Tailgating for a big game is part of the quintessential American experience. If you’re planning on taking part in a tailgate this season, it’ll pay to be prepared-- if you’re looking for the best experience, there’s a little more involved than just showing up to the lot! We’ve gathered our four most important pieces of advice for a successful tailgate. All you’ll need to do is bring your spirit and cheer your team on to sweet, sweet victory.
Stake Out a Spot Early
The bigger the game, the bigger the crowds. If you’re a diehard tailgater, you know that prime real estate goes quickly, especially at the biggest games of the season, and to get the best spot, you’ll have to get there early. Plan to arrive several hours before the game starts. Note: you should also allow for an hour or two after the game for packing up and navigating traffic.
Prep Your Food Before You Arrive
Space is limited at a tailgate, and we all know that cooking takes up a lot of it. Save yourself some headache by prepping as much of your food as you can before game day arrives. You can bring everything out in coolers or on platters. If you’re short on space and you have friends who are also coming out to the game, you can park your trucks next to each other and double up on square footage-- it’s better to just bring one grill instead of several.
Show Your Team Spirit
Dressing in team colors is a must, but you don’t have to stop there. You can fly your team’s flag, paint your face, even bring your dog dressed in their favorite team’s jersey. Some tailgaters like to have a theme for their food, with everything color coordinated to match their team. No matter what you do, there will be no doubt whose side you’re on.
Be Ready for Anything
You’ll be outside for several hours, and lots of little issues can pop up during a tailgate, from indigestion and dehydration to sunburn and blistered feet. You should bring a medicine kit with bandages and basic painkillers, as well as sunblock, antacids, and extra water. Wear comfy shoes, and bring an extra shirt in case of any spills. You’ll probably also want bug spray and sunglasses. It also pays to have miscellaneous things like duct tape and scissors-- you never know what’s going to happen, and it’s better to be ready.
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