Tailgating Tips + Gear Thread

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
This thread is designed for fellow tailgaters to share info on tailgating to include gear, tips, recipes, TV setup and battling hot/cold weather.
 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
Canopies

-- determine the right size for your group and parking situation
-- will it be used where parking limitations are in effect?
-- will it be used primarily in cool to hot weather?
-- how important is color and logo to you?

Canopies can be found on sale for as cheap as $50 to upwards of $300. Anytime you slap a team logo on the canopy expect the price to double. If you plan to use it in an NFL stadium you might be required to use a 8' wide canopy.

Canopy Construction

Canopies are constructed two basic ways: straight legged and slanted or angled legged. Straight leg construction is usually more money but the big advantage is the easy ability to install side walls and good selection of sidewalls. Sidewalls are pricey but pretty much a necessity for late season tailgating. If the weather isn't too bad...only one or two sidewalls will be okay. Generally you install them to either knock the wind down or keep the sun out to set up a TV viewing area. You can find sidewalls for slanted legged canopies but it is a bit harder. The panels will be generic too...I can't find SU logo stuff in slanted legged sidewalls.

214-48_med.jpe

Straight Legged Canopy with Sidewalls


Slanted Legged Canopy With Sidewall (Sorry For The Logo...couldn't find SU)

Don't be that guy

Canopies are big airfoils...and on a windy day you need to secure them.

I suggest bringing some nylon rope as a backup but the best way to keep a canopy down is to use weights. Wind under 10 mph you are usually okay with out weights. If the wind is 10 mph or over or you are expecting gusts you need to secure the tent.

You can pound in some stakes first (if you are on grass or gravel) into the hole on each leg bottom. This really only should be used by themselves in light wind days. For windier days you need canopy weight plates. I like plates that are easy to stack with interlocking design



Obviously the more weight the more wind protection. I like the plates above as they are stack-able and each one weighs 7.5lbs. This should be good for 10-15 mph days. Add another set and you can get to 20 mph. At 20+ mph...you have to be really experienced to put up a canopy. You have to utilize wind breaks and rope.

Cold Days

Sidewalls are key...Get all four sidewalls put up. Install the door opening sidewall away from the wind. You need heat. I recommend a 20lbs propane tank (the size that comes with most grills) and a heater attached to it like this. Make sure you have 30,000 BTU for Syracuse. I find that 15,000 BTU doesn't help much below 35-40 degrees. The heater should have tip over safety protection.


If you have Amazon Prime...that is a good place to start shopping.
 
Last edited:

Trueblue25

Cali Award Magistrate
Joined
Apr 16, 2013
Messages
21,498
Like
30,924
Canopies

-- determine the right size for your group and parking situation
-- will it be used where parking limitations are in effect?
-- will it be used primarily in cool to hot weather?
-- how important is color and logo to you?

Canopies can be found on sale for as cheap as $50 to upwards of $300. Anytime you slap a team logo on the canopy expect the price to double. If you plan to use it in an NFL stadium you might be required to use a 8' wide canopy.

Canopy Construction

Canopies are constructed two basic ways: straight legged and slanted or angled legged. Straight leg construction is usually more money but the big advantage is the easy ability to install side walls and good selection of sidewalls. Sidewalls are pricey but pretty much a necessity for late season tailgating. If the weather isn't too bad...only one or two sidewalls will be okay. Generally you install them to either knock the wind down or keep the sun out to set up a TV viewing area. You can find sidewalls for slanted legged canopies but it is a bit harder. The panels will be generic too...I can't find SU logo stuff in slanted legged sidewalls.

Don't be that guy

Canopies are big airfoils...and on a windy day you need to secure them.View attachment 95656
Straight Legged Canopy with Sidewalls


Slanted Legged Canopy With Sidewall (Sorry For The Logo...couldn't find SU)

You're the man.

