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Everything You Need To Know Before Organizing Your Tailgate Party

Tailgating essentials

A tailgate party is an outdoor party that involves social activities being held on and around a vehicle’s open tailgate. So basically, you have a number of vehicles parked close to each other, all with their tailgates open, with food and drinks being prepared and served. The idea of tailgating might seem fun but there are a number of factors to consider and some tailgating essentials to be gotten before organizing a tailgate party with friends and family.


The first thing to consider before starting the organization is definitely the location. The kind of location you need is a large open space where you can gather together cars and set up grills and other tailgating essentials. The most common locations for tailgating are parking lots of stadiums. This is because most public tailgating events are carried out before and after football games which are played in the stadiums. However, you are looking to organize a private tailgate event, the best location would be a park since there is more than enough space there.

Things to Buy For Tailgating / Tailgating Essentials

Heat Source

One major highlight of a tailgate party is the food being cooked on the spot. Cookers are needed to prepare food. The most common sources of heat for cooking are charcoal, gas and electric cookers. The type of heat source you bring to the event should be mostly dependent on the amount of money you are willing to pay for it. Usually, charcoal is a cheaper heat source than gas and electricity. However, when it comes to environmental safety, electric cookers are the best option.

If you need a good grill to tailgating…

Portable Chairs and Tables

A tailgate party can last for several long hours. No matter how fun the proceedings might be, the guests have to sit down eventually. Portable (foldable) chairs are the best option when it comes to tailgate parties. They can easily be folded and put into the vehicles, making them easy to transport. Also, there is a need of tables to serve as a platform on which to place food, drinks and game boards.

Tailgating essentials

Coolers and Ice for Drinks

No tailgate event is complete without drinks, and since most tailgate events happen outdoors, in warm weather, it is the best if the drinks are served cold. Ice packs and coolers therefore need to be added to the list of things to buy for tailgating. So, for maximum refreshment, ensure to bring more than enough ice. If there is a strong power source, such as a generator, then a fridge or a mini freezer can be brought along to cater for the drink cooling process. Also, Styrofoam cups are needed to serve drinks. They are the best choice since they are cheap and easily disposable.


Depending on the location, the season and the time of the day when the tailgate party is being organized, canopies might be needed. The ideal season for tailgating is summer or spring. Since most tailgate parties are organized in the open air, and at midday, the sun must be out except the sky is cloudy. Also, there might be rainfall and you might find yourself tailgating in the rain. In both possible scenarios, the best course of action is to get a canopy. You can either rent canopies from a company, or you can buy your own. The number of guests and cars that would be at the party should be put into consideration when trying to decide the amount and size of canopies to be gotten. Also, for versatility, individual umbrellas can be acquired too. These are not the regular sized umbrellas that a single person might hold during rainfall but rather, the large umbrellas which are commonly used by food vendors.

Electrical Equipment

It is only right that for maximum enjoyment, electricity is needed at the venue of the party. A couple of factors are dependent on electricity, like music, electric cookers, and if the event extends into nighttime, electric bulbs. The most important electrical item is a power source. The best option for a power source is a generator. Another option can be the use of a power inverter. You can acquire other electrical items and equipment such as music speakers, television, satellite radio, Internet router, DVD players, light bulbs, long electrical cords, and chargers of rechargeable electrical appliances.

Trash Bags/ Trash Cans

Tailgate parties are mostly organized at public areas which are used by a lot of people. At the end of the party, there is definitely going to be a lot of litter on the ground. It is only acceptable if you clear up after organizing such an event. Coming along with trash bags makes the whole cleaning up business to be an easier affair. Another option is getting a trash can, but trash bags are usually a better option since they are cheaper, more portable, and easily disposable.

Tailgating essentials

First Aid Kit

Outdoor events usually include physical activities, and there is always hot food around. So, there is a constant threat of physical harm coming to any member of the group. Also, some unexpected physical mishap might happen. Needless to say, having a first aid box around has a great importance to help out a potential victim before the person can be taken to a hospital.

