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Tailgating is Like a Picnic on Steroids

It is best to be properly prepared before you leave for your tailgate party. This article is for the first time tailgater in order to make the day as enjoyable as possible.  I will leave what you eat up to you since that would require a different article. For additional tips you may also wish to review my article, "Finding the Best Picnic Areas," which may be found on the or websites.

Tailgating may not be as difficult for the first time tailgater if they begin with the right attitude. If you look upon your tailgating experience as a picnic on steroids, a lot of what you already know about picnicking can be applied. Tailgating is gaining in popularity in a number of different sports and a wealth of information is available on the internet search engines and YouTube, and there have been several books written on the subject. If you do a search on “tailgating,” you will find a number of helpful websites that have their recommendations on how to make the most out of your tailgating experience. You should also contact the stadium and get a list of their rules and what time they open, which would be good to know before game-day.

It is good to have a checklist to go over while you are loading the car. Keep in mind that your own picnic supplies may be perfect for your newly found past time, so you may not need a large investment to get started unless that is your wish. A larger vehicle, pickup truck, van or SUV is preferable but if you have a smaller car there is no need to be discouraged. Just keep in mind that you will need to pack your grill and picnic supplies and whatever you need to stay comfortable at the event. There are tailgating cooler and portable grill combinations that are complete with a hand trolley. If you have a larger party you may wish to add a collapsible rolling cooler, which should be sufficient for your additional beverages. The advantage of having the mobile carriers is that it makes it easier to relocate your party to a friend’s site that may be in a more desirable location. Keep in mind that the parking locations are on a first-come first-serve basis. Since the lots open 3 to 5 hours before the game you will want to arrive early so you can get a good place. That also means that you will probably want to bring adequate outdoor furniture and cover from the elements. There are a number of sports chairs and non-reclining and reclining camp chairs available that fold up to where they don’t take up too much space when packing. You may also wish to include a waterproof blanket picnic tote, which serves as a way of dressing up your eating area, and also works well as a wrap to keep the wife dry and relatively happy if you get that unforeseen storm.

Once you arrive at the larger events you should find music, entertainment and a fairly festive atmosphere. You will find a variety of fun and interesting people, some of whom are very creative and innovative when it comes to setting up their space. Be sure to wear your team’s colors so you will fit in with the locals. You will be surprised how many doors will be opened to members of the same tailgating team.

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