Are you ready for some football? Top 10 tailgating tips

With college and professional seasons getting underway, many will be packing up the truck and heading for the stadium parking lot. Beyond wearing your team colors and preparing your favorite foods ahead of time, there are several tips to make your time on the tailgate more enjoyable and safe. 

Organize cooking utensils

Use a toolbox with drawers to transport and organize spatulas, bottle openers, tongs, skewers, and the like. Other drawers can store condiments, spices, plastic baggies, toothpicks, and other useful supplies.

Freeze water bottles 

This is one of the best hacks in our opinion. Frozen water bottles will help keep your perishables fresh, and you can drink the water when they melt. 

Pack the sunscreen

You may think there isn't anything as strong as your favorite team, but the sun is right there with them. When in the sun for long periods of time, you run the risk of dehydration, sunburn, and even sun poisoning in extreme cases. It's important to drink plenty of water and apply sunscreen throughout the day. 

Maintain food safety

Tailgate staples like potato and macaroni salads, chicken, and steak can spoil quickly. Especially if the temperature outside is on the warmer side. Keep refrigerated items cool with ice and insulate cooked foods. 

Dispose of hot coals properly

Be sure charcoal is cooled prior to disposing or putting back in your vehicle. Bring a metal pail with a lid to store remaining coals. Many stadiums have designated receptacles for disposing of hot coals. 

Bring a fire extinguisher

Even the most seasoned of grill-masters need to be prepared. 

Check grills for safety

Propane and charcoal grills should be inspected prior to leaving for the game. Make sure all hoses, gauges, and vents are working properly. 

Bring a large empty plastic tote

Line it with a garbage bag and use it as a trash bin. Remove the full bag, and then use the tote to quickly and efficiently pack up supplies. 

Bring a large helium balloon

Sounds strange, but a balloon can be strung from your vehicle as a familiar marker so friends and family know how to find you. If balloons aren't really your thing, opt for a bright flag instead. 

Drink responsibly

This is the most important of all tips. Keep your family safe, and ensure that you treat others with kindness and respect. 

No matter which team you're rooting for, stay safe and have fun as you cheer them onto victory.