Fire Extinguisher

Like the First Aid Kit, the Fire Extinguisher is available to serve as a precautionary measure. If things are managed properly, it is unlikely to face with a fire breakout. However, it does not hurt to be on the safe side. The presence of a fire extinguisher reduces the risk that a possible fire outbreak would spread out uncontrolled.


Usually, the most common types of food eaten at tailgate parties are hotdogs and hamburgers. Other ideal tailgating foods can be: Italian Pinwheels, Spicy Chicken Cheeseballs, Hawaiian Chicken Kebabs, Cowboy Caviar and Bacon Crackers. Tailgate food ideas to grill, tailgate food ideas no grill.

Other necessities include barbecue tools like a grilling apron, skewers, basting set, and a grilling grate. Also, do not forget to include basic eating utensils like spoons, forks, and plates.

Tailgate Games / Tailgating Essential

It is a known fact that no outdoor hangout with family and friends is complete without games. Some of the best DIY tailgate games are listed and described below:


This game goes by many names including sack toss, baggo and bean bag toss. It is probably the most popular tailgate game because it is straightforward and very easy to learn. Among the features of the game include rectangular boards with dimensions being 2 by 4 feet. There is a 6-inch hole at the top of each board, located at 9 inches from the top of the board. Each platform is mounted at an angle so that the top end of the board is at 12 inches from the ground and the bottom end of the board is at 3-4 inches from the ground.

The game is played by two opposing sides. Two boards, each belonging to an opposing side are placed so that the bottom of both boards are facing each other, at a distance of 27 feet from each other. Each member of each team has a sack which usually has a size of 6 by 6 inches and a weight of 15.5 to 16.5 ounces.

The sack can be filled with plastic resin, or more traditionally, corn kernels. If you do not want to create your own cornhole components, you can always buy a complete standard pack at a sporting goods or a toy store. When it comes to playing the game, each member of the groups stands behind one platform. Then, the players throw a sack at the platform facing them – the platform right in front of their opponent. Both sides take turns throwing their own sacks. The aim of each throw is to get the sack falling into the hole in the platform, or at least to land on the platform.

A score of three points is awarded to any throw that manages to fall into the hole, and a score of one point is awarded to any throw that lands on the platform without entering the hole. The game ends when a side wins by being the first reaching 21 points.


Compared to many other popular outdoor games, KanJam was created not so long ago, in the 1980s. Since then, the game has grown in popularity and area of coverage. At the moment, there are professional KanJam players who participate in worldwide tournaments.

The game set can be bought at sporting goods stores, and particularly at all DICK’s Sporting Goods stores. Generally, KanJam is a game for four players with two players each on two opposing sides. One member of a team stands holding a Frisbee-shaped disc while the other member of the same team stands around a can. The distance between the can and the person holding the disc is dependent on the level of professionalism of the competitors. But on the average, the distance ranges from 30 feet to 50 feet.

The targeted can is open and it also has a slot at its front. The person holding the disc throws it towards the can and the teammate standing beside the can attempts to deflect the disc to enter the can, either from the top or from the slot at the side. However, the deflector must not catch or carry the disc, or hit it twice. Different points are awarded depending on whether the disc touches the can, enters the can with or without deflection and also the hole through which the disc enters. When the disc is deflected to hit the body of the can without entering, 1 point is awarded.

When the disc hits the body of the can without being deflected, 2 points are awarded. When the disc is deflected into the can from either the front slot or the open top, 3 points are awarded. The game ends when a team reaches 21 points or when a team gets an instant win. An instant win is achieved when the disc enters the front slot or the top without any deflection.

Tailgating essentials

Tailgate Drinking Games

The drinks consumed at tailgate parties are mostly alcoholic drinks. Where there is beer, there is a drinking game. The most popular drinking game at tailgate parties is beer pong. For improvisation and cost savings, the tailgate of a truck can be used as a beer pong table. However, there are tables made specifically for beer pong which can be purchased and set up at the tailgate venue.


If you are wondering about how to join a tailgate party, your best bid would be to go to a football game. There are usually a lot of tailgate parties that are open to members of the public and they can be found outside the stadiums.

However, if you have most of the listed items above, you are well on your way to having an awesome tailgate setup.

And more tailgate tips here…

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