5 Tailgating Essentials

It's time to tailgate!
It’s time to tailgate!

No matter what team you root for, one thing every football fan can agree on is tailgating. Filling up the parking lot outside the stadium with good food, drinks and close friends to celebrate a mutual obsession for your favorite team has become a pregame ritual that is just as much a part of football Sundays as the games themselves. So grab your face-paint and your friends and head on down to the stadium lot, and don’t forget these 5 tailgate essentials…

 1. A quality cooler. Whether you’re hauling around meat to grill or just a six pack of your favorite beverage, a cooler is probably the most essential piece of tailgating gear. Keep it simple with a NRS Dura-Soft 6-Pack cooler slung over your shoulder or bring enough for the whole crew with a Yeti Tundra. A good quality cooler is an investment that’ll last the whole season, plus will be something you can use on your next paddle too.

2. Something comfortable to sit on. Almost as important as the cooler is your tailgating chair. You have to be comfortable lounging around in the parking lot before a game! I suggest bringing along a nice folding chair like the Kelty Mesh Folding Chair or one of our portable camp chair options which can get you through your tailgate and also add some comfort to your stadium seat.

3. Defense against the sun. If you end up sun-burned before you even sit down in your stadium seat then you didn’t set yourself up for an enjoyable football experience. A little game-day shade is an important part of any tailgate and we’ve got you covered with several different options to choose from. Not only will most sun shades and shelters protect you from the sun, but they’ll also keep you dry on rainy days so you can keep tailgating no matter what the weather is like.

4. Tunes! There’s nothing that makes a good tailgate quite like playing the right music. Download your team’s fight song or just fill your MP3 Player with your favorite jams to get pumped up before the game, then hook it up to some rugged outdoor speakers to keep it safe from spills, tumbles or from being drowned out by all the other tailgaters. Our line-up of EcoXGear should do the trick!

5. A grill for your meat. You can’t forget the grill, that’s just part of the tailgate. I prefer to keep things simple by bringing along my Primus Grill/Stove combo. I bought it for car camping, but it works great cooking up a package of hot dogs and I don’t have to worry about loading up a full sized grill. However you prefer to do it, don’t forget to bring the grill!

Make sure to bring these five tailgating essentials along with you on your next tailgate! For more ideas on what to bring, visit our tailgating page.

The ACK Guide To: Tailgating Like a Professional

It’s football season, which means one thing for the weekends… well, aside from football and paddling. That’s right, you guessed it — tailgating! Everyone’s favorite pre-game ritual is back and that means you won’t look so lonely smoking brisket in the parking lot near the stadium now that football season is in full swing. Being a company based in Texas, not only do we have a pedigree in paddlesports but we also know a thing or two about how to tailgate and we offer plenty of products that would help make you parking lot royalty.

First things first: you gotta stay protected from the sun. If you’re a die-hard fan (of either the sport itself or the act of tailgating) you’re probably outside the stadium in your spot hours before kickoff. You don’t want to get zapped by the sun before the first touchdown so here are a few things to help:

Your main line of defense against the sun should be sunscreen. Hands down, no questions asked! We’d recommend the Aloe Gator All Natural SPF 30 sunscreen. It’ll help your skin stay protected from the sun’s rays, it is water resistant and all natural. You can’t really go wrong there. The next essential item is a sunshade and Kelty’s Hula Shadehouse couldn’t be better for the job. Not only is the design eye-catching and stylish but it is very deliberate in its protection from the sun, angling down in the back to give you that added protection, helping you keep your team cool and securing your place on the tailgating throne.

Aside from protection from the sun, you also need be comfortable when you’re lounging around before the game. Whether you’ve got an ENO Doublenest Hammock (made for two!), the Eureka Director’s Chair (with its own side table for your chow or drinks), or a Crazy Creek Camp Chair which could be used inside the stadium as well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be a comfortable creature in the asphalt wilderness.

What’s a tailgate without the food and drinks? Well, not a tailgate I’d attend. We offer several products that can help you feel a little bit closer to your own kitchen like the Primus 2-Burner Stove-Grill Combo which folds up into its own nice little case and can help you cook up the meanest links in the lot. The stove-grill combo makes this a versatile, portable option for your outdoor kitchen setup and doesn’t have a large footprint. If you’re a charcoal guy or gal, Sandbar makes a great charcoal chimney called the FlatFire which folds up nicely for storage, is made of sturdy stainless steel and will get you cooking in no time. Now you can’t forget about the drinks and for them we offer a wide array of coolers like the Yeti Tundra 45 if you’re bringing cold ones for everyone or the NRS Dura Soft Cooler which has just enough room to hold a six-pack and has an extra-wide strap so you can sling it over your shoulder to tote it around.

Entertainment is also a must at a tailgate and you can quickly turn the parking lot into your own playground with some toys like the OgoDisk. These soft, bouncy “hand trampolines” come with a ball and can be used for a variety of fun activities like volleyball, baseball, and tennis-type games and can be tossed on their own like a Frisbee, adding to the fun. They can launch the ball up to 150 feet (!) and they’ll even float if you should happen to land them in some water. The Zing Z-Curve Bow could also make for some interesting parking lot games. It comes with three super-soft arrows (safety first, y’all!), two for the long-range shooting (up to 125 feet) and one with a suction cup end and the bow is easy to use for both right and left-handed folks. Everyone appreciates some tunes, whether its background music for conversation or jams to get you pumped for the game, Grace Digital’s Eco Terra Waterproof Audio System is just what you need. This boombox-style music player will fit your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or any MP3 player so you know you’re covered on that front. It holds your device behind a 100% waterproof, clear shell so if and when spills happen, you’re in the clear and it even floats!

Hopefully this has sparked some ideas for your adventures in tailgating. Remember, many camping supplies are great for your pre-game asphalt excursions so browse our online inventory and let your imagination go wild. Pretty soon they’ll have to build a tailgating hall-of-fame just to enshrine your pre-game ingenuity for generations to come.

Trent @ ACK