August is the start of tailgating season. Baseball is in full swing, football is right around the corner, and there are still plenty of big concerts making their way to town. But there’s more to tailgating nowadays than just cracking a few cold ones in the bed of your truck – although that does still sound nice. No, today’s tailgates have more equipment, planning, and ingenuity involved than ever before. To help you go from novice to noticeable in the parking lot, we have included some of the finer points of prepping you and your vehicle for the long season ahead.
A One-Liner That’s Actually Good
If you plan on hauling all your gear around in the bed of your truck, you need to protect it. Luckily, you have plenty of options. You can spray on a protective coating, add a bolt-on bed, or put a few rubber mats down. You need a protective lining to ensure that your truck bed makes it out of the weekend stain free and without any dents, and, more importantly, ready for next weekend.
Take the Time to Pack Correctly
There’s nothing worse than showing up ahead of the big game and rushing to get everything into place. To avoid confusion, invest in some clear plastic tubs and then clearly label each of them so you can easily find what you are looking for. And, to make sure nothing slides around, spend a little extra and pick up some bungee cords so everything does not get all jumbled while you are on your way to the game.
Bring Extras of Everything
If there was ever a place to indulge, it’s at a tailgate. You are already going to extreme lengths to basically move your kitchen/living room to a random parking lot, so why not overpack? The truth is you never know who is going to show up. You might run into a group of co-workers or a few friends of friends may decide that you have got the best setup on the lot.
There are a few overpack essentials that we think you can never have enough of. You will be surprised at how fast extra seats, food, utensils, and, of course, beverages seem to go. And if you have plenty of leftovers, all the better. That just means you will do a little less cooking during the week.
Be Ready for the Weather
Just like the momentum in a sporting event, the weather can change in an instant. To avoid scrambling when there is a sprinkle, consider bringing along a tent, large umbrella, or awning – all of which are just as good as keeping out the rain as they are at shielding you from the sunshine.
Remember, Have Fun
The reason we are giving you all these tips is so you do not have to worry about anything once you show up to the game. After a quick setup, you should be able to enjoy what’s most important – your family, friends, and rooting on your favorite team!