Tailgating is a popular style of party held around the open tailgate of a vehicle, usually at the big game, a NASCAR race or even at outdoors concerts. You'll more than likely see these going on before or during an event in the parking lot at the stadium, or in the open fields of the particular venue. NASCAR race attendees typically park inside the track with their RV's, campers and trucks so they can grill up food and drink while socializing before the event. The most popular sports event you'll see tailgating at are football games, whether it be college (NCAA) or professional (NFL). Even iconic football announcer, John Madden, has written a book called "John Madden's Ultimate Tailgating", making this an art form that has transcended the pop culture of America.

To tailgate properly you'll need to start with the proper vehicle. Choose a ride that has a spacious tailgate such as the aforementioned RV, camper, SUV or big truck. A station wagon may work as well. You'll need this space for the setup of your food and beverage. Next, it's important to have a great portable grill. You can purchase these for under $200 from companies like Weber and Coleman. A good portable grill will be easy to transport, cook food evenly, and be easy to clean up. A highly recommended grill is the Coleman RoadTrip Grill 9949-750. Having the right grill is essential at a sports event. You don't want to actually miss the game because you are too busy cooking or cleaning up after your party!

Speaking of party, that's the whole idea of thetailgating experience. To do so effectively, you're going to want alcohol, soda pops, and plenty of tasty food. Traditional tailgate foods include things you'd consume at a picnic like hot dogs, hamburgers and baked beans. Cold salads like coleslaw and potato salad also work well. Some tailgaters get fancier by serving up sausages, steaks and other cuts of meat. Your grill will serve as the essential cooking device to serve up these foods for your hungry guests. In some cases, such as the cold foods you can prepare them ahead of time, and bring them along with you to the event.

To make cleanup as painless and effortless as possible, it's recommended you bring along disposable plastic utensils, paper or styrofoam cups, plates and bowls. You may need some regular metal utensils such as big serving forks or spoons as well, but the less items you have to clean the better. You can use your tailgate as a seat for people to hang out on, or as a serving area for the food. In some instances, you may want to bring an extra table, some fold out chairs, a cooler and then crank up the music. It's time to get you and your tailgating friends psyched up for the event, while enjoying great food, drink and each other's company!