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Whether it’s the big NFL game of the season or college ball at your local university, there’s no denying that Americans are the ultimate sports fans. Not only do we make a whole day of the game, but we’ve created that magical tradition that is tailgating to make it all more exciting!
But the perfect tailgate party doesn’t just happen. It takes careful planning, commitment to excellence, and yes, the perfect tailgating accessories and supplies. So don’t settle for a so-so tailgating experience! Invest in these fantastic supplies to create the ultimate game day experience!
The ultimate charcoal grills. Nothing beats barbecue at the big game, and nothing comes close to char grilled meats! Whether it’s a Weber or something else, make sure it’s big enough to keep everyone fed and happy! A grill with wheels also means you can move it around when the wind changes, so you can keep the smoke away from the party!
A gas grill or stove. Even if you have a portable charcoal grill for the burgers and dogs, chances are you still need to heat the chili or other tailgating must have treats. A portable gas grill or stove gives you another cooking surface to warm everything that doesn’t get char-grilled.
The ultimate grill set. Whether you need to flip, turn, baste, or cut, you need the right tools for the job! A great grill set should have everything you need to cook anything that can be grilled (and a few things you probably invented all on your own!)
Comfortable game day seating. You’ll want somewhere to lounge while you survey the splendor of your game day feast and fold up camping chairs are a must have! You will want to have one chair for each invited guest, plus a couple to spare for people who might drop by. There are also smaller portable camping stools that can work for additional seating.
Have a couple of folding chairs.
The perfect pop up tent or gazebo. You want something that’ll let the smoke from the barbecue out but give you protection from sun and rain. After all, you can’t let something like a game day storm ruin your tailgating! You can choose a standalone version or get one that connects to the back of your truck or SUV tailgate.
Have a portable tent for this
A meat thermometer. Yes, you’re the grill master, but you still want to be sure that all your burgers, dogs and kebobs are grilled to perfection and safety standards! Good meat thermometers usually have a metal spike that you can push into the thickest part of the meat to take the temperature, and a digital display.
A reliable lighter. Tailgating is an outdoor sport, and sometimes, the weather is not your friend. A reliable, reusable lighter is the perfect way to keep your grill going when the wind is just not following the tailgating playbook!
An outdoor speaker. Sure, you could sing (and you probably will!) but you also want to leave it up to the pros from time to time. A great, water resistant outdoor speaker will keep the tunes going and your posse dancing all day long! Use Bluetooth to connect to your phone for all day music.
Good sunscreen. Sure, there might be clouds, and it might not even be that hot, but when you’re tailgating all day, even a little sun could be all it takes. Good quality, long-lasting sunscreen helps to make sure that the only things that cook are the ones you put on the grill!
An easy to set up and take down folding table. You want one that’s big enough to hold all your snacks, barbecue, and drinks, so make sure it’s large enough to get the job done! Consider getting one or two smaller tables too. You can use them for drinks and snacks without taking up valuable main table space.
A large, high-quality cooler. You want one that’s bigger than you think you need, has a drain so you can get all that water out at the end of the day, and tough enough to be an extra seat when you need it. In fact, you might want to invest in two coolers – that way you won’t have to decide whether your drinks or your food are more important! After all, if there’s one guest you don’t want at your tailgating event, it’s food poisoning!
The best thermos you can find. Sure, there’s always soda or a beer at a great tailgating event, but sometimes, you just want some nice hot coffee or cocoa with extra marshmallows when things get chilly. A high quality, hard to break and extra large thermos means you can give everyone the hot drinks they crave when they want them. A good quality metal or heavy duty plastic thermos can take a few knocks and keep going too.
No spill cups and wine tumblers. Sure, tailgating used to be all about disposable cups, but why deal with cups that leak, crack, and look like everyone else’s when you can have an insulated, no spill cup that looks great? Get them in different colours for each person, so you’ll never have to ask where your drink is again!
A portable cook station. Sure, you prepared everything before you left home. Yes, you’re completely organized, and you have everything ready to go. But you still need somewhere to cut, chop, assemble and yes, taste test. Because half the fun of being the chef while you’re tailgating is getting to taste test everything, right?
A great portable light. Because sometimes, the sun goes down before you’re done tailgating, and you’re still going to need to see your way around the portable kitchen and grill! You could opt for a large flashlight or a portable lantern, but whatever it is, make sure it’s bright enough and has enough power to last the whole day!
High quality, weather resistant blankets, for when the weather turns, and things get chilly. Look for blankets that roll up easily so they can store and stow in the small gaps in the back of your truck or SUV. Bonus points? They’ll keep your tailgating accessories from rolling around while you’re driving!
A great picnic set. Sure, if you’re a casual tailgater who only joins the party once a year, you could go with paper plates and disposable cutlery. But if tailgating is a part of your life, you’ll want to have a high quality, reusable set that has all the stuff you need to enjoy the meal.
A garbage solution. Whether it’s a simple bag dispenser or a fold up garbage can, you’ll want somewhere to throw away trash that doesn’t require you to walk a mile and back!
A generator or solar power source. A great tailgating party requires music, light, and a few other power hungry essentials. When you can create your own power on the go, you’ll always be ready for tailgating no matter where you go!
A good quality, extra long outdoor extension cord. So, you can get all that power you’re making to where you need it. Sometimes, especially if you choose solar, your power generation and use points are fairly far apart. A good cord eliminates the problem.
An inflatable lounger. Yes, it’s not strictly necessary for your tailgating accessories list, but after a hard day of standing on your feet grilling the ultimate feast, you’ll understand how important a comfy seat can be!
Party games! Whether it’s corn hole, portable horseshoes, or something else, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned game to keep the spirit of your tailgating party going strong!
A toilet tent and somewhere to “go.” Let’s face it, when you’re tailgating, the “facilities” are probably fairly far away. Even if they’re not, they’re probably far from somewhere you want to spend your time! A pop up toilet tent with somewhere to “go” is a great way to keep everyone happy and far away from the porta potty lineup!
Food covers. Tailgating happens outdoors, which means you’re at the mercy of every fly and bug in the neighborhood. Pop up, umbrella style food covers are an easy and convenient way to keep uninvited guests off your food, all day long.
A good quality, high-capacity water jug. Because even if you have a lot of other drink options, you still need to have a clean water supply for all your tailgating activities.
While this may seem like a long list of things to pack into your car or SUV before you head off to your tailgating party, they are all important to make sure you have a great day. Bonus tip? Invest in a few large, heavy duty plastic totes so you can keep all your tailgating supplies together, and you’ll always be able to get packed and ready for the big day in record time!