A Beginner’s Guide to Tailgating

The days are getting shorter, the nights getting cooler. Autumn is approaching, and besides all the cool weather and crunchy leaves that come with it, there’s one other thing you might be looking forward to – football season! Even if you’re not a big fan of football, you can’t deny that at least the tailgating parties can be fun. Some tailgating parties are better than others, but with a little preparation, you’re bound to have a great time.

Coordinate With Your Friends

Consider this awkward situation: you pull into the parking lot, find a great location, get your camp set up, and finally sit down to enjoy yourself… only to find that your buddies have their own camp going on across the lot. Tough matters like these are easily prevented with just a little bit of prep work before game day. If you have an idea that some of your friends will be tailgating at the event, get in touch with them to at least find out where they plan on parking so you can be close to the action. Perhaps you can even join forces!

Come Prepared

Your tailgating experience will depend largely on what you want to get out of it – and how you plan accordingly. Want a bit more than sitting around and trading hot takes on the game? It might be a good idea to come with some tailgating-friendly games to play with your friends (or strangers). Fancy being grillmaster for the day? You’re going to need a grill, food, and all the plates and silverware to go along with it. Also, make sure you know the official rules of the lot before you head in. Some lots might not approve of some of the ideas you have in mind.

Keep an Eye on the Food

Although you may be out for only part of the day, it’s still important that you take some safety precautions with any uncooked food you might be bringing to the tailgating party. Food safety is a real thing, and having to call it a day early because you’re feeling ill is probably not the way you want to cap off the party. That means making sure that your cooking and eating utensils are clean, separating your cooked and uncooked meats, and keeping cool any foods that need keeping cool.

Keep It Clean and Safe

It can be easy to get a little carried away at a tailgating event. While cutting loose isn’t much of a problem, it is an issue when you’re making the space uncomfortable or unsafe for others. Always be aware of your surroundings and try not to infringe on other people’s space, even when you’re throwing the old pigskin around. It’s also a good idea to also bring some garbage bags with you to pick up any trash you might create. In this case, one man’s trash is definitely not another man’s treasure.

Overall, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have a good time on game day. If it’s your first time hosting your own tailgating party, don’t be afraid to keep it a little simple so you can get your bearings on what makes a successful party. Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of games left in the season!

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