September can bring the remaining sweltering days of summer but also sees the return of one of America's greatest pastimes: leaf-peeping. Okay, just kidding, we're talking about something else. The end of summer means it's time for football season. For those of us who are (substantially) less physically gifted than your average linebacker, this doesn't mean suiting up and hitting the gridiron, but it does mean we're about to get back to what we, the fans, do best: tailgate.
Over the years, tailgating essentials have evolved from just a cooler and some food out of the back of a truck to gameday setups with multiple generators firing up a flat-screen and smoking ten pounds of brisket at 7:00 a.m. However you like to spend your gamedays, whether it is Saturday on campus or Sunday at the stadium, there are some must-haves for every tailgate party. We rounded up everything that we haul to our favorite tailgates and dropped them below to get you started.
Ahhh, shade on a sunny day. Don't get caught without it on those blistering early-season gamedays — or the days with a bit of rain.
This grill is super mobile and even turns into two grills thanks to PK's Flipkit.
These easy-to-move tables are essential for feeding everyone at the tailgate (and for smashing).
Does your favorite beer only come on draft at the brewery? No problem, this mini keg holds the equivalent of 10 cans.
Don't waste your time with a BIC lighter or matches — get something tailor-made for lighting charcoal in a jiffy.
Whether you need to haul extra beers, condiments, food or gear, you need a big, tough tote.
The latest release from ThermoWorks, the Thermapen ONE is the cooking thermometer chosen by chefs everywhere.
Listen to the pre-game coverage, other games or your favorite tunes. Nobody likes a silent party.
Keeping power on hand is essential, regardless of what you're powering up on gameday.
Don't get caught far from the closest outlet...most of which are not accessible in a parking lot.
Good for a ton of things around the tailgate site, you won't regret having a hardy set of gloves on hand.