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Tailgate Tips: 7 Ways to Score a Safe and Seriously Fun Day


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Sunday is reserved for the Birds in Philly, and tailgates are the ultimate space to show your support for the guys in green. But despite all the fun, there a few dangers to look out for when it comes to tailgating. As the weather gets colder and the football season heats up, you’ll want to consider these 7 smart safety tips before the next big game:

1.Stay Warm

One of the biggest concerns at football games this time of year is the frigid temperatures. Rule of thumb? It’s always colder than you’d think­—especially in a stadium—so dress accordingly. That means wearing multiple layers (rather than one big coat) so you can easily alter your coverage, should the temperatures change. Always abide by the three W’s—wicking, warmth and wind. Your base layer should wick moisture away from the skin (ex. long underwear), your second layer should seal in heat (ex. fleece) and your top layer should guard you from wind and water (ex. a windbreaker or waterproof parka).

2.Don’t Overdo It with Alcoholic Drinks

If you’re going to drink at a tailgate, make sure you’re doing it responsibly. Alternate alcoholic beverages with nonalcoholic ones, ideally water. Make sure to eat so you don’t continue to drink on an empty stomach. Your hangover-free self will thank you tomorrow.

3.Designate a Driver

Designating a driver for the day is the most important item on this list—it could end up saving someone’s life. Before anybody taps into the beer supply, determine which member of your group will take driving duty for the day. If you suspect no one in your group is up to the task of driving safely, order a rideshare—the cost of an Uber is significantly less than a DUI.

4.Secure a Safe Space

Parking lots aren’t the safest space in the world, so it’s important to set up safety parameters if you and your crew are partying in a lot. Enclose your party zone with your own cars or prominent barriers, like trashcans, to make yourselves more noticeable to drivers. Alternatively, when you’re navigating the lot in your own car, drive cautiously to avoid hitting any parked cars or worse—people.

5.Find a Friend

Tailgate zones are packed with rowdy partygoers, so it’s important to avoid conflict (no need to heckle out-of-towners!) and stick with your group. If you suspect your buddy has had a few too many brews, always keep tabs on where they are to avoid any dangerous scenarios. You’re never too old for the buddy system!

6.Guard Your Grill

If you’re grilling, avoid any potential dangers by keeping a fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy. Oftentimes the grill is set up in a tent or other close quarters, making it easy to graze the grill or burn yourself. Even veteran tailgaters need to be prepared for the worse. Always grill outside in a well-ventilated area. If you’re cooking with coals, douse them with water and let them cool before discarding or packing them away.

7.Practice the 2-Hour Rule

Whether the weather is ice cold or hot as a sauna, you’ll need to dispose of perishable food within 2 hours of it sitting out to avoid any spoiling, or worse, food poisoning. Even if something looks like it’s fine (like saving leftover burgers for the next day) you’ll still want to discard it to avoid an upset stomach later on. When it doubt, toss it out.

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