In true football fashion, we’ve developed a handy playbook to help seasoned pros and first-time rookies alike score a perfect tailgating experience all season long. Here are some must-haves to triumph at your tailgate this year:
First Down: Stay Comfy.
Tailgating is an endurance activity that can stretch from early morning to late night. Why not kick back and enjoy the party in comfort with luxurious options like nylon fold-up travel couches (complete with cup holders) and travel hammocks that mount directly on your vehicle? (These also make great napping areas if and when the kiddos may need a break). In hot or rainy weather, a weatherproof polyester pop-up canopy (properly decked out in team colors) will keep you protected from the elements. When the snowflakes start flying later in the season, a portable heater will keep you cozy.
Second Down: Are You Hungry?
Serving up a delicious tailgating feast requires a detailed game plan. Beyond a basic go-to like a propane-fueled portable grill or smoker, remember the supplies: Plastic plates and cups, a grill and rubber serving utensils, wet wipes, a lighter, plastic bags, plastic storage containers and oversized trash bags are just a few things you’ll really miss if you forget them. Pro tip: Do as much of the cooking as you can beforehand to minimize the fuss while tailgating. Also, be sure to also pack a few “ready-to-eat” snacks that will keep young appetites at bay until the real feast is served. To keep everything at the right temperature, a sturdy cooler made from double-walled plastic, or a tricked-out carryall, are good options.
Third Down: Game On!
Everyone knows a tailgate needs some great games to keep the fun times going for fans of all ages. And these days, a plastic Frisbee or game of football catch is just the start. You can’t go wrong with a good cornhole game, a tailgate staple often made from two rectangular boards, each with a hole where players test their bean bag tossing accuracy. We like the PVC option for its light weight and durability. If you prefer footballs to bean bags, a versatile toss set comes with everything you need to test your throwing ability, including plastic footballs and two nylon folding chairs that double as goalposts.
Fourth Down: Stay Connected.
A flat screen TV with a portable antenna for live game coverage makes any tailgate great, and a portable plastic Bluetooth speaker can keep the tunes or play-by-play going all day. Today’s many smartphones can make battery anxiety a real drain — especially if you’re trying to check on the latest fantasy league scores. You can tackle that problem by providing portable chargers for everyone’s devices. If you really mean business, a gasoline-powered portable generator is sure to score extra points.
Extra Point: Guess What These Things Have in Common?
At your next tailgate, we encourage you to look around at all of the necessities you depend on to make it so fun. Despite the array of options, they all share something in common. They all contain components made from plastic, rubber, waterproof and synthetic fibers like nylon and polyester, vinyl, and so much more — all of which are byproducts of oil and natural gas.
So what are your essential tailgating must-haves? Do you have any top tips and tricks for the best tailgate ever? What’s the best way to let little ones help with tailgating prep? We’d love to hear from you! Share your favorite stories and photos on Instagram about how products derived from oil and natural gas help make your tailgate better — and tag #LookBeyond.