Being a sports-shy person, I’ve always peered from the sidelines of my friends' devotion to sports (I do enjoy a good game of tennis though). I do appreciate, however, how sports are able to rally a community. Here in the great city of Boston, we’re blessed to have plenty to entertain us through the seasons.
Just the other day, I decided to ask a devoted sports friend of mine about tailgating. It’s always been something I associated with red-blooded manly men and parking lot hot dogs. In the most laid-back and straightforward manner, he told me the three simple ingredients needed for a good time: football, beer, and food.
We spent the next ten minutes or so talking about getting early to sports games, cooking, eating, and playing -- to which I promptly asked that he bring me and my other friend along during his next tailgating party. It then got me thinking about what would go into the preparation for such adventures.
If you're about to embark on a tailgating experience, here are eight items that will ensure you’re comfortable as a clam as you indulge in food and drinks in the parking lot of your favorite football team:
To prep salsa and guacamole:
Quickly carve an avocado with the Avoloop ($19.95) for a smooth and easy way to remove the flesh from the rind. Then when you’re ready to present your salsa or guacamole, serve them in a Salsabol ($16) whose strategically engineered lip allows for a stable scoop without losing precious chunks of veggies.
To serve up some different booze:
The Menu ($62.95) is a baggy wine coat, which holds the bladder from boxed wine since it doesn’t always look good drinking wine out of a box, despite its convenience. The wine coat maintains that convenience while holding the wine bag -- with room for an ice bag, too.
If you’re hesitant about bringing a box of wine (in a wine coat, of course) or bottles of wine, then transport them in a Vino-2-Go ($19.99). These tumblers are shatter-proof with a double-wall construction to prevent condensation as well as keep your wine at a controlled temperature.
To stay warm:
The ChappyWrap ($110) is a cozy and woven blanket made in Germany with a special Jacquard loom. The designs are woven into the fabric, not printed. Shrink and pill-proof and warm, these blankets are the perfect go-to blanket for indoor or outdoor hangouts.
The OneLogFire ($23.95) is a portable campfire that’s totally self-contained and mess-free. This handy log is quick to light, provides warmth for up to two hours, and is made of non-toxic materials, making it perfect for roasting marshmallows and other light cooking.
To sit back and relax:
Everyone has their favorite lawn chair and the Blue Ridge Chair Works XL Deck Chair ($170) may just be the one. It’s rock solid and extra roomy (or you can get the standard Outer Banks Chair). American-made and built to last, they’re constructed out of Ash hardwood and finished with protective Danish oil.
And if you’re already in that chair, you may not want to constantly get up to open your beer. With a pair of Brewsees Bottle-Opener Sunglasses (starting at $29), you can look great, protect your eyes, and open bottle after bottle with your sunglasses’ anodized aluminum tips.
Have you ever been tailgating at a sports event? Tell me about your experience in the comments.
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Caroline hails from a tiny tropical island originally, but calls Boston home. A curious bird, she spent a spring trekking all over Ireland, has been an Air Force Junior ROTC cadet, and worked at Disney World as a merchandising intern. With a love for all things interesting, she found herself at The Grommet, where she gets to eat, sleep, and breathe innovative undiscovered products. Say hello to her on Twitter.