The weather is getting colder, and your favorite team is getting hotter! Whether you follow college games or the NFL, or both, one thing is certain: the key to a great game day is perfecting your pre-game warm up.
When your team is in the locker room getting ready, you’re diligently in the parking lot getting ready to rumble. Tailgating is an awesome and essential part of any true fan’s ritual, so don’t let yours turn into a major loss. How am I to do this?
Here are five ways to prevent your tailgating party from being a total disaster:
1. Pack More Than Enough Food and Beverage
Nothing puts the brakes on a sweet pre-party like running out of food or beer, so always pack a little extra! Frozen items like patties and frozen potatoes can be reused, so keep a reusable ice pack in your cooler so that you can bring home any leftovers for the next big game. Consider shopping in bulk by going to a wholesale store rather than a traditional grocery store. You’ll get a better deal and be able to get enough food and drink to keep you, your friends, and even new fellow fans satisfied.
2. Use a Collapsible Canopy to Protect Against Bad Weather
As fall turns into winter and regular season turns into play-offs, the weather becomes more and more unpredictable. You certainly don’t want to be rained out of the party, so always pack a foldable canopy, which will fit easily in your trunk and offer sure-fire protection against unexpected rain or snow. It’s a good idea to have this handy even when the sky is clear, because, as any die hard sports fan knows, it’s very easy to get sunburned, even when the weather outside is cold.
3. Make a Playlist Ahead of Time
All great parties require a solid playlist, so make a list of songs that will get you and your buddies amped before the game. Bringing your own playlist eliminates the risk of being subjected to your local radio station’s “Special Soft Rock Weekend,” or any other kind of radio music that is anything but amped up. You may want to bring an iPod dock or portable speakers so that you do not have to drain your car or truck battery just to keep the stereo on.
4. Avoid Soggy Food By Using Dry Ice
No one wants to eat a hamburger bun that has been fully submerged in ice water, so avoid taking your food for an icy swim by packing dry ice instead of regular. Dry ice lasts much longer than regular ice and it vaporizes rather than turning into a liquid. Try calling your local butcher or ice cream shop to see if they carry it.
5. Plan on Staying Warm
You’ve got a long day ahead of you, so don’t let your tailgating party suck the life out of you by leaving you cold and unhappy. Pack an extra jacket or two. Even if you don’t use them, someone in your group may have forgotten theirs, and you can help avoid grumpy friend syndrome by having a jacket to spare. Warm beverages are also a way to keep you toasty from the inside out, so bring a thermos filled with hot chocolate or coffee. Small hibachi grills are also perfect for tailgating because they are simple to clean and fit easily into a car or truck, and offer warmth and a convenient way to cook meat while giving everyone a place to warm their hands.
Follow these few simple tips, and your next tailgating party is sure to be championship material!