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Tailgating 101: How to Get Your Car Ready

Tailgating: People cooking food

Tailgating 101: How to Get Your Car Ready

Football season is back with a bang and that means spending time with family and most importantly, cheering on your favorite team and tailgating with other fans!

There are a few crucial necessities to tailgating, but equipping your car is something not everyone thinks about. But think about it: Everyone crams their cars into a parking lot and parties and celebrates. That doesn’t always bode well for your vehicle. Keeping a few things on hand will give you peace of mind and help keep your car looking pristine (no matter how rowdy that game of Flip Cup gets!)

Creating the Perfect Tailgate

Plan Ahead

Before you pack up the car, check the weather conditions and know what to expect. Rain will make tailgating messier, so bringing a pop-up tent will keep everyone dry. Also throwing in some extra ponchos and umbrellas can keep your grill master dry. Plan a menu a few days in advance so you can properly prepare and pack your food in the proper food-safe storage containers. This will keep your tailgating area cleaner and more organized once the party gets started.

Tip: Using reusable plastic Gladware is perfect for tailgating because they stack well and come in lots of sizes.

Food Sanitation

While you are outside in all types of weather during football season, it’s important to keep your food properly stored to prevent it from spoiling. A high-quality cooler like Yeti or Orca can be pricey, but the investment is worth it. They can keep food cold for much longer than a soft-sided cooler bag or lower quality cooler. Make sure you have some extra plastic storage containers or storage bags to help with clean up – especially your grilling utensils. They will be greasy and dirty, so keep your other things clean by putting them in a separate bag. Check the National Fire Protection Association for more grilling safety tips .

Have plenty of hand sanitizer and paper towels on hand for an easy clean-up and to keep your hands germ-free (You’ll want to wash your hands before you eat!). Paper towels clean up germs better than cloth towels after handling raw or undercooked foods at the grill. Be sure to pack a few extra trash bags to keep your area clean. Throw away one bag of trash before the game and do some extra clean-up around your area after the game before you head home.

Appointing a D.D.

What’s associated more with tailgating than throwing back a cold one (or two) before the game? Nothing! But before you go to the game, be sure to designate a driver to ensure everyone’s safety during and after the tailgate festivities to your car after the game can be a hassle, and dealing with traffic as you leave a tailgating parking lot can be very stressful, so having someone that hasn’t had any libations during the game will give everyone peace of mind.

Your Tailgating Kit

Keeping some tailgating essentials in your vehicle will make game day a little easier. Folding chairs, an extra blanket for when the weather gets cold, and some paper plates and utensils keep easily in your trunk and are things that you may forget while you are busy getting your food and drinks prepared for the day.

A tailgate wouldn’t be complete without a grill, and fortunately, there are lots of tailgating-friendly grill options that are compact enough to store in the back of your vehicle.

Keeping Your Car Clean and Safe

After the game and you get back to your vehicle, walk around your tailgating area and clean up any trash, beer cans, and/or bottles that could potentially damage your vehicle if you run them over. Keeping a pack of sanitation wipes in your car is good to wipe your shoes off before getting in the car to prevent mud and dirt from getting inside. Pair this with rubber floor mats with deep grooves to contain dirt and mud. Having some ArmorAll Clean Up Wipes in your car will carefully and gently remove any dirt or mud or grime that may get on or inside your vehicle – a quick “spot clean” can help maintain your car’s appearance.