I'm still triggered though.
 

cliftonparksufan

Iggy Award Magistrate
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
10,109
Like
13,707
This thread is designed for fellow tailgaters to share info on tailgating to include gear, tips, recipes, TV setup and battling hot/cold weather.
Great thread. I have a million tailgating stories and most of the bad ones involve alcohol. Rule number one. If you are using charcoal, you need to make sure your coals are extinguished properly. Otherwise you will be this guy in the video. I've seen it happen a few times. Cars Burn in MetLife Parking Lot During Jets Game

Rule number two. Always have enough food and beverage for tailgating before and after the game and for sharing with fellow fans. This is usually not an issue, although you do want to make sure you are keeping your beverages cold.

Rule number three. Burgers and Dogs are great but hopefully they are not your primary food. If you are planning better food (pulled pork, brisket, chili, ribs) you obviously are better off preparing them a day ahead of time and just need to heat up at your tailgate.

Rule number four. Have easy to eat food. Not everyone is a sit down and fix themselves a plate (although they are really missing out). Have pretzels (especially pretzel rods), chips, homemade cookies and brownies. Also chicken wings. Very important.

Rule number five. Beer. And lots of it on ice. Hard liquor. I know Fireball is popular, although I would never get through the day with it but that's just me. Jello shots. Some soda and water, especially for your DD's and anyone who is pacing themselves for the game. No one wants to pass out and miss the game.

Rule number six. Get there early. Someone has to be responsible to set up. Bring bloody mary's and as soon as you get your grill fired up make some breakfast sandwiches on the grill. Buy the best rolls you can find for your breakfast sandwiches. I prefer Portuguese but it's optional. Lot's of people will be jealous when they see you eating a quality breakfast sandwich and they break out a box of doughnut holes.

Rule number seven. Paper towels. At least a six pack of them. At least one of your friends will make a mess and will need to be cleaned up. Also utensils. Very important.

Rule number eight. Carry in and Carry out. Have garbage stations set up. Be a good citizen and ensure that garbage is taken care of. Keep your bottles and cans separate for the guys who peruse the parking lots and will take them back to the store for you. It's your nickels but you'll feel good giving them to someone who is working hard for it.
 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
Grills

Disclaimer: I'm not going to talk about smokers and large grills.

For you starting out with this tailgate thing...my best advice is to start small. If you buy something you use at home so much the better.

Ideal for beginners and small tailgates:

Amazon Prime has this model for $59

Stainless Steel is key. Rust is your enemy with grills. The cheap to moderately priced grills should last 3-4 seasons and more than 3-4 years if you take some precautions to keep it from excessive rusting.


Small grills run on 1 lbs propane tanks. Those little green tanks sold in sporting goods. Note: Most small grills will accept a rubber gas hose adapter attached to a standard 20 lbs tank.

What Does This Sit On?

Aluminum or Steel. Do not put these grills on plastic tables. You will melt the plastic on the table. Look for tables listed under camping or tailgating tables. I like items like this that collapse and stuff into a carry bag:
 
Last edited:

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
The other small grills I like that can be multi-purposed are from Coleman. The Road Trip series allows portability, easy clean up and the ability to cook most everything.

Coleman makes several versions. I only suggest you buy one with at least 20,000 BTUs.

 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
Best type of chicken to serve?

Breasts (boneless)?

Legs and thighs?

Wings?

My thoughts...the best bang for your buck is to look for Legs and Thighs on sale. Tailgating is often about finger food. Wings are awesome but pricey. Legs and Thighs can be handle without plasticware and you still can look somewhat civilized.

Thoughts?
 

JeremyCuse

Living Legend
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
19,937
Like
16,907
Best type of chicken to serve?

Breasts (boneless)?

Legs and thighs?

Wings?

My thoughts...the best bang for your buck is to look for Legs and Thighs on sale. Tailgating is often about finger food. Wings are awesome but pricey. Legs and Thighs can be handle without plasticware and you still can look somewhat civilized.

