1) Karma Mobile Wi-Fi Spot: Looking to stream the big game? Bring your own Wi-Fi! This pocket-sized puck from Karma creates instant internet, plus you only pay for what you use. If you plan to be out for more than 5 hours, keep this powered by BioLite and you'll be online the whole time.
2) GoTenna: Some tailgate crowds are in the tens of thousands, meaning your mobile network may get overrun with too much activity. That translates into failed text messages, dropped calls, all the stuff that becomes a huge pain when you're trying to make a plan. Circumvent the service problem by creating a network of your own with GoTenna: pair devices with no need for a router or tower. Keep it charged via micro-USB and stay in touch with friends and family no matter how crowded your surroundings are.
3) Your phone (duh) for Tailgating Apps (ah!): Sure, keeping your phone battery alive is a no-brainer, but did you know about all the apps out there that will turn your phone into a magic wand for all things tailgating? From the mouthwatering Grill-It app to the comprehensive coverage of ESPN College Football, your phone is the epicenter of communication, information, and entertainment. Check out some additional ideas from Digital Trends' list of The Best Tailgating Apps.
4) Portable Speaker: There's a lot of hours before and after the actual game, so fill that time with some tunes and keep the festive spirit moving (especially when it's cold out). We like the Jawbone Mini Jambox. Extra bonus points for easy bluetooth pairing with your phone.
5) USB Light: With daylight savings behind us, the sun is setting even earlier now. Keep your site well-lit for cooking, hanging out, and most importantly, for clean up (cleaing up and packing up in the dark is no fun). Good news for BioLite BaseCamp owners: your unit comes with a FlexLight, a USB gooseneck that can tap on/off with the touch of a finger and dims according to your needs.
BONUS ROUND! 5 Fast Prep Tips for a Successful Tailgate
Now that you have your electronics squared away, take a moment to make sure everything else is in order:
1) Make a list. Check it twice. Do you have:
- Paper towel
- Hand sanitizer
- Light sources (flashlights, lanterns, headlamps, etc) - are they charged?
- Garbage/recycling bags
- Two sets of tongs: one for raw meat and one for grilled meat
- An everything tool (we like the EVO over at Gerber)
2) Location, Location, Location. Some popular tailgate destinations require permits months in advance. Ask yourself:
- Do you want heavy foot traffic by undergrands or are you looking for a more family-friendly spot?
- Are you within close proximity to an available functioning toilet?
- How precious is your time? Is easy in and out access before and after the game mandatory for you or is bumper to bumper traffic a small price to pay for the ultimate spot?
3) Layer on the team spirit. Remember how fast temps can drop when the sun disappears:
- Wool is your friend: The Escape Long Sleeve Hood for men | The Boreal Long Sleeve Cowl for women
- Consider hat hair a sign of pride: wear your team's hat and stay warm
- Towels, towels, towels!: Not only can you often get them in team colors, they'll add a critical layer between you and a cold metal chair, or can soak up any moisture from a fabric chair left out overnight.
4) Food and Drink. Are you ready for your eaters and your surroundings?
- Are you hosting indoors or outside? Remember that some of your favorites may not translate from one setting to another.
- Prep in advance: small things like marinating, pre-slicing, and pre-measuring can make a hectic day go off without a hitch.
- If you're on location, do you have storage to take home leftovers? Or better yet, research a local food bank or shelter for delivery at the end of a day (call in advance, they don't always take prepared food).
- What's your fuel source? Make sure wood is chopped or tanks are full.
5) Leave no trace (seriously).
It's tempting after a game to hightail it out of there and head to your next event -- but fight that urge, it'll benefit everyone. Be prepared to pack up garbage, dirty plates, and leftover food by bringing large plastic reusable tubs to place dirty items inside. Taking the time to clean and dispose of everything properly will ensure it’s ready for action next weekend and helps keep campus and its surroundings in tip top shape.
You’re ready! Put your fight song on repeat, fire up your BioLite Grill, and cheer your team to victory!