5 Top Tailgating Tips for Fall Football Fun


Do you hear that? It’s the sound of football fans getting their tailgating supplies out for football season! At Owenhouse Ace Hardware, we’re not just a hardware store; we’re fellow fans who know that tailgating is an art, a tradition, and a great excuse to celebrate. As you get ready for tailgating this season, we want to share the tailgating love! From our favorite products to clever tailgating hacks, this blog should cover it all. (We’re not saying bear spray is an official tailgating must-have, but if you want to keep the Griz away, we carry UDAP bear spray!)

Without further ado, here are some tailgating tips to ensure a fantastic football season:

white diamond badge with words "GO CATS" and Owenhouse logo badge in someon
go cats banner and table display with grilling for tailgate supplies
signed photo in white frame of the MSU mascot bobcat

Tip #1: Keep It Cool – The Art of Beverage Chilling

When it comes to tailgating, cold drinks are a non-negotiable. So how can you optimize your cooler for a day’s worth of tailgating fun? Pre-cool your coolers the night before with a bag of ice! This will help it retain coolness the next day. Also, if you have reusable ice packs, make sure to freeze them the night before because it helps them last longer.

A general rule for cooler packing ratio is ⅔ ice and ⅓ drinks if you want frosty cool brewskies all day. Your biggest adversary (other than the opposing team) when it comes to cooler strategy is warm air. Pack the cooler to the top, and don’t drain the water unless you’re ready to replace it with ice. Cold water is better than room-temperature air for keeping things cool!

YETI coolers are an obvious crowd-pleaser, but we also love Lone Mountain Coolers. They’re local to Montana and keep food and drinks nice and chilled. We have a wide variety of coolers and drinkware, so you can keep your drinks nice and cold for your next tailgate.

Hydroflask tumblers, growlers, and coffee flasks are also great options for keeping your drinks cold at your next tailgate. The vacuum insulation seals the temperature like no other container!

Tip #2: Tools For The Tailgate Grill Master

Grilling at a tailgating event is more than just cooking; it’s an experience that adds another layer of enjoyment to the game day festivities. If you’re pulling a grill off the back of your truck for a tailgate, it better be easy to move! We recommend The Weber Traveler Stealth 1 Burner Grill for grillers on the go. Weber grills are a classic choice for a tailgating BBQ. They enjoyed a long reputation as one of the most reliable and trusted names in the industry.

When it comes to grilling tools, our hot tip is to bring the essentials. Planning ahead can help ensure you have everything you need and nothing over the top! Who wants to lug around 20+ extra spatulas to a tailgate? That’s valuable space you could be using for your favorite spices and rubs, an extra 6-pack, or even a game of bocci!

Our essential grill list comes down to this:

  • Chef’s spatula
  • Grill tongs
  • Digital thermometer
  • Silicone basting brush
  • Skewers
  • Cleaning brush

How’s this for a tailgating tip: You can store your array of grilling tools in an actual toolbox, making you the tailgate grill master! You can equip yourself with these essential grilling tools and accessories at Owenhouse Ace Hardware.

Tip #3: Plan Your Menu – Delicious Eats for Every Fan!

A well-curated menu is a big win for a great tailgate.  Plan ahead with prep the night before so you can enjoy the tailgate as much as you can. Chop veggies for burgers, make your grandma’s secret potato salad recipe (we all have this, right?), and pack it all up in airtight containers to pop in the cooler the day of the game.

And what’s a great meal without flavorful rubs and sauces? You’ll find a variety of grilling rubs and sauces at Owenhouse Ace Hardware to enhance the flavors of your tailgate creations.

Some of our favorite spices and sauces to bring to a tailgate this season(ings) tailgate parties are…

  • Meat Church’s Holy Voodoo, Texas Sugar, and Honey Hog BBQ
  • Traeger’s Sweet Apple, Sweet & Heat BBQ sauce
  • Loot N’ Booty BBQ Beef and Chicken Rubs

Tip #4: Games Galore – Fun Activities for All Ages

We know you’re bringing a football to the tailgate already, but a great tailgate tip is to bring a variety of yard games for group entertainment. Tailgating is all about camaraderie and fun, and what better way to foster that spirit than through games? Games like Lasso Golf and Frisbee are the perfect balance of competitive and laid-back for every sports and non-sports fan at the tailgate. Heck, you can even set up a volleyball net! Keep the kids occupied, and bring the inner child out in your adult friends! They add an element of friendly competition that brings everyone together.

You can find Lasso Golf, Frisbees, tailballs, and even volleyball, at Owenhouse Ace Hardware to keep the good times rolling before kickoff.

box on shelf with lasso golf yard game
box of tailballs (throwing fun for yard games)

Tip #5: Washing Up – Hygiene Essentials

Tailgating can get messy if you’re cooking for a team! Our final but maybe most #winning tailgate tip is to make a handwashing station. All you need is a collapsible table, a 5-gallon bucket, paper towels, soap, and a water jug.

Pop that water jug on your table and fill it with warm water. Place your bucket beneath (or employ your designated dirty dishes tote as an alternative) to capture the sudsy runoff – and presto! You’ve made a comprehensive hand-washing setup for your tailgate revelry.

Having a handwashing station with clean water may seem over the top, but it’ll be well worth it when you’re not relying on wiping your hands on your jeans after every bite of burger! Lysol wipes and hand sanitizer will also come in handy for quick clean-ups (or post-porta-potty trips).

With these essentials by your side, you enjoy your BBQ feast without worry! Swing by Owenhouse for your tailgate clean-up needs!

Julia's Insider Tip

Check out Julia’s insider tip for making your very own DIY hand wash station!

Take These Tailgating Tips To The Game

Owenhouse Ace Hardware isn’t just a hardware store; we’re your fellow Bobcat fans! We love tailgating as much as you do, so don’t hesitate to ask us how we can help set you up for tailgating success this season. As you start testing our tailgating tips, let us know how they worked for you! We’re always looking for more ideas to amp up our tailgating game.

Get everything you need for tailgating success at Owenhouse Ace!

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