Tailgate parties aren’t often associated with outdoor recreation. Sure, they take place out-of-doors, but typically in parking lots (vast, paved-over swaths of land) near gargantuan stadiums, not mountains. But take away the tent and sleeping bags, and car camping becomes tailgating (with a much different view). In that sense, all the other items you might pack for a weekend in the woods — from portable furniture to insulated food storage to rugged electronics — are also strategically suited to gameday gatherings.

Yeti Hondo Base Camp Chair

Lighter options are available, but you’re not backpacking, so why not opt for the burliest camp chair available? Yeti’s Hondo Base Camp Chair employs diehard cast joints, which are similar to those used for truck door hinges, and a comfortable fabric seat that can hold up to 500 pounds without losing its shape.

Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket

Camp blankets are the new breed of picnic blanket, and they’re better in every way; thanks to technical materials, they’re lighter, more durable and warmer too. And for these reasons, they’re an ideal extra to bring to cold weather outdoor outings.

BioLite FirePit

There are cheap, disposable grills that can be found at the grocery store, and there are even miniature charcoal grills that are portable enough, and then there’s BioLite’s FirePit. It’s as close to a campfire as you’ll get without a ring of stones, and in addition to having a rack for cooking, it’s equipped with an attached battery pack that can charge multiple devices.

UE Megablast Bluetooth Speaker

Rugged and portable Bluetooth speakers are abundant today but UE still leads the category, and its Megablast is the biggest and loudest of the bunch. It’s waterproof, drop-proof, Alexa-enabled and also quite affordable.

Orca Classic Cooler

Orca’s rotomolded coolers are well-made down to every last detail — including the whale tail-shaped rubber tabs that secure their lids closed. They’re as tough as coolers come, and won’t mind getting tossed around in the trunk at all.


Neoprene koozies run free at every type of event, but they don’t extend the chill of a beverage beyond a few extra minutes. RTIC’s double-walled, vacuum-insulated version actually works (and it’ll help keep your hands from freezing too).

Goal Zero Sherpa 100AC Power Bank

The truly-prepared will bring a backup source of power, and Goal Zero’s Sherpa 100 is a beast of a battery that can power phones, cameras, laptops, speakers and more. Wireless charging is supported, and it’s airline friendly in the case of an away game.

Thule HideAway Awning

For diehard tailgaters: attach the HideAway to your roof rack, and you have a deploy-anywhere awning that turns any vehicle into a gameday base camp.

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