Football is known as the national sport in America and of course, with every football season becoming the center of everyone's attention, tailgating is one of the most popular traditions. There's nothing quite like gathering with friends and family before a big game to enjoy some good food and drinks.
As you know, when it's game day, everyone's worlds stop spinning, and the Super Bowl Halftime Show is on everyone's minds. However, if you're like most people, you’re not sure where to start when planning the perfect tailgate setup. The thought of planning and executing a successful tailgate can be pretty daunting. But don't worry, we're here to help!
Below we have outlined the perfect tailgate setup that will make your game day stress-free. So, sit back and relax while you prepare for the big game!
Why Tailgating Is Perfect For the Football Season
When football season happens, tailgating is one of the usual pastimes of many Americans. Many tailgaters have been waiting all year for this event, with everyone enjoying the friendly competition between teams and fans, and friends bickering over hot dogs and other tailgate food. Every game day is fun for everyone, with lots of food and fun people enjoying the party atmosphere even though they are not close to the stadium.` c
For some people, tailgating is as important as the football game itself, so finding a tailgating spot is very important. Even though not everyone has done tailgating before, tailgating is a fun way for friends, family, and fans to share a common bond. It is one of the rare times when families enjoy cooking hot dogs and hamburgers, with dads dominating the grill while the children play games and share food in tents. Ice-cold drinks in the cooler are often appreciated, while everyone roots for their team.
Creating the perfect tailgating setup is easy if you know what necessary items to bring for the season, aside from the usual food and games. Here are some of the top tips you should remember and prepare for when you tailgate with friends and family.
Tailgating Essentials: Not Just the Hot Dogs and Trash Bags!
Below is a list of essentials you should bring to your next tailgating setup.
1. Sturdy Folding Table For Essentials
First of all, you must have a reliable folding table for your food and drinks. When summer arrives and the football season is here, you need a sturdy table for people to gather around. You can set up the table with your drinks, food items, plates, cups, napkins, and utensils. Make sure that you have designed the table to fit the theme of the tailgate party.
2. Comfortable Chairs
Your folding table is not complete without the comfy chairs for your friends and family. The chairs need to be durable and comfortable so that everyone can carry on the fun while easily enjoying their food.
These chairs must match your table in terms of color and design—the best part is if they match your theme or team colors. You should invest in high-quality folding chairs for comfort and durability, but also lightweight enough to be carried around without any hassle at all.
3. Paper Plates, Cups, and Disposable Cutlery
Forget about glass items, especially when you are in the midst of a party where people are drinking alcohol. Ensure that all your food and drinks are served on paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils so that there is no need to worry about broken glasses or porcelain dishes. Plus, you can easily throw away these paper plates, cups, and utensils after the party is over, making the clean-up easier and more convenient for you too.
4. Portable Fold-Up Grill With Fuel Source
Since you are tailgating at the football stadium's parking lot, you need to choose something that runs on charcoal or propane since you can easily find these items in most stores nearby. Invest in a portable grill where friends and family can gather around for a quick BBQ.
5. Portable Music Player With Speakers
If you want to make your tailgating experience even more fun, consider these additional items to make your party a success. Make sure you have a portable music player or radio so that everyone has something to listen to when you are not tailgating in the parking lot. Invest in speakers large enough so that everyone can hear your tunes over the sound of the football game in the distance.
6. Fire Extinguisher
Grilling involves time to cook and fire, and you must put the fire out safely to prevent accidents and injuries from happening while you tailgate with friends and family. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby at all times, especially if you are grilling or cooking with fire and high heat. You do not need to bring a huge fire extinguisher, but having something small and portable on hand is sufficient in case of an emergency.
7. Garbage Bags
Always remember to clean up after your party, especially when you are tailgating at the parking lot of a football stadium where there will be other people around. Trash bags help you to clean up properly, and that shows how much you respect other people and the environment. Bring a couple of permanent markers, too, so that you can label your trash appropriately.
Don't forget to bring plastic gloves too, especially if you are wearing your team jersey for your tailgate party and don’t want to get it dirty while cooking or cleaning up.
