Eight Tailgating Hacks That Will Score Big On Gameday

After I told my wife she could go on the Apple Vacations website and book herself the all-inclusive vacation of her choice once every other year, she agreed to give me the same deal for season tickets to the Lions games. I decided that if I am going to spend that much time tailgating, I should probably learn all the best hacks to make each gameday the best it could be. I have been reading up and doing some experimenting of my own so I can share what I have learned so far.

Mason Jars – These can be great for all purpose organization. You can prep things in here, serve things in here, store things in here, and put a lid on it to wash later.

Control Your Condiments – A great way to repurpose your cardboard six packs is to use them to hold condiments and spices. It makes them easier to pass around as well as keeps things organized.

Tips for Bugs – Use upside cupcake wrappers to keep bugs out of open cups and add sage or rosemary to charcoals for natural mosquito repellent. I have even heard that if you drink a shot of apple cider vinegar it can change the way you perspire to repel mosquitos. Otherwise bring citronella incense, these seem to work pretty well too.

How to Pack a Cooler – Add Cans and bottles to the bottom of your cooler first where they will stay cool longer. Add a layer of ice over your drinks and food containers, make sure ice falls between any cracks. Use water tight resealable containers to store food items, place any bagged items on top of the ice layer, and pack it full so no warm air can get in. Be sure to chill everything before it goes into the cooler so it is already cold. It is also important to label your coolers so that people aren’t constantly opening them letting warm air in while searching for something.

Food Prep – Do everything the night before, slice and pack burger toppings, form patties between wax paper, skewer and marinate any other meat. It helps to bring anything that doesn’t need to be refrigerated in a big plastic tub, so that you may use it to bring back any dirty dishes or utensils without getting the rest of your stuff dirty.

Jumper Cables – Pack jumper cables. That’s it, you never know.

Grill Safety – Make sure to pack a metal bucket for coals that are still glowing, it is important to properly extinguish everything though. You should also be considerate of wind direction when setting up your grill. Wind will make your charcoal burn faster and may affect your food if you have a gas grill.

Open Anything – In case of emergency, you should know how to open a bottle of beer, and maybe even a bottle of wine, without actually having an opener designed for these purposes. Using a lighter to open a beer is pretty common but to learn more skilled ways, especially the trick for a bottle of wine, you can find plenty of tutorials online.

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