Does your tailgate need a change? Are you stuck in a routine of hot dogs, hamburgers, jerseys, and face paint? Have you started to see tailgates around you get more elaborate with each successive tailgating season? It’s time to dump the old routine and spice up your tailgate so that it starts looking like the 1972 Miami Dolphins instead of the 2017 Cleveland Browns.
Here at Extreme Canopy, we’re not just passionate about bringing our customers high-quality tents for the low prices. We’re also passionate about the party — specifically, that gameday ritual known as the tailgate. Take this guide to heart, and take your tailgate to the next level.
TRANSFORM WHAT YOU ARE DRIVING OR TOWING
All great tailgates are built on the backs of trucks and trailers. Your ride is responsible for bringing your supplies, your power and your people. In some cases, it’s also a space for your party. In order to take your tailgate to new heights, consider revamping your ride to better accommodate your needs. Bigger trucks can haul bigger trailers, so if you’re thinking about bringing large equipment like a super-sized generator, a slow cooker, or a comprehensive TV-and-sound system, you may want to look at a larger vehicle for your needs. If you’ve never used a trailer before, take a look at your existing vehicle’s towing specifications to see what you can tow. Buying or renting a trailer for gameday can expand your operations and transform your tailgate. Want to go all-out? Invest in an RV to bring indoor and outdoor versatility to your next tailgate.
BECOME A LEGENDARY GRILL MASTER
Tailgating is all about the food, but not all food is created equal. Those who wake up early for tailgates typically aren’t doing it to drink at the crack of dawn. They’re doing it to start barbecuing. The best of the best tailgating food comes from the BBQ — specifically, the slow cooker. Ribs, brisket, and other specialty barbecued items need a long time to cook if you want to maximize taste. To ensure high-quality slow-cooking, invest in a slow cooker to treat your meats right. Not sure which kind of slow cooker or covered barbecue to get? Head out to a BBQ festival in your area and ask some expert grill masters what they’re cooking on and what they’re cooking with. You’ll get a host of great tips to help you move beyond burgers and hot dogs for your next tailgate.
JAZZ UP YOUR SIDES
If the meats at your tailgate are the quarterback, then the sides are the offensive line. Sure, one can be individually successful without the other, but together, they make a winning combination. Some tailgaters love guests to bring the sides. Others like to make them themselves. If you are in charge of sides yourself, hit the books, YouTube tutorials and internet blogs to find killer recipes before the season starts. If your guests are in charge of bringing sides, don’t hesitate to call a timeout, pull those bringing a bag of chips to the side and give them a friendly reminder to bring something with a little more pizazz this coming season.
MOBILIZE YOUR BAR
Yes, coolers full of ice-cold beer can keep tailgates chugging along through the pregame warmups through the final whistle and into the post-game. But for a truly transcendent tailgate, coolers aren’t going to cut it. You don’t want your tailgate to just “chug along”—you want it to cruise. One thing you’ll find on every cruise? A bar. Bring one to your tailgate and you’ll become a fan favorite in no time. But how do you bring a bar to a tailgate? If you’re a DIY fan, you could build one from scratch. There are several online resources on sites like Pinterest and Youtube that will help you get started. You could also buy a truck bed sized one on a furniture site like Wayfair that’s ready to go with minimal assembly. Don’t want to spend much money? You could use your truck bed itself as a minibar — just be sure to clear out tools and anything else back there before bringing in the ice and drinks. Cool with spending a lot of money? Get your hands on an RV and make it the designated drinks zone.
CREATE A LIVING ROOM IN THE PARKING LOT
Sometimes, the tailgate is better than the game itself. Sometimes, going to the game isn’t even a possibility. Either tickets were sold out long ago or they’re just too steep for your pocketbook — or both. If you’ve decided to watch the game in the parking lot rather than the stadium, you need to have the infrastructure to back up your decision. You need to make your parking lot viewing party just as good, if not better, than watching the game inside the stadium. If you and your posse are die-hard stadium viewers, it still doesn’t hurt to have a mobile living room ready to go for your tailgate. Figure out a system to move the furniture and flat-screen to the stadium. We do not recommend loading up your main living room furniture — go with the older stuff that you don’t mind getting a little wear and tear on it. A truck/trailer combination is a good method for transporting the items to create an outdoor living room. Invest in a small generator (or rent one) that can handle the power needs of your TV and sound system. Check with the parking authority of the stadium to see if they have a good Wi-Fi signal for you to stream the game. They probably do, but if they don’t, invest in a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot for your streaming needs.
THE INSTANT CANOPY: A TAILGATER’S BEST FRIEND
If you just finished the “Create a Living Room in the Parking Lot” section, we know what you’re probably thinking: “But what if it rains?!” If you’re living near Lambeau, Soldier Field, New Era Field, or Gillette Stadium, you might even be thinking: “What if it snows?!” These are valid thoughts. In the event of inclement weather, your TV and speakers will be ruined. (If you’re bringing indoor furniture, that also won’t fare so well.) Thankfully, there’s an easy and affordable solution for protecting your outdoor electronics and other sensitive possessions while tailgating. It’s an instant canopy, and it’s a tailgater’s best friend.
Also known as “pop-up tents”, instant canopies are the most common and user-friendly shelter solutions you’ll see at sports tailgates. The reason for their popularity is simple: instant canopies are extremely simple to put up, to transport, great at handling whatever weather mother nature throws at you and adaptable to any situation, especially given the right accessories. However, this long list of extreme benefits only holds true for high-quality pop-up tents. There are a lot of cut-rate canopies sold online and in megastores. You are investing so much into you tailgate as is — make sure to steer clear of these products by reading reviews and checking if the tents are made from high-quality materials like aluminum and PVC-coated polyester. With no assembly required while also providing a much needed source of shade and shelter, these portable products are perfect for making the parking lot the place to be.
YOUR TEAM PRIDE VS. YOUR NEIGHBOR’S TEAM PRIDE?
We get it — most tailgaters are rooting for the same team. That’s what home-field advantage is all about. But a little friendly inter-parking-lot tailgating rivalry never hurt anyone. In fact, tailgating competition can be a good thing. Superfandom causes sports fans to step up their game, and everyone benefits. There are many ways to get a leg up on your neighbors at the tailgate — a lot of them we’ve covered in previous points. Besides great food, endless drinks and a theater-worthy viewing setup, you can take your tailgate station to the next level by making it stand out from the rest. We’re talking about team spirit, loud and proud. One of the best ways to show your support is by investing in a few eye-catching visuals. Invest in an all-weather banner or flag with your team’s colors and logos (and maybe a bit of personalized tailgate branding, too). Or, consider knocking out two tasks at once by buying a custom canopy: one with fabric roof and sides that you can customize with your chosen colors, text, logos and even photos. Everyone in the parking lot will notice your team spirit, not without a little healthy jealousy.
SHOP THE INDUSTRY’S BEST CUSTOM CANOPY TENTS AND MORE HERE AT EXTREME CANOPY
When you want the best for your tailgate, there is no better place to shop than Extreme Canopy. We proudly design, manufacture and sell an expansive line of canopy tents, banners, flags and more. With both standard and custom options available, we have something to fit every budget and every level of fandom. We use the highest-quality materials and the latest manufacturing methods to ensure excellent performance and longevity across all of our products. We also have taken out the middlemen and sell directly to you to keep our prices low. Have questions? Contact us to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable expert staff member. Shop with our team to celebrate your team in style — take your tailgate to the next level with help from Extreme Canopy!