As the summer season winds down, football season is cranking up. And part of the charm of football is the tailgating party. Whether you’re gathering for a Friday night high school game, a Saturday college football match-up, or a Sunday afternoon NFL throw-down, you know you want to be the top tailgater! Follow these Ten Tips for Top-Notch Tailgating and you’ll be the best at the game.
On Time Is Too Late
If you’re not at your tailgating spot well before everyone else gets there, you won’t find a place to be. Remember: Early is on time. On time is late. Have everything packed up and ready to go well before you need to leave. Is it even possible to be too early to tailgate?
No, we’re not talking about relaxing while you’re tailgating. You need to chill everything that you’ll be keeping cold for a day or two before the game. If you start the day with cold supplies, everything will stay cooler longer. Of course you want all of your Coca-Cola products to be ice-cold!
And we don’t mean your attitude. Add a good amount of salt to a gallon jug mostly full of water. Leave off the cap and place it in the freezer overnight. The salt water will get a lot colder than regular water and will stay cold for a lot longer. Just put the cap back on before you put the frozen jug in the cooler.
Even with a frosty jug of salty ice-water keeping your cooler well-chilled, you’ll need some “clean” ice for drinks. Everyone will want their Cokes, Sprites, and Mello Yellos over ice. Plan to take way more ice than you think you’ll need. Then take even more.
Keep ‘Em Separated
Food contamination is no joke. Consider taking along two coolers: one for your raw meats and other uncooked foods and one for the prepared foodstuffs. Why not make it three, adding one more all your Coca-Cola products.
Options, Options, Options
The players might be running options on the field, but you’ll want plenty of options for your food and drink spread. Diversify your snack team with a wide variety, from salty to spicy to sweet. And of course you’ll want a wide array of drink choices.
Reduce and Recycle
If you can, take reusable plates, cups, and utensils. Pack them in a plastic tote, then pack everything back to be washed up after the game. Sure you’ll still need trash bags, but reduce waste when you can. Keep a separate bag or box for recycling so you can collect all the empty Coke cans and bottles.
Bring the Fun
Don’t forget to pack your tailgating games. Cornhole and cards are two great options. The earlier you arrive, the more extra fun you’ll need to pack.
First Down! err…Aid
As long as you’ve brought along a first aid kit, no worries. As sure as you don’t, however, someone is sure to knock a knee or get stung by a bee. Better to have it and not need than vice versa.
Who’s Bringing the Paper Towels?
Here’s the one that doesn’t seem like a big deal until you really need them. By the time you realize that you don’t have towels, it’s already too late. Messes will happen and the more quickly you can get them cleaned up, the sooner you can get back to being the Top Tailgater.