For many, the most exciting time of the year in sports is just around the corner, as pre season games have begun and it is almost time for football. And with the return of football comes the return of tailgating, a tradition that has now been adopted by some fans of other sports, but is usually best within the sight of a football stadium.
Some football fans are seasoned experts in the art of tailgate partying and need no advice when it comes to throwing the best pregame feast. However, if you are less experienced, or will be joining the tailgating movement for the first time this season, here are a few tips for getting the most out of the experience.
If you are going to tailgate the right way you need to plan at being in your spot at least 3-4 hours before the game is scheduled to kick off. The busier the parking lot is likely to be, the faster the good tailgating spots are likely to go, so do keep that it mind when planning your schedule.
Do Some Scouting
If you are familiar with the stadium you are heading to then you probably already have a few prime spots in mind you are aiming for (preferably near the end of a row, near a grassy spot). If you are not so familiar with the parking you could try scoping out the lots on Google Maps streetview, or use one of the many services that allow you to reserve a parking spot in advance – Parkwhiz.com is a good one.
Make a List and Check it Twice, at Least
There is nothing worse than turning up to tailgate and finding that someone has forgotten something crucial. Therefore, you should make a list of all the things that you can think of you might need. Some things are very obvious – a grill, a roomy cooler (or two) grilling utensils, plates, cups, seating and lots of food and drink – but you may also want to add the following to your check list:
Jumper cables – just in case. Especially if you will be using your car to power small items.
Extra ice – running out of ice really sucks. To make sure that does not happen take along a second cooler that is only filled with the stuff.
First aid kit – burn injuries from the grill are always a possibility, as are minor injuries picked up during the pregame toss around.
Extra trash bags – a good tailgater always respects their surroundings and makes sure they clean up after themselves before they leave.
Toilet paper – rare is the portapotty that actually has any, or any that you would want to use, so taking a supply of your own can be an MVP move.