When buying a ticket for a sporting event, a critical note to remember is the game is merely part of the fun. If you have the time and ability yet aren't tailgating, then, my friend, you're doing it wrong.
There are dozens of ways to plan a memorable pregame parking-lot party, and some people do it real big with RVs and canopies. Simplicity, however, is both enjoyable and practical. Even in a small group, you can party hard, responsibly and efficiently.
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Weber 14" Smokey Joe Charcoal Grill ($29.99, Walmart.com)
Deciding which grill you should buy primarily depends on a couple of factors: What car are you driving to the game? How many people are you feeding? Are you both willing and able to crouch to flip the burgers, brats, etc.?
Although larger setups are ideal for those with trucks, big groups or flexibility concerns—hey, it is what it is—the cost-effective route is a reliable Smokey Joe by Weber.
Again, the grill might sit lower to the ground than preferred, but that can be remedied with a portable grill table, if necessary.
Cosco 6-foot Folding Table ($46.90, Amazon.com)
If you're grilling, you need somewhere convenient and sturdy to spread out the buns, condiments and chips. But not everybody has a truck or SUV to haul a typical table.
The fix is simple: Get one that folds in half!
Cosco makes a lightweight table with dimensions of 36.5" x 29.6" x 3". Plus, it weighs only 25.5 pounds and includes a handle for carrying. It should fit in trunks of most sedans—measure first!—and isn't a burden to haul in and out.
mDesign Cutlery Storage ($11.99, Amazon.com)
Forks and spoons might not even be necessary if you're only eating finger food. But if not, don't disrespect the basics.
The mDesign storage system is not complex; it holds forks, knives, spoons and napkins. (Wow!) Most importantly, napkins don't need to be folded in some utensil-sized slot. Your hands are already full. Ain't nobody got time to grapple with a napkin.
Tailgating Pros 4' x 2' Cornhole Boards w/ Bags ($129.85, Etsy.com)
Cornhole—or bags—is straightforward and suitable for all ages. It features two teams of two alternating shots trying to land a bean bag on a wooden board and (hopefully) through a hole.
Personally, I want to hear the bags "thunk!" on impact rather than listen to "tsss" every time and feel a little weight in my hand before throwing. Trust me, one way or the other, you'll care.
Because of that—and if you're not interested in a homemade set—pick up a set of regulation-sized Tailgating Pros' boards that include bags. While it's a little pricey, cornhole is an awesome way to enjoy an outdoor holiday or a random night with friends. Its use extends beyond tailgating.
Wilson NCAA Official Composite Football ($19.99, Wilson.com)
For good reason, tossing a football around is a classic move. Sure, it's logical to play catch with a baseball outside of the ballpark. However, when someone makes an errant throw or misses the ball, that thing might roll forever or hit someone.
Although footballs are prone to odd bounces, they don't make it very far. Respect your fellow tailgaters and grab a Wilson football with comfortable, easy-to-grip laces.
Coleman Oversized Quad Chair w/ Cooler ($33.50, Amazon.com)
Truthfully, it's pretty difficult to screw this one up. Your demands for a tailgate chair should be few: sturdy, holds a drink, easy to pack.
Voila. This is a relatively inexpensive Coleman that fits the criteria. And at that price, you can grab a couple.
AOMAIS Sport II Bluetooth Speaker ($29.99 each, Amazon.com)
While relaxing in that comfortable lawn chair and sipping on your favorite drink, you'll hear plenty from your surrounding tailgaters. Sometimes, though, the simple truth is you don't want to.
That's when you can power up your pairing AOMAIS bluetooth speakers. After an easy connection between the speakers, you can link a bluetooth device to them and play music at a reasonable level—or blast it, if you're feeling some type of way.
We won't judge.