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Winter Tailgating Tips

Winter may chill things down, but tailgating season is still hot. While the National Football League season gets started when the leaves still haven’t changed colors, it runs through the heart of the winter, with the season culminating on February 13. But that’s not the only professional sports schedule that dominates the season. Hockey drops the puck in October and the season extends into the first week of summer. College and professional basketball also are games to catch during the winter months. With so much sporting action to enjoy, tailgating season likely won’t stop just because the mercury has dropped.

Tailgating typically takes place in the parking lots of sports arenas and stadiums before and after big games. Even though weather starts out perfect for tailgating events, snow, ice and freezing temperatures may make their presence felt throughout the winter tailgating season. Tailgating doesn’t necessarily have to end when Mother Nature cools things down. These winter tailgating tips can keep the fun flowing well into winter.

• Don warm gear. Body heat can escape through the head, hands, feet, and face. Pay attention to these areas in particular when bundling up, donning heavy gloves, thick socks, a hat, a scarf, and insulated boots when tailgating. Warming gear can serve double-duty when it’s emblazoned with team colors and logos.

• Bring a tent. A camping tent or canopy can block wind and offer protection against precipitation. Secure it with bricks or tie it down to something heavy so it won’t blow away.

• Create a barrier. Styrofoam takeout containers or even broken-down cardboard boxes can be placed underfoot and prevent cold from seeping up through shoes from the chilly ground.

• Snuggle next to the fire. A propane fire can or a fire pit (if permitted) can provide the added warmth needed when temperatures plummet. These also can be places to gather around to toast hot dogs or sausages on sticks when the main grill is occupied.

• Use heated accessories. Electric or chemical hand warmers can provide extra warmth, as can blankets, heated camping chairs and other items.

Tailgating is a popular activity during sports games, concerts and other group events. Winter weather doesn’t have to dampen tailgating efforts when there’s a focus on warmth along with camaraderie.

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