1. Know your forte.
Some of us are great at cooking full meals, others of us are good with the appetizers, and some of us are good at getting the non-food necessities. No matter what that is for you stick to that and let the others in your tailgating group stick to theirs. I myself have a knack for making delicious dips, I leave the meat to Caleb, and other friends and family will bring the chips, pop, utensils, desserts, etc (whatever their forte may be)! By sticking to your forte you know everything is going to be it's best and nothing will be forgotten!
2. Designate a plate, utensil, and napkin person.
What's worse than having a bunch of delicious food at a tailgate but nothing to eat it on or with? Not much in my opinion. We made this mistake this past summer actually when we went up to Milwaukee for the Cubs vs. Brewers game. No one bought plates or forks. We couldn't eat our yummy pasta salad because of it! Poor planning on our part because we didn't designate this simple little thing. So don't forget the plates, forks, cups, and napkins because they are literally just as important as the food!
3. Know your limit.
Alright I'm going to get all mom on you here. Know your limit when it comes to drinking alcohol. Drinking too much can get you in to serious trouble. Tailgating grounds are swarming with cops, you could get sick, you could not make it to the game, you could lose your group of friends, the list goes on. Know when to stop for optimal fun. When you get to your good point please drink water and space those alcoholic drinks out. BE RESPONSIBLE. That's all I have to say about that.
4. Prepare for the weather of the day.
Make sure you check what the weather is going to be like every single time you're going tailgating, the day of the event. Be prepared for a super hot day, a rainy day, a windy day, a freezing cold day, etc. It's definitely not an enjoyable time if you're too hot in what you chose to wear or you forgot a rain jacket and an umbrella when it's drizzling. You don't want to have to leave early because of something as trivial as the weather.
5. Have fun activities for your tailgate
A major plus about tailgating is enjoying the time with your group but also having that opportunity of meeting new people. If you have a set of bags or a football to play with you can definitely make that happen. Not only will it be fun for your group to play but that cute guy that's with the group next to you might see how awesome you are at bags and ask you to be his partner? I don't know, does that still happen these days? Try it out and let me know ;)
THE LIST OF THINGS TO ALWAYS BRING TO A TAILGATE
1. Food - appetizer, fruit, dip, chips, meat, side dish, water, drinks
2. Small grill
3. Paper goods - plates, napkins, forks, knives (if necessary), cups
7. Lawn chairs
8. Games (bags, football, etc)
9. Game day clothing - (weather permitting) sunglasses, coats, hats, gloves, umbrellas, layered clothing, comfortable shoes
10. Your sporting spirit!
11. Optional: the dog (roof roof!)
Happy Almost Fall!