Whether you’re a die-hard *insert team name here* fan or just a social butterfly down for the party, football season is a great time to gather your friends and spend a day eating, drinking, and tossing around the pigskin. But, planning a tailgate is not for the faint of heart; you can’t just show up with a six-pack and some chips and salsa and expect a successful day. Here’s our quick guide on how to tackle a day of tailgating.
Plan and Prep
Showing up to your tailgating lot with most of your prep work done is a veteran tailgater move. Spend the week leading up to the big game planning what food you’re going to have and how much cooking you can get done in the day or two beforehand (trust us, it’s a lot more fun to show up to a tailgate with burger patties already formed and veggies already sliced and diced).
Need help with your shopping list? The Tailgating App helps organize your lists so you don’t forget anything on the day of — don’t forget extra napkins, trash bags, and fold-out chairs. Also, aluminum foil can be used for pretty much anything, from keeping food warm to serving as a makeshift plate.
Strategize Your Coolers
Accept the fact that you’re going to need more than one cooler, and have one dedicated to food and one to drinks. You might even one to have an extra cooler just for ice.
Inside the food cooler, wrap the food thoroughly so nothing leaks out in weird places or accidentally mixes with something else. For the drinks cooler, tie a bottle opener to the handle so you’re not constantly searching for one.
Looking for the perfect drinking vessel? A stainless steel tumbler is versatile enough for any beverage at a tailgate, whether it’s a cold brew, a mixed cocktail, or an icy cold water under the hot sun (and staying hydrated during a hot weather tailgate is crucial to making the day a good one).
Last Minute Additions
Here’s a quick list of fun items to pack in your SUV at the last minute for an extra awesome tailgate:
- Cornhole board and bags
- Bluetooth speaker
- Portable phone charger
- A Jock Jams themed playlist
- Reusable stainless steel water bottles and tumblers to keep drinks cold
- Anything with your team’s colors on them!
Who are you cheering for this fall, and what tailgate-approved drinks will you be sipping on?