Top tips to tailgate in your SUV or truck

It’s an hour before kick-off and 42 degrees F. There’s only one reason you’re standing around in this weather when you don’t even have tickets — you’re a fan. But roughing it in the tailgate lot doesn’t have to be a grudge-match. All you need to make yourself comfy and have fun is a little know-how.

We’ve got spirit! Yes, we do!

First, you’ll need to set the stage. You can relax in normal clothes with your besties (and central heat) at your house. Don’t just throw on your favorite player’s jersey. Add those extra touches like crazy team earrings (maybe even some you made yourself), face paint and more. You aren’t the only one who needs a makeover, either. you can buy magnets and streamers in your team’s colors to give your vehicle a spirited makeover.

Make a playbook

You’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you’ve got everything you need. If it’s going to be cold, bring the necessary supplies to stay warm. Some stadiums have well-organized tailgating areas, which means you may have access to electricity. Find out before you go. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got comfortable seating, a way to listen to or watch the game (portable radio or TV and plenty of batteries — don’t use your car’s radio or your battery could suffer). You may even be able to bring a portable generator.

You’ll also need game grub. Buy one of the portable grills we like and make sure you have plenty of food for everyone in the cooler. Bring extra food, as you’re likely to have party-crashers as you make new friends at the game. Don’t forget munch-ables like chips and dips, pretzels and nuts. Bring a separate cooler (or two) for sodas, water and beer.

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