Thursday, October 25, 2018

6 Tips for a Successful Tailgate in the Rain


Only amateurs let a little rain scare them away from a tailgate. With preparation and the right attitude in mind, you can prevent the weather from putting a halt to your fun on game day. You’ve probably already got the attitude part down, so here are some tips on how to prepare for a tailgate in the rain.

1. Optimize Your Shelter
First and foremost, you want to make sure your shelter is in tip-top shape, and that starts with checking for any potential leaks in your canopy. Because you normally use a canopy for shade, you may not have noticed any small holes in it. With everyone huddled in the tent on game day, you want to make the best use of your space. And don’t forget to pack some handy duct tape to take care of those last-minute leaks!

Photo credit: arktimes.com
Next, you want to rainproof your canopy with some walls and a gutter system. The canopy walls will keep you sheltered if you start to experience that heavy horizontal rain, and the gutter system will prevent the top of your tent from collecting a pool of rain and caving in. It sort of defeats the purpose of having a canopy if you have water coming at you from all angles. You can buy the canopy walls and gutter system or just use tarps for makeshift canopy walls and hula hoops to prevent the top of your tent from caving in.

2. Bring Extra Clothes
Ponchos, rain shoes, rain jackets, umbrellas, trench coats - bring it all! You never know what level of rain you’re going to get, so go ahead and assume the worst. You’ll be grateful that you brought everything once it starts to pour. Plus, you can save someone’s day by lending him or her an extra jacket if he or she forgot one at home. You should also bring an extra change of clothes, especially if you plan on heading inside the stadium later. You don’t want to ruin your clothes while you’re setting up and end up having to sit in wet clothes all day. You might go for something more casual during your tailgate, but once you’re inside, don’t forget to wear something colorful to get you noticed, like colorful game bibs - which leads to our next tip.

3. Get Noticed
On game day, you want your friends to be able to find your tent in the murky, gray weather. What better way to stand out from the crowd than in some colorful game bibs? You’ll really stand out if you get a bunch of your friends to dress up in game bibs with you. Who’s going to miss the crowd of people all wearing colorful bibs? Wear them under a matching poncho, or you can even wear them over regular clothes to keep you extra dry.

4. Arrive Even Earlier
Every experienced tailgater knows how important it is to arrive early to get your tailgate started on the right foot. Premium spots are limited, and they are even fewer on rainy days. Nothing is worse than getting stuck at the lowest point of the parking lot and ending up in a flood area. So get there as early as possible to make sure you score an area on higher ground, which will make all the difference in the world when it rains.

5. Keep It Simple
Save the five-course gourmet meal for another day. This is probably not the tailgate where you want to go all out with the food you serve, so keep it simple with handheld food and save space in your tent. You won’t be able to fit as many people in your tent if you serve plate food, so it’s better to just stick to grill food like wings, burgers and chips and dip. Plus, you have enough to worry about as it is preparing for the rain, and you’ll just be adding more to your plate if you have to worry about cooking for and cleaning up after more elaborate meal options.

6. Exercise Caution
Err on the side of caution on a cloudy game day. If you think there is even the smallest chance of rain, go ahead and prepare for it. Even if the weather radar says there won’t be rain, it doesn’t hurt to be a little cautious, and you will be grateful that you listened to your gut when it starts to pour later. Once it starts to rain, it’s also time to turn off your generator. Your first instinct might be to just cover it up with a tarp, but this is a really bad idea that can lead to accidents. The generator needs to be in a dry area with proper ventilation, so covering it is literally playing with fire. It’s not worth ruining your fun over this.

Don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying a proper tailgate. With a little preparation, your rainy tailgates are sure to be just as fun. And remember that the most important thing on game day is your enthusiasm and passion for the sport, so don’t sweat the little things like your clothes getting wet. What are some ways you prepare for a rainy tailgate? And what are some of your stories? Let us know in the comments below and stay dry out there!

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