemed like the best social option. I’ve since perfected the outdoor dining setup, from stocking my favorite wine cellar to finding the perfect spot on the beach, but all you really need is a good picnic blanket. fuck.

To buy: Scuddles Store Extra Large Picnic & Outdoor Blanket, $27 (originally $40) at amazon.com

This Scuddles Store cover is it. It’s made up of three layers, including one of foam padding so you don’t feel any rocks or other bumps, and another of waterproof plastic that keeps it from getting wet after a day at the beach. Another thing that makes it beach friendly? It’s anti-sand. I was skeptical at first (the sand sticks to everything), but the grains directly shake off that blanket when it’s time to go. You can wipe it down without having to do laundry.

This is not a personal sized blanket. It’s large – 60 inches long by 79 inches wide – and can accommodate about two people lying down or four people sitting or lying down. However, I don’t limit its use to picnics and the beach. It is ideal for outdoor sporting events, outdoor concerts or plays, and camping trips. No matter where you go, it easily folds up and attaches with Velcro to create a surprisingly light tote.

The blanket is available in a variety of colors – orange, yellow, blue or red – and in a striped or tartan pattern. And even though it’s usually $40, you can grab one for just $27 on Amazon right now. Add it to your cart and let the picnic season begin.