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A picnic bench is a bench generally used at a table for eating in an outdoors environment. These benches can be made from a variety of materials including wood, PVC or other types of plastic, and even metal. In some cases, the picnic bench is connected directly to the table structure. In other cases, they are separate pieces.
A picnic bench is often seen at parks or campgrounds, where picnics are the preferred way of eating. Generally, the seating is not comfortable, but very functional. Many may not prefer to sit on a picnic bench for longer periods of time simply because they usually offer no additional padding and have very little in the way of additional comfort features.
Most picnic bench pieces consist of vertical supports and a horizontal slab, which provides the seating surface. Most have no back support. In some cases, a back support may be offered but it is little more than another slab offset vertically, from the seating surface. This back support is generally not modified with any type of padding.
A picnic bench is made in such as way as to give it a fair amount of resistance from the elements it may be exposed to while outside. Due to the fact that a picnic bench is nearly exclusively an outdoor piece of furniture, many of the traditional paddings and upholsteries would not last long. Also, those who are eating at parks, gardens or campgrounds understand there will be a certain amount of discomfort involved in the outing. In some cases, a picnicking area may not be provided at all.
Traditionally, wood has been the material of choice when making picnic benches, but that is beginning to change. Now, it is possible to find picnic benches, and accompanying tables, made out of PVC, or possibly plastic-coated metals. Often, these types of benches are made in a pattern that allows water to pass through. These allow the benches to dry after rain much faster than wood, which often retains moisture for longer periods of time. Also, these materials tend to last longer and are not capable of piercing those sitting on them with splinters.
Picnic benches made of concrete are usually more ornate and are used more for private lands or special places where presentation is important. This may be in local garden setting that is open to the public, for example. While these cost more to produce, they are very durable and offer a good resistance to weather conditions as well.