8. Hand Sanitizers and Alcohol Based Wipes
The last thing you want is for everyone to get sick after your party. Make sure that you have plenty of hand sanitizers and alcohol-based wipes so that everyone can clean their hands thoroughly.
Of course, you must keep yourself safe from any diseases you might get from spending a lot of time with many people in an open space. Pack plenty of hand sanitizers and wipes to keep yourself and your surrounding area clean. Again, alcohol-based sanitizers and wipes are a must, especially if you are tailgating with your friends and family during the football season.
9. Ponchos and Umbrellas
You should always be prepared for the weather every time you go out, including when it comes to tailgating in a parking lot. You never know what kind of weather might hit you while you are outside. That’s why it’s important to bring ponchos and umbrellas along with you every time, just in case.
10. Waterproof Jackets and Winter Gear
If you want to stay dry while outdoors in the parking lot of a football stadium, make sure you bring waterproof jackets or coats and remind everyone attending your tailgate party to do this as well. You can also opt to bring wool blankets and sweaters for those chilly football games during the autumn season.
11. Travel Fans and Chargers
One of the worst things that can happen when you are tailgating is for your phone or other electronic devices to die. Make sure you bring along a few travel fans and chargers so that you can keep your devices charged up at all times. That way, you can take pictures and videos of the game and post them on social media for all your friends to see. Anyway, since these are both lightweight, you can conveniently carry them around as you tailgate with your friends and family.
12. Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Even if the sun is not out, you should still protect yourself from harmful UV rays by bringing sunglasses and sunscreen with you. The sun's rays can be just as damaging on a cloudy day as they are on a sunny day. You do not want to get a sunburn while tailgating, so make sure you apply sunscreen generously before heading out.
13. Facial Mist
This item is an underrated essential, simply because many think facial mists are for high-maintenance people. The truth is, spritzing some facial mist can help prevent dry skin, dehydration, and even wrinkles. Bring a travel-sized facial mist with you to keep yourself feeling fresh all day long.
14. Insect Repellent
There's nothing worse than being eaten alive by bugs while you are trying to enjoy a tailgate party. Make sure you bring insect repellent with you to keep the bugs away. You can find insect repellent in a variety of forms, such as lotion, spray, and wipes. So whatever works best for you, make sure to pack it before heading out to your tailgate party.
15. Food and Food Containers For Leftovers
Of course, no tailgate party is complete without food. Make sure you bring along a variety of food items that everyone will enjoy. You can grill up some burgers and hot dogs, prepare a buffet table with all your favorite dishes, or have everyone attending bring a snack or a dish. Just make sure to pack plenty of food and snacks so that no one goes hungry.
Apart from the food and drinks, make sure to grab enough food storage containers to pack up any leftovers. Nobody wants to deal with food waste, so make sure you have enough containers to store all the food that will be leftover from your tailgate party.
If you are going to be grilling out at your tailgate party, you will need to bring along a cooler with ice to keep your drinks cold. You can also use coolers to store other cold snacks. Just make sure you pack enough ice so that everything stays cold throughout the party.
One of the best things about tailgating is that it provides a fun and festive atmosphere for everyone to enjoy. To keep the party going, make sure you bring along some games to play with your friends and family. You can play classic games like tag or football, or try some new ones that everyone can participate in. Card games or board games are also a great option for keeping everyone entertained.
If you are planning on tailgating in the parking lot of a football stadium, you will need to bring along a tent. Tents can provide shelter from the sun or rain, and they also create a designated area for your tailgate party. Make sure you choose a tent that is big enough to accommodate all of your guests.
19. Extra Vehicle Space
If you are planning on bringing a lot of supplies with you to your tailgate party, you will need to make sure that you have enough space in your vehicle. You can either pack everything in the back of your car or SUV, or you can use a roof-top carrier to store all your supplies. Just make sure that whatever method you choose, you have enough space to store everything safely.
Tailgating sure is fun, but creating the perfect tailgating spot for your loved ones is much more important. Just make sure to pack everything in an organized manner so that you can easily find what you need when you need it.
Take time to ensure that you are using your vehicle's extra space efficiently (a little duct tape goes a long way too!), and make sure everything fits snugly before heading out for your tailgate party on a fun game day. It's a big day, after all!