For many football fans, a game is not a game unless a tailgate precedes it. This is true if you have a “Mobile Dawg Pound” or “Emergency Tailgating Response Unit”, or if your tailgate is just a few beers and a bucket of chicken.

Here are some simple tailgating tips to remember for any tailgate:

There is nothing worse than running out of food at a tailgate, except for running out of beer. It is worth the extra money to have too much food; you can bring extra food home, but you can’t eat what’s not there. This is true at least ten times over for a beer.

Make a list of what you need to bring; this will ensure nothing is left at home. Put your game tickets on the list too.

Bring your food in zip-lock bags whenever possible.  This way you can just throw the bags out, instead of trying to clean a bunch of Tupperware containers. 

When you need a pan, invest in a tinfoil pan that can be thrown away afterward instead of cleaned.

Buy good rolls for your food; nothing can ruin great burgers, chicken, or brats like a bad roll.  Spend a few extra cents on good rolls.

Bring chairs. Rookie tailgaters never have them.

Choose a parking lot that has a view of the stadium if on-site parking is not available.  A tailgate that is not within the site of the stadium just doesn’t feel right.

Choose a parking lot (and space) that allows you to interact with other tailgaters. If you’re going to tailgate alone, just drink beer in your driveway at home instead.

Bring water; you will need it to put out the fire, and it comes in handy for general cleanup too. Not bringing water is another rookie mistake.

Have a theme for your tailgate. If it’s Thanksgiving, bring a turkey. If its Christmas, bring a tree. 

Or choose a theme based on the opponent; have Cajun food against the Saints, Philly cheesesteaks against the Eagles, and fish against the Dolphins. 

Wear team colors and fly team flags. Show a little team spirit!!

Things that are needed but are often forgotten:

  • Water
  • Trash bags
  • Paper towels/napkins/wet naps
  • A good kitchen knife (but don’t bring it into the stadium!)
  • Bottle opener/can opener
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Written by Johnny James
I love road trips and I can never miss out on tailgating come what may. This blog takes you with me to all of my road trips and provides excellent suggestions and advice on what you can expect on road trips together with some of the best places to visit.