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7 Steps To Tailgating Like A Pro


7 Steps To Tailgating Like A Pro

There are many ways to prepare for a great weekend of tailgating, and everyone will have their own version of what it means to be a pro tailgater. No matter how many different tailgating traditions there are, it always boils down to 7 basic steps to ensure you’re always going to have a great tailgate party.

Now, we’ve taken the liberty of acknowledging the fundamental essentials that encompass a truly amazing and unforgettable tailgate. If you’d like to add on a step or two to our tailgating tips, please submit your comments and suggestions to

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us at twitter.com/PicnicBaskets, or on our Picnic Ideas Blog and we’ll add your ideas as soon as we get back from our own little tailgating party! So, without further ado, here are the best 7 Steps To Tailgating Like A Pro!

Pro Tailgating Tip #1: Adult Sodas & Beer

Don’t short change this tailgating necessity. Whether you drink, or enjoy observing those that do, every Pro Tailgater will tell you that no tailgating party can ever have enough beer. There’s nothing quite like a cold brew to warm up your insides and make you feel all warm ‘n fuzzy on an icy cold day; or an frosty beer to really make you appreciate a nice warm spring day. Plus, you’ll need several perfectly chilled brews to play drinking games like a pro, so make sure you have your tailgating coolers well stocked and packed with ice.

For the ladies, wine sets keep up their stylish appearance and lady-like demeanor, while a blender will make those pina coladas that will set their smack talk loose on passing rival fans. Get your adult beverage gear and portable barware ready for your drink of choice and remember to bring all of your necessary mixers and liquors! Take precaution when determining your beverage mood of choice, for it’s not wise to mix. “Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Beer before liquor, never been sicker!”

Pro Tailgating Tip #2: Eating Like a Champion

The basis of a successful tailgating party resides in the quality and quantity of really good tailgating food. Grill it like a true grill master, fry it like you’re trying to gain weight, or make it like you create homemade recipes day and night! Have a wide range of tailgating foods available so everyone has a variety they enjoy. From grilling Firewire shrimp kabobs, to sizzling steaks and turkey legs, to 6-layer dips and chips, to snacking on carrot sticks – everyone’s got a favorite tailgating food they enjoy munching on. If you’re looking to keep that figure trim, check out our Healthy Tailgating Recipes for great additions to your tailgating spread. Don't forget to have your tailgating spot comfortably set up with plenty of outdoor furniture so people have a place to rest their weary feet, drinks and platters of food!

3. Tailgating Games & Drinking Games

Whether you’re at an NFL or collegiate game, the competitive spirit will be running rampant through the air so be prepared with some outdoor games like Corn Hole, Beer Pong, Flip Cup, Quarters, Ladder Toss, Washer Toss, Horseshoes, Frisbee and Tailgate Bowling. Set up an area with plenty of space for your games and remember to bring the necessary tables, ping pong balls, plastic cups and game setups for your tailgating games. Competitive drinking is something we can all appreciate and enjoy – so be ready for some Extremely Entertaining Tailgating Game Ideas and bring your drinks along if you wish to participate!

4. Dress Like A Pro Tailgater

When it all comes down to it, you’ve got to look the part of an ultimate fan and represent your team. Now, definitions of the ultimate fan will vary from person to person. If face paint, body paint, crazy hair hats, beer helmets, and mascot outfits are your attire of choice – we absolutely love you! For those that would rather adorn a jersey or T-shirt with matching team colors, we can appreciate that as well. The point is that you MUST represent your team in one form or another on your physical body. No excuses. Everyone's got to know where your loyalties lie. Once you look the part of the ultimate fan, then you’re ready to act like one!

5. Friends & Groups

Everyone knows the party in the parking lot is going to be full of rival fans. Make sure to gather your posse together in one spot (fans of the same team preferably) and hit up everyone prior to the party with a text message, email or phone call to ensure everyone brings some sort of contribution. Whether someone’s bringing additional sets of Corn Hole, a package of hot dogs, chips, a 24-pack of beer, iPod & sound system, or a portable TV – the point is that everyone should make a contribution if they’re attending a tailgating party. If you’ve got certain friends that get belligerently drunk and start fights with rivals, make sure you have your duck tape ready to bind and gag them while your reinforcements - your extremely large and intimidating friends - hold down the fort with a cross-armed stare and bodyguard stance. You’ll ensure your tailgating party is well protected, well stocked and well populated if you plan ahead of time and call in the guys ‘n gals you plan on partying with!

6. Portable TV, Radio & Music

You’ll enjoy your tailgating experience a lot more with a portable TV hooked up so you can enjoy the pre-game and the game. Don’t forget you’ll need to hook up the cable, so plan accordingly. If your planning includes a portable radio or an iPod to setup music, then batteries, an electrical outlet, or generator is crucial. If you’d rather park your tailgate next to another party that’s got all of these sweet hookups already up and running, then plan on getting to the party in the parking lot a lot earlier than everyone else and securing your clutch tailgating spot. Don't forget to bring the portable sports seats, chairs and tables, you don't want to stand all day do you?

7. Know Your Limits

We’re not just talking drinking or eating limits, because sometimes we tend to stretch those. But you’re going to want to plan for other possible limitations. For instance, bring extra trash bags because trash cans can over-fill and be few and far between. Bring extra toilet paper and hand-sanitizer because port-a-potties can be an iffy situation. Start heading to the bathroom before you have to pee RIGHT NOW, because you’ll either run into long lines or run out of will-power. If you run out of will-power, have an extra set of clothes stashed in your buddy's truck or somewhere because stain emergencies happen.

Be careful about over-indulging on the food because you don’t want to miss any tailgating time or game-time by being holed up in the bathroom. Don’t abuse the booze to the point your friends have to baby sit you, or you pass out and miss the game because that’s just unprofessional tailgating. Be careful of smack-talking when you’re away from your group of friends, because you might find yourself in a foreign tailgating land filled with rivals and no backup. Always plan for a designated driver if you do any drinking because you want to live to tailgate another day, don’t you?

Be smart about your tailgating antics, and always be prepared for any type of situation. Bring your team spirit, your friends, booze, games and food, but above all else remember to be responsible and that tailgating is all about having fun. This is how all professional tailgaters roll, so take note and enjoy working your way up to becoming a pro tailgater!

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