How to Keep Warm at a Tailgate
After a long week filled with anticipation, it's finally time for the big game, but first, the fun-filled tailgate. You've packed the coolers, prepped the grill, and piled into the car with family and friends. Turning into the stadium, you’re graced with a sunny sky and a surge of happiness. You open the car door only to be smacked with a wall of unforgiving cold air, you’ve been blitzed! Here are some tips to avoid this cruel scenario and stay warm throughout the tailgate so you can enjoy the game afterwards.
When dressing for a tailgate, keeping the body’s core warm is important since this is where the bulk of heat is generated. Start with a base layer made up of long-johns that fit close to your body and minimize air circulation to skin. The middle layer can be comprised of your regular clothes, some jeans and preferably a wool or fleece sweatshirt. To protect you from the elements, look for an outer layer that is both water resistant and a windbreaker.
It is also crucial to keep extremities warm as heat escapes from these areas fastest. Find a hat that covers your ears and a scarf that can be pulled up over your face in windy conditions. If you like to take pictures at events like most people, consider "tech-gloves" which eliminate any reason to remove your hands from their inner sanctum of warmth. When it comes to feet, heat is lost through the process of conduction. For example, warm feet on a cold ground will, in effect, warm the ground, and cool your feet. A pair of thick socks and shoes with a thick sole will cut down on that exchange.
When setting up your tailgate, whether it’s day or night, choose a spot on pavement since it's the first thing to heat up during daylight hours and the last thing to cool down after sunset. Your butt will thank you for saving it from wind chill by putting a cushion on the bottom of your fold-able cloth chair. This cushion is not to improve comfort (even though it most certainly will) but to keep a significant layer between your rear and the cold airflow under it.
After having a drink and eating some BBQ, you may feel colder due to blood being redirected toward the stomach, away from extremities, to aid in digestion. You may think making a Hot Toddy is the perfect counter to a cold beer, but be advised that alcohol in general is a depressant which lowers heart rate and makes you colder. Since eating and drinking are usually a must at a tailgate, here is your chance to initiate a friendly game of catch, especially if you start to shiver as this is your body’s natural way of attempting to generate heat from movement. If throwing a ball around doesn't entice you, take a fast-paced walk around the area and steal some ideas for your next tailgate.
The last tip to sack the cold at a tailgate is simply to know the forecast for the entire day. Temperature, wind, and precipitation are most important. A sunny, 50-degree day may turn into a sub-freezing, windy night if a front comes through. With these guidelines you’ll be fit to stay warm for the entire tailgate.