It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Ok, well, it is for football tailgaters at least. Tailgating for events can be a great opportunity to be with friends and family and celebrate your team’s eventual victory… Or loss… A kink in your tailgating festivities can really put a hamper on the fun though, so take these tailgating tips into consideration for your next pre-game party.
1. Use a toolbox for tailgating gear
This is a great way to stay organized. This tailgating tip takes advantage of a simple toolbox to organize your tailgating gear. In the main compartment include: spatulas, bottle openers, tongs, can opener, toothpicks, wooden skewers, basting brush and a mini flashlight. The middle compartment can be used for: trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, poncho, plastic zip bags, Sharpie, masking tape. Lastly, the bottom drawer is a great place for your favorite condiments, spices and seasonings.
2. Learn the rules of packing a cooler
For this tailgating tip, you’ll need a cool, clean cooler. First, add cans and bottles to the bottom of your cooler. (Tip: Make sure your beverages and food are chilled before you place them into the cooler. Your ice will last much longer!) Then, add a layer of ice over your beverages, and place any bagged items on top of the ice layer. Pack in your water-tight containers, and fill the cooler to the top with ice so no warm air gets out. Voila! Perfectly packed cooler!
3. Freeze water bottles to use in place of ice so you have cold water to drink when they melt
This is a great tailgating tip in the event that your cooler is already pretty full, but you also need to bring water. This tip packs two benefits into one– ice for your cooler and a refreshing way to stay hydrated– Win, win!
4. Bring a large plastic tub to haul back dirty dishes
If you’re stuck on dishes duty, this tailgating tip is right up your alley. Use a large plastic tub (like this Sterilite Storage Tub) to stack your dirty plates, utensils and dishes in. It’s got a lid so old food odors won’t suffocate you on the ride home, and these convenient plastic tubs stack easily and don’t take up unnecessary space.
5. Float a big helium balloon on a long string from your car, so friends can find you
For all those saavy tailgaters out there, this tailgating tip will be pretty obvious. When you get a group of hundreds (if not thousands) of tailgaters together in one relatively small space, it can be tough to find your friends. By floating a large helium balloon over your tailgate, you can signal to friends where you are much easier than trying to direct them any other way. Plus, it can be a great way to show your team spirit!
6. Bring a pre-packed set of drawers so everything is handy and organized while you cook
This tailgating tip is great for when things start to get hectic around grilling time. Use a set of plastic drawers (like this Sterilite Storage Cart) to keep everything organized and handy for you and your guests. Designate drawers for paper plates, plastic utensils, cups, bottle openers and even bug repellant or suntan lotion. Make sure to label each drawer for your guests with each drawer’s contents.
7. Serve breakfast you can eat with your hands, like sausage or bacon wrapped in pancakes
What’s the only thing that can make bacon better aside from more bacon? Pancakes with bacon. For those early morning tailgates, this tip will come in handy. Bring along a griddle, some bacon, sausage and pre-made pancake batter, and you’ve got yourself one hearty breakfast– Yummm….
8. Hang a paper towel roll using a bungee cord from the tent struts
Sometimes tailgating foods can get pretty messy– If you plan on grilling or smoking ribs, especially, this tailgating tip will save you from barbecue-coated fingerprints and save you from other unexpected messes. All you’ll need is a roll of paper towels (or more) and a bungee cord for each roll. Simply slide the bungee cord inside the roll and let it hang from the top of your tent canopy. Plus, it’ll also help you save precious space.
9. Shape and pack up burger patties between sheets of wax paper the night before, too
This simple tailgating tip will keep your hands (halfway) clean and hungry stomaches fuller faster. The day before your big tailgate, thaw ground beef and portion it out into hamburgers. Use a foil tray to carry them in, and use wax paper between each layer. No more hamburger-y hands for you!
10. Most importantly: Be nice, introduce yourself to your tailgating neighbors
This tailgate tip might be the most important. Sharing these tips and having conversations with your fellow fans is a great way to spend your tailgate. They just might have their own tailgate tips for you– Even the most loathsome rivals can make the best tailgating buddies!
Get out there and root for your team! Go Big Red!