Thoughts?
Unless you have a fryer or have pre-cooked them and are just grilling them up for a minute I would skip wings. There not cheap, a pain to cook unless you have a fryer, and you have the issue of salmonella. Chicken Dishes are always a hit and it allows you to save money as you can stretch more chicken then you would need to do a sandwich for each individual person. Buffalo Chicken wing dip, chicken cut up into cubes or pieces with a sauce for a wrap or taco is good as it can be hand held and customized to each persons tastes. Obviously chicken spiedies and BBQ chicken are always crowd pleasers as well and go well mixed in with other meats. Boneless thighs are usually cheap and can be adapted to almost any dish. Don't be afraid to try some experimenting by maybe doing an Indian flavored chicken dish and an Asian one to give multiple options and contrasting tastes/flavors.
 

weedsportwarriors

All Conference
Joined
Jan 30, 2012
Messages
2,191
Like
3,884
Canopies

-- determine the right size for your group and parking situation
-- will it be used where parking limitations are in effect?
-- will it be used primarily in cool to hot weather?
-- how important is color and logo to you?

Canopies can be found on sale for as cheap as $50 to upwards of $300. Anytime you slap a team logo on the canopy expect the price to double. If you plan to use it in an NFL stadium you might be required to use a 8' wide canopy.

Canopy Construction

Canopies are constructed two basic ways: straight legged and slanted or angled legged. Straight leg construction is usually more money but the big advantage is the easy ability to install side walls and good selection of sidewalls. Sidewalls are pricey but pretty much a necessity for late season tailgating. If the weather isn't too bad...only one or two sidewalls will be okay. Generally you install them to either knock the wind down or keep the sun out to set up a TV viewing area. You can find sidewalls for slanted legged canopies but it is a bit harder. The panels will be generic too...I can't find SU logo stuff in slanted legged sidewalls.

View attachment 95656
Straight Legged Canopy with Sidewalls


Slanted Legged Canopy With Sidewall (Sorry For The Logo...couldn't find SU)

Don't be that guy

Canopies are big airfoils...and on a windy day you need to secure them.

I suggest bringing some nylon rope as a backup but the best way to keep a canopy down is to use weights. Wind under 10 mph you are usually okay with out weights. If the wind is 10 mph or over or you are expecting gusts you need to secure the tent.

You can pound in some stakes first (if you are on grass or gravel) into the hole on each leg bottom. This really only should be used by themselves in light wind days. For windier days you need canopy weight plates. I like plates that are easy to stack with interlocking design



Obviously the more weight the more wind protection. I like the plates above as they are stack-able and each one weighs 7.5lbs. This should be good for 10-15 mph days. Add another set and you can get to 20 mph. At 20+ mph...you have to be really experienced to put up a canopy. You have to utilize wind breaks and rope.

Cold Days

Sidewalls are key...Get all four sidewalls put up. Install the door opening sidewall away from the wind. You need heat. I recommend a 20lbs propane tank (the size that comes with most grills) and a heater attached to it like this. Make sure you have 30,000 BTU for Syracuse. I find that 15,000 BTU doesn't help much below 35-40 degrees. The heater should have tip over safety protection.


If you have Amazon Prime...that is a good place to start shopping.
You couldn't find a different canopy to use for the picture than Ped State. lol
 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
For Cuse fans down South...Academy Sports has a 10' x 10' Canopy on sale right now for $39.99. Tough to beat that price...even comes in Orange.
 

Shrmdougluvr

I pity the poor fool who don't eat my cereal
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
2,833
Like
3,900
Is there any place to park and set up a small tailgate near Marshall or Walnut without having a season permit? Just looking for a place for tomorrow. I don't want to have to shuttle bus it.
 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
Is there any place to park and set up a small tailgate near Marshall or Walnut without having a season permit? Just looking for a place for tomorrow. I don't want to have to shuttle bus it.
You gotta get here early...but I heard the parking lot behind the The Syracuse Eye Center does cash

Google Maps
 

Pyle

All Conference
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
2,596
Like
3,361
In the market for a SU canopy. Most places online currently are either $200+ or sold out. Please post any sales you may see in the coming year. Thanks.
 

