From Texas?  Then you know what tailgating means.  Probably one of THE social gathering events of the year (or the week depending on your ticket status)! Food, drinks, friends all centered around a parking the backend of a truck, in a parking lot at typically before the big game.  Now, that big game can be high school, college, or pro.  And if you weren’t lucky enough to score a ticket to the game itself, then the tailgating may very well continue throughout the game’s completion. So, it is important to have all of the necessities to ensure you are prepared to enjoy the celebrations for the entire time.

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First things first, and everyone knows this…So much so it doesn’t make this list.  It is just a “given”.  You arrive early. There are many reasons for this. First, placement is everything. You have to have time to prepare (food and set up). And also, who wants to rush around.  So, in hopes of making this sports season brighter, here are the items top five items that every Texan can include in “tailgate party package” to create a more enjoyable experience.

5. Comfortable Furniture is a MUST. Don’t be that person who thinks they can stand the entire time. It won’t happen. This isn’t furniture you have to carry around so why not bring something! Bean Bag chairs are great for this kind of festivity! Inexpensive and you can get them in your team color.

4. A cool audio set up. I cannot tell you the number of times I have watched someone use their vehicle. I get it, they have a great system. Problem is, when you try to leave, the battery is dead. There are some cool and inexpensive blue tooth speakers out there that will keep you in the game, and let you get home at the end of the event. It really is a win-win.

3. A charcoal grill. I am a big believer that you can come prepared with most of the food done. But grilling is so much fun while you are there. Little grills are big hits while tailgating and no one wants a cold burger. Save the pre-prep for the sides and desserts. But, the charcoal grill, now that is something you can do while you are there, especially since you arrived early. We bought the bag you just lit, less clean up that way. This may not be what you prefer (to each their own). Either way, bring on the grilled burgers and brats.  You won’t be sorry.

2. Tool Box Trick. I wish I could say this was all my idea. But one of my besties had this up her sleeve and I am passing this along to you. Take an old toolbox, or grab a new one at the store if that’s what you prefer. This is now your storage. Everything you need in one handy, durable, location. Place your can opener, bottle opener, wet wipes, napkins, plastic forks, flash lights, first aid kit, condiments, spices, etc. in here.  It’s easy to carry. It can get knocked around in the back of the truck and handle the elements while protecting everything inside.  Really the perfect “cabinet” to store everything safely.

1. Hand Sanitizing Station. These have become more common lately. Take an old (Tide) detergent bottle and fill it with water. Bring a 30-gallon bucket (not necessary but nice especially if it gets super cold where you are and can ice up). When you need to wash your hands, this useful tool is great to have. Fits in the back of the truck while you on your way there, and can slide right on to the tailgate during the event. The bucket just goes under and catches the dirty water so you don’t have puddles, mud, ice under after using. To really class it up, you can run a bungy cord around it and add paper towel to the top but no one is expecting that, especially since you have napkins in your tool box!

Weekly tailgating is about creating memories of families and friends.  From Friday night high school showing your collegiate pride on Saturday, or wearing your bull or star on Sunday, the entire state of Texas understands that no matter who you are rooting for, if you are gong to tailgate, you need to do it right. So, grab your radio, your patio furniture, cornhole, and get out to the parking lot early. Your team is waiting!