Growing up, many of us can remember the excitement of going to a Boston Red Sox game. You can relive your youth this summer with a new twist: tailgating. With the Sox and the Revolution playing all summer long and the Patriots starting their pre-season in August, you’ve got plenty of chances to do it. Use these tips and step up your tailgating skills.
Fans Flock Together
Tailgating alone is rookie mistake number one. Not only is manning the grill, playing the games, and whatever you’re doing exhausting by yourself, it’s also really lonely. Carpool with your friends to save on parking and gas.
Don’t Underestimate Prep Work
Any self-respecting tailgater will be grilling in some fashion and you should be too. However, don’t show up thinking you’ll have six hours to marinate your chicken breasts. Marinate, sauce, season, and chop everything before you leave the house.
You won’t have a ton of counter space in a parking lot, so all you want to have to do is throw the food right on the grill.
Speaking of Counter Space
No, you can’t bring the kitchen island, but a good-sized folding table wouldn’t be a bad idea. Use it to set out condiments, drinks, or sides. The table can also be used for any final prep work that you forgot to do at home.
Chairs and Shade
If you’ve ever been to a car show, then you know just how hot and oppressive a parking lot can feel. Make sure you bring along enough folding chairs for everyone in your group. And to avoid bickering, make sure each one has a cup holder. You’ll also want to have some form of shade. Whether that’s a giant umbrella or a collapsible canopy is up to you.
You Can Never Have Too Much Ice
When you think you have the right amount of ice, grab two more bags. You’d be surprised how quickly the ice will melt when people are constantly opening and closing the cooler. If you don’t want to buy that much ice, then invest in a high-quality cooler. It will have a tighter seal and a longer cool time.
Pack That Cooler Wisely
You didn’t spend all that money on the world’s best cooler just to bring a two-liter and a 12-pack. You’ve got to optimize the space you have. First, stand your beverages straight up in the cooler. Cover with ice, working the cubes into the spaces between your drinks. Cover them with a layer of ice and then start another layer, this time laying the drinks on their side.
Clean Up After Yourself
Tailgating is messy business. Fun business but messy nonetheless. Don’t forget to bring some heavy-duty trash bags to help clean up after you’re done. Before you drive off, do a quick perimeter check to make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
For some, tailgating can be like a rite of passage into adulthood. With a little bit of planning and some minor preparation, you could be tailgating like a pro in no time.
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