6 Tips for Tailgating in the Rain
Expert Advice

You’ve got tickets for the big game and your tailgating grill, cooler, and chairs are packed. There’s enough food to feed a small army and an abundance of drinks to satisfy any thirst.  You’ve picked out your favorite spot in the parking lot and you are now ready for a full day of tailgating fun.

Ideally, this involves a sunny day with a nice breeze, but nature is not always so kind. Rainy weather doesn’t have to spoil the fun. Here’s 6 tips for tailgating in the rain so the fun can go on.

Simple Shelters

Having a canopy or tarp will go a long way. EZ Up and similar shelters are ideal. They are simple to set up and use. Having a good canopy over your head is the probably the most important part of tailgating in the rain.

Before you head out, make sure your tarps are in good shape. There may be small holes or tears that you don’t notice when it is sunny. However, when raining even one or two can hurt the experience. Duct tape can be a short-term fix.

Bring Weather Resistant Clothing

While you will hopefully be staying out of the rain as much as possible, you’re bound to get wet at some point. A rain jacket can with a hood can often be all you need. If it is raining hard though, you probably want to bring a poncho or umbrella.

Find High Ground

A little rain on your back may not ruin the evening, but a small stream of runoff might. If you are tailgating somewhere that is situated on a slope, try to set up on some high point. You may not usually worry about arriving super early, but this is the time to do it. Everyone will want to be out of the rain, so the best spots may fill up quicker than usual.

Be Smart with Food

If grilling is crucial to your tailgating experience, you don’t have to give it up due to some rain. Don’t place the grill directly under your canopy. The smoke will collect under it, and everyone will be smothered by it. The best way to set your grill up is to have it just outside of the tent facing in. This way the griller can tend to it without getting wet, and the smoke stays where it belongs.

Drinks shouldn’t be that much different than usual. Just keep your beers, sodas, and water in an iced cooler. Styrofoam plates and plastic cups will work all the better.

Be Careful with Electricity

There are a lot of electric appliances people use while tailgating. Electric grills for easy cooking along with televisions and music devices to set the atmosphere. Some even bring generators to power their appliances. However, it’s no secret that water and electricity don’t mix well. Regardless, some try to set up everything under their shelters to keep it dry. This is just asking for disaster though. Your best bet is to just go without these items. You can still play music from a vehicle’s stereo system. You can use non-electric grilling. There are workarounds for most things. It may not be what some consider perfect, but you can still have a great time.

Backup Plan

If things get too rough, it’s good to have a backup plan. Usually a little rain isn’t enough to cancel your tailgating plans, but if it really starts to pour it may not be worth it. Get together with your tailgating partners and determine who has the best house to bring the party to if things go south. A basic set up with food, drinks, seating, and the game can be enough to recover a lost evening of outdoor tailgating. There are a lot of ways to make indoor tailgating fun though, so feel free to go all out.

Tailgater Magazine