Real tailgaters don’t let the weather spoil their fun. Just like the mailman who delivers mail regardless of rain, hail, sleet, or snow, so too do diehard football fans keep the tailgate party going despite uncooperative weather. As Minnesotans are well aware, tailgating during winter months means braving frigid temperatures, blustery winds, icy roads and snow storms. Being prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store is a Minnesota tailgater’s best bet, so read on for a bad weather survival guide to tailgating in Minnesota.
Stay warm – When temperatures drop, layers of clothing should be donned to keep warm, especially if you know you’ll be spending long periods of time outside. Wear a warm jacket, put on a hat and scarf, keep feet warm with winter boots and protect hands by wearing gloves or mittens. If you anticipate needing an extra boost of heat, invest in some body warmers. Body warmers are relatively inexpensive and come in multiple sizes, perfect for tucking into boots and gloves to keep your feet and hands warm and toasty for hours. And while you may feel warmer while consuming alcohol, be aware that it only makes you feel warmer when in actuality it increases heat loss. Bring along a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate to help you keep warm from the inside out.
Keep dry – If the forecast indicates sleet or snow, make sure your gear is also waterproof to ensure you stay warm and dry. If you don’t own a waterproof jacket, put a rain poncho on over your clothing for a quick and easy way to protect yourself from the elements. Umbrellas can be a tailgater’s best friend, so make sure you have one packed. Bring along towels to dry off with just in case. Larger tailgating parties can set up canopies to protect the group from precipitation.
Avoid wind – Winds are particularly dangerous in winter months because they decrease already frigid temperatures. On cold, windy days, protect yourself by selecting outerwear made from tightly woven materials as they are more wind resistant. If you’re setting up a tent or canopy, put up a windscreen to help protect you and your crew from cold, blustery winds. Make sure that your canopy doesn’t blow away by taking extra precautions to weigh canopy legs down.
Drive carefully – You’ve packed everything you need to keep warm and to protect yourself from the wind while tailgating, but you’ve got to get yourself there in one piece. Keep an eye on the weather forecast; if conditions won’t be ideal, plan accordingly. In adverse weather, you’ll likely need to account for additional travel time to get there safely.
Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.
A Minnesota native that was born and raised Up North, Minneapolis is where Christina Kalinowski currently calls home. Christina appreciates irony, loves bacon, enjoys a hearty libation (drink responsibly, folks), and is an avid proponent of the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.