Picnic baskets come in all shapes and sizes, but the thing that distinguishes a picnic basket from a food hamper is that the picnic basket includes an integrated way to carry utensils and plates and such. The fancier the basket, the more elaborate the system may be. The most basic is probably just strips of elastic, which is easy to do yourself. Others have fabric lining with the elastic covered and matching, or pockets with buttoning covers, or velcro, etc. The basket may come with the utensils, which can range from cheap plastic to crystal and silver. Many also have a thermos or a thermos-holder, or even a place for a wine bottle. It may have space for blankets in addition to food, drink and utensils.

Picnic paskets actually range in price from around $15 to well over $200. The basic kinds are:
- basket, which may be hamper-shaped as described by pukesick or more 'basket-like'
- suitcase-like, usually made out of wicker (very popular during the late Victorian age)
- a backpack, a recent trend that is less romantic, but somewhat more practical as it can be built with high-tech cold-retaining fabric, and is certainly easier to take on a hike

Picnic baskets get less and less popular in this age of fast food, but they are a romantic reminder to take it easy. You can still buy the food out if you like, and put just the blankets and utensils in the basket. Nothing quite like a picnic!

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