Football season is around the corner, and that means food, friends, friendly rivalries…and of course, tailgating. It’s a uniquely American tradition where the practice of drinking and eating before opposing teams go head-to-head dates as far back as the Civil War, well, according to Vice.
For some, tailgating is even better than the game. And according to a study done by the University of South Carolina, 10% of tailgaters don’t make it to the actual game! In other words, for many, tailgating is the entire reason you show up to a football game. After all, it’s tough to have a bad time when you’re surrounded by beer, BBQs and your best friends
Whether you’re a die-hard alum or a tailgating newbie, here are 11 tips to throw an unforgettable (and successful) tailgating party.
1. Minimize the Mess
Keep mess to a minimum with this practical and convenient pop-up trash bin by Trademark Global. This plastic trash bin goes anywhere and collapses to three inches for easy storage. It’s strong enough to hold up to your messes, too. Don’t be that person who brings the party but leaves the mess.
Pop-Up Trash Bin by Trademark Tools
2. Keep All Your Tailgating Essentials Organized
A smart and easy way to keep all your essentials organized is a toolbox in the trunk of your car, like the Craftsman Portable Toolbox. You can easily organize everything you need for the big game, like grilling accessories, sunblock, can openers, toothpicks, bottle openers, tongs and your favorite condiments, spices and seasonings with this scratch and chemical-resistant tool box.
Craftsman Portable Toolbox
3. Stay Grill Ready
Get everything you need for great grilling with the Romanticist 20 Piece Heavy Duty Barbecue Tool Set. The 20 piece set includes a spatula, grilling fork, tongs, basting brush, grill brush, four skewers, eight corn holders, an aluminum case, and a cooler bag. With all of these tools organized and at the ready, you’re sure to be able to handle any BBQ situation that comes your way.
Romanticist 20 Piece Heavy Duty Barbecue Tool Set
4. Grill on the Go
Feed your hungry guests without lugging around your heavy grill with this lightweight Collegiate Portable X-grill from Picnic Time. This folding portable charcoal BBQ grill features a slimline design, electro-plated steel body and chrome-plated tri-fold cooking grate. And the best part? It comes with your choice of licensed NCAA team logos and colors so you can grill while showing off your school pride.
Collegiate Portable X-Grill by Picnic Time
5. Bring a Cooler or Two
If you’re doing any serious level of tailgating, make sure you have a few coolers on deck like the Coleman 50 qt. Xtreme Cooler. It features a durable plastic construction with Xtreme 5 technology and insulation so you know your beers, sodas and water will remain ice cold. This rust-proof and leak-resistant cooler also includes a hinged lid with four cup holders and a retractable handle that can hold up to 84 cans. Pro-tip: Be sure to label your coolers so guests can find drinks easily.
Coleman Wheeled Cooler
6. Give Tired Feet a Rest
With all the cooking and mingling, be sure to give tired feet a rest with this ultra comfy and functional Sports Directors Chair by Picnic Time. It features durable canvas carry handles for easy transport and a sturdy aluminum frame that has a 300-lb. weight capacity. Choose from five classic colors that includes Black, Hunter, Red, Purple and Navy.
Sports Directors Chair by Picnic Time
7. Give Guests a Game Break
We all know tailgating can go on for hours, so why not give guests and new friends a fun game break with this Bocce Ball and Croquet Set from Trademark Games? It combines two classic outdoor game in one package and is crafted with high-quality materials so you’ll know this set will be around for many tailgate parties to come.
Trademark Games Bocce Ball and Croquet Set
8. Get a Tailgating Table
With the food, drinks and sweets ready to go, be sure to include a tailgating table or two that will showcase and display your creation proudly, like the Lifetime Adjustable Utility Table. (You don’t want to be serving chili from your trunk). Measuring at 48 x 24, this durable table is lightweight for easy transport, set-up, and storage — an ideal go-to for those who are frequent tailgaters. Keep it in the garage for parties at home, too.
Lifetime Adjustable Utility Table
9. Protect Yourself from the Elements
Be sure to keep you and your guests protected from the elements with a durable and easy-to-set-up canopy much like UnderCover and their 10 x 10 ft. Super Lightweight Aluminum Instant Canopy. It features a heat reflective coating with 99% UV blockage so you can tailgate in any weather conditions and still be comfortable.
Super Lightweight Aluminum Instant Canopy by UnderCover
10. Keep the Drinks Coming
What’s a tailgate party without drinks? Show off your school pride and impress your guests with this stylish Indoor/Outdoor NCAA Portable Bar from Best of Times. This portable L-shaped bar can be set up in minutes with no tools required. It features water and UV-resistant fabric with a removable in-shelf foo- grade cooler to keep your favorite alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments nice and cold. It also comes with a storage bag with wheels for easy transport to and from the game. Choose from a variety of NCAA team logos and colors to support your favorite team.
Best of Times NCAA Portable Bar
11. Use the Right Car
If you want to take your tailgating to the next level, consider using a car that’s ideal for tailgating. Our recommendation: the Chevy Silverado. I recently got the chance to drive the Chevy Silverado to Tailgate Fest, and even though I was never a fan of trucks before, I’m officially converted. The Silverado is an easy, smooth drive with a spacious interior and plenty of room in the back for all of your tailgating needs. Set up some folding chairs in the bed of the truck, add pillows and blankets for added comfort, and don’t forget your cooler for easy drink access. Plus, the Silverado isn’t just great for tailgating. Its powerful, roomy design is ideal for year-round camping and road trips.