How to Prepare for a Successful Tailgating Experience

No longer reserved for pre-game or pre-race celebrations, these food fests continue during and after the games, with some people never setting foot in the stadium. And why not, sometimes the tailgating parties are better than the games, especially if your team is losing?


  1. 1
    Plan the menu. Try to think of foods,drinks, and snacks that will be easy to transport and easy to serve. Foods can range from hot dogs and soda to steaks and wine - it doesn't matter what you serve, it just tastes better in the company of friends with a common interest - food, drinks, a sport, and having fun. Always take a little more than you think you need, as you will surely meet some friends to share your fare, plus you will be eating all day, especially if there are delays or overtime involved in your sport.
  2. 2
    Round up a couple of coolers. You will need at least one for the food and one for the drinks. Coolers come in all sizes, shapes, and materials. It doesn't matter which one you use, just be certain it keeps foods cold and is easy to transport. We like the coolers on wheels and like them even more when they include complete table service, but we love the ultimate tailgate kit of a cooler, a grill, and BBQ utensils all packed on one wheeled cart.
  3. 3
    Store, cool, and transport the beverages. For the beer, wine coolers, and sodas you need a cooler to keep them cold, while a six pack tote will allow you to move around the party scene and take your drinks with you. Wine and liquor are much harder to carry around, but there are a variety of carriers that range from a single bottle to a six bottle carrier. Look for wine and spirit tote sets that have glasses and bar accessories packed neatly inside. For the coffee lover, the best thing is a thermos and coffee mug set, which is especially nice if you don't like drinking out of Styrofoam.
  4. 4
    Find a portable BBQ grill. In some cases you may need to have several small grills for different types of meats. We highly recommend a propane grill so that you don't have to leave hot coals burning when it's time to go to the game. If you do use a charcoal grill, be absolutely certain that the coals are cold before you leave the area. As far as BBQ utensils, for tailgating purposes, you will need tongs, a fork, and a turner and having these tools in a handy carry case is especially nice for safety and ease of transportation.
  5. 5
    Pack up some comfortable chairs. Your chairs should be portable and functional and easy to clean, as tailgating can be messy. The most practical chairs have attached side tables and a pocket organizer for storage, which allows you to have everything handy and easy to find. Should you need extra room to set out food, a portable folding picnic table does the trick, plus, you can use the seats for serving or for sitting.
  6. 6
    Don't forget the tailgate games. Party favorites like cornhole, bocce and washers are easy to carry and can be played by just about anyone.
  7. 7
    Comfort in the stadium. You should always have a couple of blankets for warmth, as a cushion, as a tablecloth and as a cover in case of rain or snow. Look for blankets with a waterproof backing as they serve a multitude of purposes, both in and out of the stadium. For those ticket holders who are actually going into the stadium we recommend a folding stadium seat or a folded blanket for your comfort. In fact, take both along, that way you will be comfortable and prepared for any weather condition.

Things You'll Need

  • Easy to transport food & drinks
  • Plates, cups, glasses, flatware
  • Coolers (one for food, one for drinks)
  • Portable BBQ grill
  • BBQ utensils
  • Portable chairs
  • Blankets
  • Folding stadium seats
  • Tailgate Games

Article Info

Categories: Outdoor Recreation