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5 Lessons Learned From a Tailgate

Usually I’m the kind of person that will just show up to your tailgate, eat your tasty food, and commend you on the lovely set-up. Recently I actually helped a friend plan and set-up a massive tailgate. Here’s what I learned:

Use 2-3 cars.

This is a GREAT idea if you have a large group. It gives you more space to stretch out. HINT: If you have a tent, make sure one of the cars is a small car. Compact cars can be pulled further up into the parking space, leaving room for the tent to be set up in the rest of that space. You may have to go over the car just a bit to ensure you leave enough room for other cars to pass.

Bring a tent!

I seriously don’t know what we would have done without ours. On a hot day, people will appreciate a place to congregate that’s away from direct sunlight. You can buy them at any sporting goods store and they are simple to put up, take down and pack away for easy transport. Just be sure to break down the tent before you leave for the game. Since it’s so easy to deal with, it might be gone before you get back!

Tailgate_3Serve food in reusable containers.

Several of our dishes we not salvageable the next day because they were not sealed in proper containers. Bean dip, spinach dip, ham delights and breakfast casserole all were science projects in the cooler by the time anyone got back to them. Any sealable container will do. But Rubbermaid’s TakeAlongs are especially made for the job since they travel well. Also try Twist & Seal Containers for messy sauces and condiments. Another advantage of using containers is that you don’t have to worry about wiping down serving dishes.

Use a portable music device.

Within 3 hours, we had 3 dead batteries and all sorts of windows rolled down – not protecting the valuable items inside. So bring your boom box or jumper cables – or both. You can never be too safe.

Clean as you go.

Game time is game time. If you leave all the cleaning and car-packing for the very last minute, you might not make it to your seat on time!

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5 Responses to 5 Lessons Learned From a Tailgate

  1. Marie November 3, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    What a great idea for camping!! Thanks for the tip!

  2. Sheryl September 24, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    A easy way for clean up is to use old fitted sheets for the table cloth. Some can come in team colors or of course team logos. the elastic holds around the table and you can always roll it up and throw out or wash for later.

  3. John Trosko September 11, 2008 at 1:34 am #

    I have seen picnic folk go crazy at the Hollywood Bowl. They bring everything but the kitchen sink, including real wine glasses and full size, fold apart picnic tables. It’s crazy. And football games are no different. With all their matching clothes. Maybe Rubbermaid should create containers with sports team logos on them?

  4. Wendy Davie September 9, 2008 at 6:49 pm #

    This was really timely. We are about to do this on a Ski Field in New Zealand on Sunday for my son’s 9th Birthday. We are planning a Bar B Q and picnic in the car park for a great spring skiing day. Thanks for the tips.

  5. Deb September 9, 2008 at 4:41 pm #

    These are great tips as it is tailgate season. I also LOVE the Twist and Seal containers. I used them for red beans last week.

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