The smell of grilled food sifts through the air, syncing itself with the loud music and indistinct chatter. It’s tailgate season, and no matter whether it’s the first one of the season – or your first one ever – you’ll find that the greatest offense is showing up unprepared. That’s why we made a compilation of everything you need to know about tailgate season, in hopes that we can make your experience as smooth – and as fun – as possible.
1. Check The Weather
The quickest way that you can destroy your day is by failing to check the weather. During tailgate season everything starts and ends with this; after all, you don’t want to wear jeans if there’s a heat advisory, or a tank top if it’s raining. So make sure you take time to check the temperature and/or forecast for the upcoming day so you can pack what you need to prepare – whether it be a raincoat, light jacket, umbrella, sunscreen, etc. In doing so, you lower the risk of holding yourself up, in addition to everyone else.
2. Bring A Cooler
Even if you aren’t drinking anything alcoholic it is still a good idea to either bring a cooler with you and/or share one with a close friend. In doing so, you can stock up on an assortment of drinks – such as soda, beer, and water – for when you are on the go. In fact, this gives those who are drinking all the more reason to bring a cooler – so that they might stay hydrated throughout the day, and well into the night. Not only that, but with the help of a cooler you will find all of your drinks portable, and easily accessible. It’s even better if each friend is responsible for bringing a particular beverage because you then have the opportunity to swap with friends nearby based on what you are in the mood for – or craving.
3. Drink Lots Of Water
99.9% of the time you are going to be tailgating during the hot and early afternoon hours of the day. Now while this can be fun, it can also be dangerous if you aren’t careful. That’s why you must drink a lot of water to keep your body refueled for the long day ahead. Then while you’re having the time of your life with your friends – and prepping for the game – your body won’t have to work twice as hard. The last thing you want is an unexpected emergency room visit because you had a heat stroke in the middle of your tailgate party from not drinking enough water – and drinking entirely too much beer. Shhh!
4. Be Container Friendly
Make life easier on yourself by ensuring that you have a closed container, rather than an open cup. This way you can avoid spilling it’s contents on not only yourself, but others. In fact, having a lid – or can – reduces the mess factor in a number of ways. One way it does so is when you are passing large groups of people, and find yourself colliding with one person in particular. If such an unfortunate incident takes place, a closed container will at least set a limit on how much liquid will be able to lurch out of the can; in this case the more closed the container the better.
5. Have Snacks On Deck
You can never go wrong with snacks especially if you are still in the process of waiting for your food to get done. This type of situation applies when someone you came with is grilling a large amount of food, or if you are doing so. In turn, snacks are the perfect thing to hold you over till your next meal and are even more perfect for when you start to feel yourself getting the game-day jitters. Just make sure you bring something small because the less that you have on your person the better.
6. Bring A Chair
No one wants to stand for the entire day unless they absolutely have to – especially not on game day. But standing – while the heat is beating down on your face – is a whole other story, and one to be avoided. Before you step foot out of the house run down your game day checklist and make sure that you have a lawn chair checked off on the list of items. That way you will avoid the embarrassment of being the only one saying, “No, it’s okay” when offered a chair time and time again. It’s only then that you can truly find yourself enjoying your tailgate experience without the consequence of dealing with sore feet.
7. Don’t Overdress
Some students who are new to tailgating may find themselves wanting to dress their best – or dress to impress. But, at the end of the day, it’s always best to dress comfortably and to be yourself. You will find yourself appreciating the tailgate experience a whole lot more without dealing with the stress of keeping your tailgate themed makeup from sweating off your face – or worse, trying to prevent your mini skirt from rolling up.
8. Be Daring
A majority of the people that you are surrounded by are just like you – either a die-hard fan of their college team or new to the art of tailgating. That’s why there is no reason to be nervous because no matter which category you fall under; there are a number of individuals doing the same as you – branching out, and meeting new people. Don’t be afraid to take initiative, and get to know the names and faces of passersby. Who knows you might even surprise yourself, and find some friends that will last a lifetime.
Tailgate season shouldn’t be a hassle for anyone – even the newbies. In turn, we hope this list proves as useful at the time of your next game. Don’t forget to share, and let us know all of your tailgate favorites in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/quarterback-american-football-sport-67701/
Whitney is a senior at Missouri State University - majoring in English/Creative Writing and minoring in Journalism. In her free time she enjoys freelance writing - and creating content for her blog. She writes to encourage/uplift others - and hopes to one day have her own magazine column.