Tailgating isn’t just for football. You can find tailgaters at almost any sports venue out there. Okay maybe not some of the more laid back sports like golf or tennis. Anywhere you find sports fans that like to party in the parking lot, eat great food, and have fun with friends you will find tailgating.

If you think tailgating is just for the big leagues, think again. You will find just as many tailgating parties happening before a college game as you will the NFL. If you intrigued by the idea of the party in the parking lot there are a few things to consider before heading out for your first adventure.

For starters, not everybody that tailgates is in it for the food and drinks or even the sports. Some people just enjoy the sense of community that comes with it and the great food is a bonus.

You may be surprised to find out there is an entire industry devoted to tailgaters. You will find tailgating gear, recipes, and even tailgate clothing. When you start to research tailgating you will find things that are practical, things that aren’t, and everything in-between.

The term tailgate is said to have originated when the party happened on the tailgate of the vehicle. These parties still exist but many of today’s tailgating parties are much more sophisticated.

You can find Motor Homes, portable tents with an on the go kitchen, and some very elaborate setups at a tailgating event. There are events that feature cooking competitions. Most events involve some form of alcohol.

Now that you have decided you want to hit the big game early, throw your own party and make some new friends where do you begin looking for the tailgate gear of your dreams? The best place to start is the internet search engines. You will find business that do nothing but cater to the tailgating population.

Do you need special gear? The short answer is no. You do need things that are portable and foods that are easy to prepare. If you are new to tailgating plan carefully. Decide what foods you want to prepare. Your party will be much more enjoyable if you make a list the day before and double check it before you head out the door.

Foods that are easy to prepare allow you to spend your time enjoying the company of friends and family and not slaving over a grill. Remember this is a party not a holiday meal. Don’t risk packing foods with drinks, you don’t want to ruin your day by coming home with a food borne illness.

Check the weather before heading out. There is nothing worse than getting to your event and not being dressed for whatever conditions you may encounter. Rounding out the list of things to do before heading out the door, grab your tickets. No one wants to get to the party, get the best spot in the parking lot, only to find out they left the tickets at home.

Tailgating is a fantastic way to make new friends or just hang out with some old friends.