Most tailgaters are familiar with the tailgating basics and the standard gear, but here are a few tips to take your tailgating to the next level without shelling out hundreds of dollars for new, high-end gear

1 – It’s time for a toolbox

Get one of those standard medium-sized toolboxes that are for sale at any home improvement store and turn it into a killer tailgate kit by filling it with tailgating essentials.

What are the tailgating essentials that everybody needs? The tools that you might consider including are spatulas, bottle openers, tongs, can openers, toothpicks and flashlight. Supplies to include might be trash bags, paper towels, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, ponchos, plastic bags, sharpie, duct tape.

Keep your tailgating toolbox in your car, and you’re ready to tailgate at any time.

2 – Freeze water bottles for your coolers

Rather than filling your cooler with ice that will melt and then make your cooler full of water, consider freezing water bottles and using those to cool your drinks and food in the cooler.

The frozen bottles will keep your Bud Light and other beverages ice cold for hours.

Then, later on when the ice melts, the bottles provide extra water for you to drink. Having fresh, cold water to drink at the end of the day is always a plus when tailgating.

3 – A six-pack of condiments

Looking for a creative way to offer the standard condiments for your tailgate guests? Take a standard cardboard six-pack container and fill it with your condiment bottles. Ketchup, mustard, a range of BBQ sauces, etc. are all essentials.

The six-pack option will not only help you keep things organized, but the ability to carry the condiments easily is always helpful.

4 – Line a large plastic tub with a garbage bag

Trash bags are huge for tailgates. You need to be able to responsibly throw away the garbage you create during the day. But what about the dirty items that you need to take home such as dirty dishes?

Get a plastic tub with a snap-on lid. Then, line it with a garbage bag. Throw all of your dirty dishes in the tub, seal it up, and throw it in your car to head home. When you get home, open it up, pull out the trash bag full of dirty dishes and carry them to your sink or dishwasher. Easy!

5 – You need a hand-washing station

This might be one of the most frequently ignored elements of tailgating. You want to be able to wash your hands!

Rather than having your guests grab handfuls of ice out of your cooler with their dirty hands, consider building a hand-washing station.

Here’s how you do it: Buy one of those plastic water storage containers from Walmart,, a home improvement store or even one of those survivalist websites. Note that there are some that come with spigots that are perfect for this situation.

Fill the tank with water and position it so the spigot can be flipped on where the water will pour out over someone’s hands.

Be sure to label the tank “HAND WASHING” so that people don’t mistake it for drinking water.

If you want to go to another level, find a way to attach a paper towel roll to the tank itself so your guests can dry their hands.