Bayside44

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,425
Like
13,106
TexanMark , got a question for you.

I have a Weber portable grille, tabletop which is fine for small family tailgates. The propane tank is that small 16 oz type. How can you A - tell when they're finished and B - dispose of them? Did some spring cleaning and don't want to blow up the garbage man.

Thanks!
 

orange79

Internet Sleuth
Staff member
Joined
Aug 20, 2011
Messages
23,106
Like
47,759
TexanMark , got a question for you.

I have a Weber portable grille, tabletop which is fine for small family tailgates. The propane tank is that small 16 oz type. How can you A - tell when they're finished and B - dispose of them? Did some spring cleaning and don't want to blow up the garbage man.

Thanks!
Not the expert, but I do know some stores that well them will take them back to recycle/reuse them. I have the same type of Weber.

In terms of knowing when they're empty, you can tap up and down the side. When the sound changes, that's the level of the propane. I always keep a spare or two so I can change them out if they run out.
 

cliftonparksufan

Iggy Award Magistrate
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
10,109
Like
13,707
TexanMark , got a question for you.

I have a Weber portable grille, tabletop which is fine for small family tailgates. The propane tank is that small 16 oz type. How can you A - tell when they're finished and B - dispose of them? Did some spring cleaning and don't want to blow up the garbage man.

Thanks!
You probably know this but for $10 you can buy a hose adapter so you can hook up a 20 lb tank to your tabletop grill. Don't need to deal with the little ones anymore.
 

TexanMark

Tailgate Guru
Joined
Aug 15, 2011
Messages
17,668
Like
25,210
TexanMark , got a question for you.

I have a Weber portable grille, tabletop which is fine for small family tailgates. The propane tank is that small 16 oz type. How can you A - tell when they're finished and B - dispose of them? Did some spring cleaning and don't want to blow up the garbage man.

Thanks!
If you ever decide to use it more often at your house. I would recommend buying the adapter hose and buy a 20lbs tank (at Walmart for about $30) and fill them yourself. Or go to one of those places that you buy the first filled tank for like $50 and trade it in when empty for a full one for about $15-20. If you only use the thing a 5-10 times a year then using the 1lbs disposable green tanks are not a bad option.

As for knowing when empty?...you either take it off and feel the weight of it and the listen to the pinging sound when tapped. I put my empty ones in recycling. They seem to take them here. They really are pretty safe. If over heated/pressurized they have a blow out plug on the top collar.

BL: As Orange79 sez...just always have a couple extra on hand. They are safe storing in a garage with normal precautions.

EBay has a good deal on the adapter hose. Personally, I stay away from the generics for this...use the genuine product.

Weber 6501 Propane Tank Adapter Hose for Q Series Go-Anywhere Gas Grills 6 Ft for sale online | eBay

Finally, one thing to remember if you buy a brand new 20lbs tank and fill it yourself. The tank's life cycle is only 10 years. After the date stamped...a propane dealer is not supposed to re-fill it. Getting it re-certified costs about the same as buying a new tank.
 

Bayside44

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 26, 2011
Messages
9,425
Like
13,106
Thanks guys.

I have a Weber backyard grille with the bigger propane tank. For the limited times I use the portable I'm likely not going to unhook the tank and lug it along, but that is a good option to know.

Didn't know the tapping trick, appreciate the insight!
 

reedny

Hall of Fame / 44 Degrees of Consanguinity
Joined
Oct 22, 2011
Messages
9,398
Like
11,845
I have a large (33-36") stainless steel grill (portable) that I would like to donate to the cause. It's just sitting in my shed - haven't needed it since Jeremy-Flay took over the FINE MESS food.
 

Top Bottom