For those adventurous, outdoor hiking enthusiasts in the world who don't want to celebrate the next big game-day tailgating in the drab surroundings of a parking lot, trailgating is the perfect alternative. The idea is simple: choose your favorite trailhead, pack up your party gear, and prepare for fun.
Trailgating isn't about preparing for the next home game with all your fellow fans, but you will find plenty of reasons to celebrate. You can make your trailgate party about enjoying the beauty of your favorite trail, or a pre-hike prep party, or even a post-hike celebration.
Essentially, trailgating is the same as tailgating, but conducted in a completely different setting. Before starting your trailgate party, you need to choose the right location. The whole idea of a trailgate party is to have party at the trailhead, so find a great local trailhead where you and your friends can get together for a party.
You need to be aware of the specific rules of the trailhead before you get your party started. Some trails have rules about conduct and some trailheads don''t have enough parking or space to have a trailgate party. When choosing your location, look for a spot that has enough room for the entire party as well as vehicles.
Your next task before having the party is gathering the gear. Many tailgating parties involve barbecuing, so decide if you want to bring your barbecue to your trailgating party or if you would rather pack a camp stove and cook onsite. As fall starts, the weather may become a planning issue for your party. If you are worried about getting wet, you can bring along a tarp or some type of waterproof shelter. Cooking gear and utensils are also essential for a trailgate party. Consider bringing foldable chairs and tables. The items you pack for a trailgate party are the same basic items you would pack for a tailgate party, but you need to be prepared to gather all of your garbage and pack it out.
If you are really looking for comfort and style, bring a hammock and toys like kites, a Frisbee or a bocce set, a soccer ball, or fishing rods.
Food is an important aspect of your trailgate party. Planning a trailgate party is a terrific opportunity to find some new grilling recipes. If you bring a barbecue, you can pack coolers with meat and vegetables for grilling. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and cold salads are staples at tailgate parties, but you may want to spice up your trailgate party with more adventurous foods. Those people who eat meat can marinate flank steak before they go and grill it when they get to the location. Marinated meat has extra flavor and juiciness. For vegetarian options, slice vegetables and grill them in a grilling basket. Onions, bell peppers and eggplant are particularly good cooked this way.
If you don't want to bring a grill along, you can find all sorts of grilling alternatives. Tacos are a fun party food and your guests can put together their tacos however they like them best. Baked beans are another staple for tailgate and barbecue parties.
Trailgating is a new take on the tailgate party that adds a little excitement and adventure to your excursion. The next time you have the urge to go on a hike and want to include your friends, plan a trialgate party. You and your friends can get together at the trailhead and -- when you have had your fill of hiking -- you can all meet up at the trailhead and have a party to celebrate your successful day.