It’s the best time of year: Tailgating season! With that comes the start of cooler weather and of course football. I created National Tailgating Day in 2016 to help share my love of tailgating with the nation. Tailgating with friends has always been my escape and in today’s world we all need an escape, more than ever.
National Tailgating Day 2019 falls on Saturday, September 7th, which for many of us, will be the first real kickoff to football season. I’m here to share with you 10 key tips with that will help you enjoy the sport of tailgating even more.
Tailgating Challenge’s Top 10 Tips for National Tailgating Day:
1. You Don’t have to Go BIG to have fun.
Not everyone has big pickup trucks and trailers to haul elaborate tailgating setups to the game and that’s ok. Even if space (or $$) is limited, you can still make your tailgate the place to be thanks to some of the latest innovations with tailgating necessities. Look for items that serve multiple purposes, like a cooler with a built-in sound system. Instead of hauling a big bulky grill to the tailgate, consider downsizing to a disposable grill. I’m constantly discovering and reviewing the newest products to market, many of which can serve dual purposes and can help fit a big party into a small vehicle. Did you know there is now a portable grill with a built-in sound system?
2. Always come prepared for the elements.
In September it can still be blazing hot across the country! Before spending hours in the heat, make sure that you and your tailgating crew are prepared. Bring sunscreen, hats, and tents to help keep the sun off your guests. Wear breathable clothing that will make your day more comfortable. Did you know they even make small hand-held air conditioning units and air conditioning coolers now?!
3. Explore new things.
I’m all for the classics, but there’s something about showing your tailgating crew something brand new that is engaging. Look for different tailgating games to play, try some unique craft beer instead of the cheapest case of beer you find in the convenience store. Look up a fun new recipe to grill something different. Many people are scared of change until they see the benefits. Be the game changer this season and your friends will thank you. What would you say to grilled lobster tails at the tailgate?
4. Get comfortable
If you’re like me, you like to head out to the tailgate hours before the event starts, so you might as well be comfortable. Every year I see folding chairs that have broken and been thrown in the trash. In addition to falling apart, these chairs aren’t really comfortable and could even be a safety hazard for the person sitting in it when it breaks. Upgrade your seating with some of the new chairs like the GCI Outdoor freestyle rocking chair that is one of the most comfortable chairs I’ve tested. You can get even more relaxed with a hammock that fits in a backpack with everything you need to set up. Rocking chairs and hammocks at a tailgate…. I’m already feeling more relaxed.
5. Remain Cool
Keep those drinks cold. No one likes warm beer, so don’t let it happen. You don’t have to buy a $400 cooler to have cold beer at the tailgate. Did you know that adding rock salt to your cooler can actually drop the temperature of your cooler to below freezing?! There are also devices that take warm beer and make them ice cold in 60 seconds! There’s no excuse for serving warm beer, period.
6. One size doesn’t fit all
There are many different allergies and lifestyles that we should all take into account when having a tailgating party. From peanut allergies, gluten intolerance, to veganism we need to support and be mindful of everyone that we interact with on gameday. Think through some of these to ensure that you have safe options for everyone. Did you know that veganism has grown 500% in the USA since 2014! They are now making burgers and brats that cater to Vegans and actually ‘bleed’ when grilled with the added beet juice.
7. Power up
We have more electronics at our finger tips today than ever before and it’s a small crisis should our phones die. You can keep a small portable power station on hand to help charge your phone and other electronics at the tailgate, should you not want to haul a large generator to the game. You could be the hero of the tailgate if you can save someone’s phone from dying.
8. Bug off
Bugs can ruin a tailgate. From flies to mosquitoes there are a variety of bugs that never seem to get the message that they’re NOT welcomed to the tailgate. Bugs can aggravate guests and try to get a taste of the good food and drinks you’re serving. The good news is… you don’t need chemicals and pesticides to keep bugs away. There are multiple portable devices available that can keep insects away or eradicate them on the spot. There is even a fun tool out now that uses table salt to kill flies that invade your space.
9. Don’t be that guy
I like a cold beer as much as the next guy, but we all need to have that balance of not enjoying too many adult beverages at the game. Be sure to keep water bottles on hand to help your guests stay hydrated. If someone is intoxicated, make sure they don’t try to drive. Keeping a portable breathalyzer on hand can show someone exactly how intoxicated they are and it may save a life.
10. Let your outfit speak for you
I always knew that if I couldn’t fit in, I might as well stand out. There are many people who agree with this and dress the part each and every gameday. Go all out and have some fun with your outfits. There are companies that cater to wild shirts and pants that allow you to express yourself and your fandom for your favorite team. Did you know there is even a belt buckle that can hold your drink!?
Thank you for taking a moment to read my top 10 National Tailgating Day Tips. I hope these tips help enhance your tailgating experiences this fall. Follow @TailgatingChallenge to keep up with the newest, most useful tailgating products that can help you take your tailgate to the next level. Now get out there and show me what you learned!
This National Tailgating Day, use #TailgatingChallenge and join me in helping showcase to the world the how you tailgate.
You can see more of our fun tailgating articles in Tailgater Magazine. This article appear in THIS ISSUE