The start of the NFL season is just around the corner! It’s time to break out your tailgating equipment to get it ready for lots of fun pre-game events in the months ahead. Make the most of this football season with this resource of tailgating essentials, plus some tips and tricks to enhance your tailgating experience.
Equipment & Supplies
When hosting a tailgating ‘booth’ or breaking out the grill from the back of your pickup truck, there are several items that you just can’t do without:
- Tailgating grill with propane or charcoal
- Matches, lighter and/or lighter fluid
- Grilling tools
- Cutting board
- Bottle opener
- Utensils, napkins and plates
- Paper towels and/or wet wipes
- Ziplock and trash bags
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
Serious tailgaters need to go above and beyond with their equipment, for a perfect tailgate party each and every game. The following items will help you take your tailgate experience to the next level:
Sports canopy: With a protective canopy, you can enjoy tailgating regardless of the weather. You will find that there is a variety of canopy designs and manufacturers, but the ideal canopy is durable, highly portable, and can even be custom branded with your choice of colors and sports team branding, like the sports canopies by WeatherPort™ Shelter Systems.
Bluetooth speaker(s): You can’t have a proper tailgate without tunes! Invest in a portable bluetooth speaker to project your favorite music from your smartphone, keeping the game day vibe energetic and fun.
Instagate: For busy tailgaters who often find themselves leaving necessary supplies behind, the Instagate is a must! This handy tailgate-in-a-box is only $40, and includes all of the essentials for a tailgate party: grill, grilling tools, recyclable cooler, dining supplies, and more.
Folding table and/or chairs: You don’t want to be on your feet throughout the tailgating party, especially if you’re going to be on your feet at the game. Rest easy with folding chairs, and bring along a folding table to facilitate food prep.
Outdoor games: While the grill is heating up, and to keep the atmosphere fun-focused, stock up on portable outdoor games that you can break out and enjoy. Some of the classics include bocce ball, cornhole, horseshoes, etc. You could choose a game that’s trending and popular, such as Spikeball®.
Cool Tailgating Extras:
- Premium Party Grill
- The Anywhere Fridge
- Coolest Cooler
- Chair with Cooler & Phone Pocket
- Deluxe Tailgating Grill Table
- Portable Smartphone Charger
Being careful not to participate in freeloading, and following the principles of sharing are key to correct etiquette and polite behavior when tailgating. Follow these important do’s and don’ts to be a great tailgater:
Do: Bring something to the tailgate party, every time. Freeloading is unacceptable tailgating behavior.
Don’t sit on the cooler. People want to access their beverages with ease, and you probably want a seat with less hassle. If you do choose to sit on the cooler, recognize that doing so requires that you get up to allow access whenever the beverage bin is approached and do not complain.
Do: Plan to share. It’s the nature of a tailgate party! However, sharing doesn’t apply to freeloaders unless you feel like it.
Don’t leave another tailgate with a road soda/beer, unless it is offered to you as such.
Do: Recognize the equality (or inequality) of beverage supply – if you bring cheap beer, understand that someone else’s expensive liquor is not an appropriate trade.
Don’t leave another tailgate with their food or beverages, or offer another tailgater’s bounty to others without specific authorization from the tailgater who brought the bounty.
Do: Always offer to grab another beverage for someone else (or multiple someones) when you’re getting one for yourself.
Don’t expect other tailgaters to accommodate your food allergies. If you have food allergies or dietary restrictions, bring food that you can enjoy (and still plan to share).
Do: Bring food to grill, not prepared food. Exception: Prepared food that is special and desired tailgating-type food, such as tacos from that amazing taco truck, super-long hoagie sandwiches, or goodies from that famous local bakery.
Don’t brag about your delicious ______ (insert food item here) if you aren’t making said item.
Do: Bring a canopy to provide some shade if you’re hosting a tailgate.
Don’t bring a complicated canopy that takes multiple people many steps to set up – choose a canopy that is designed for quick and easy setup.
Do: Go all-out on your team gear when you’re at a home-team tailgate. But if you’re visiting a friend’s home-team tailgate, be respectful and modest with your attire.
Don’t haze fans from visiting teams too aggressively. Exception: Philadelphia.
Do: Help clean up after the tailgating party, especially if you didn’t help at the grill. Bringing beverages does not release you from clean-up duty.
Don’t disappear without your ticket, if someone else is carrying your game ticket – it’s rude to make them wait or have to hunt you down.
Top 10 Tailgating Recipes
You can’t have a tailgate without the grill, and some delicious food to cook on the grill! The following are some delicious, crowd-pleasing and simple tailgating recipes that you can work to master and then brag about…
- Touchdown Chili
- Sweet and Sticky Grilled Drumsticks
- Baby Back Ribs
- Beer-Braised Brats
- Slow Cooker Texas Pulled Pork
- Marinated Grilled Shrimp
- Reuben Breakfast Sandwiches
- Sunny Broccoli Salad
- Zesty Three-Bean Salad
- Jalapeno Poppers