Tips for Staying Cool While Tailgating

Staying Warm at a Tailgate

For the most part, tailgates take place in the late Summer and Fall. This means that it is typically really hot out at tailgates. Especially if you live in the South where tailgating college football games is a big deal. Tailgating in mid to late August in the South you have to be prepared to tailgate in some really hot weather. While tailgating in hot weather is still probably better than tailgating in cold weather, you will want to be prepared so you can stay cool while tailgating.

Staying cool while tailgating will just make your whole experience more enjoyable. You also do not want to suffer from heat exhaustion or a heat stroke. That will really put a damper on your fun day. Beat the heat at your next tailgate with these tips for staying cool while tailgating.


Hydrating is the best advice I can give for staying cool at your next tailgate. Whenever you are going to be spending a lot of time in the sun you will want to drink plenty of water. Being out in the sun for that long will make you dehydrate quickly. Obviously dehydration can be very dangerous in the heat. You should be conscious of the amount of water you are drinking to make sure that you drink enough.

A little bit of planning ahead will help you keep hydrated. Make sure to bring plenty of water with you before leaving the house. Bring more than you think you need. It will be better to have more water than less if it is that hot out.

I know you are there for a fun time, but try to be a little conscious of how much alcohol you are consuming. Alcohol not only dehydrates you, but if you are drinking a lot of alcohol you might forget to drink water. If you only drink alcohol you will find yourself dehydrated in no time. If remembering to drink water is difficult you can even set a reminder on your phone to hydrate!

Keep Your Drinks Cold

Bringing a lot of water is a great idea but that water will get warm in no time if you leave it out. Make sure to keep your drinks cold by keeping them on ice. No one wants to drink warm water. I would bring a cool portable cooler with me and fill it with ice to keep it from melting. YETI coolers can keep ice for up to three days!

If you don’t have room to bring a cooler, you could also bring a few insulated water bottles and fill them with ice. If you do run out of cold water, you can always buy some at the game too. Keeping your drinks is important but what is still more important is just making sure you drink plenty of water. Even if it is a little warm.

Wear Light Clothing

If it is hot out you are going to sweat. If you are anything like me, you are going to sweat a lot. So make sure to first, put some deodorant on and also dress light. Avoid heavy clothing materials and long sleeves. I would also avoid wearing grey because you will sweat right through and it will be very noticeable. When going to tailgate where it is hot out, I like to wear dri-fit shirts. They help me stay cool while tailgating and also absorb a lot of sweat.

You are going to be sitting out in the sun for hours so it is almost impossible to avoid sweating, but at least wearing light clothes will alleviate some of the sweating. You will also be a lot more comfortable than you would have been if you wore something heavy.

I would also try to avoid wearing black clothing. Black clothes absorb more heat and can transfer that heat to you. On the other hand, light clothes reflect more light from the sun.

When picking out your next tailgate outfit, just remember to go with a light clothing material, like dri-fit, and keep the colors light. Leave the long sleeves and pants at home. Instead opt for shorts and short-sleeve shirts.

Bring a Portable Fan

Unfortunately, air conditioning is not yet a thing at tailgates. You can however bring a portable fan with you. You can bring a generator to plug the fan into and just plant yourself in front of the fan whenever you need to take a break from tailgating and cool down.

You have a few options here for fans. You could go with bigger fans like a box fan or drum fan. If you do not have space to bring that, you could bring a few smaller fans and put them on your table.

Get Some Shade

Tailgating in an open lot, there is probably not a whole lot of shade around. When tailgating, create your own shade to keep yourself cool. Bring a canopy tent with you to provide you and your group with a nice area to get some protection from the sun. You can also put some fans underneath the tent to have an area to really cool down. After playing three games of cornhole in the sun, you will be glad you brought the canopy so you can get out of the sun for at least a couple of minutes.

If a canopy tent is not an option, I would try to park under a tree if possible. Most tailgate lots won’t have any trees, but you can sometimes find some on the outside of the lot. If you are able to find a tree to tailgate under, consider yourself lucky because that is a prime tailgating spot in the summer.

Protect Yourself From the Sun

You definitely want to protect yourself from the harmful rays. Do not forget the sun screen! I would put some on before you leave and bring a high SPF bottle with you so you can reapply throughout the day. Forgetting to put on sunscreen will leave with a nasty sun burn that no one wants.

I would also wear a hat and sunglasses to provide you with some added protection. Sunglasses are not only fashionable, but they will protect your eyes from the rays. A baseball cap will also provide your face with a little bit of protection from the sun.


Tailgates are fun, but remember to relax when it’s hot out. Take a load off and grab a seat underneath the canopy. While you might to play a couple more games of cornhole, taking a couple breaks to get off your feet and in the shade will definitely help you cool down.

Tailgates can last for hours, I would not recommend spending the entire time in the sun. Remember that in the stadium there probably won’t be any shade from the sun, so take advantage of it while you have it.

Wrap Up

Hopefully these tips will help you to stay cool at your next tailgate. Just remember to:

  • Hydrate: Drink plenty of water.
  • Keep Your Drinks Cold: Put your drinks on ice and store them in a cooler.
  • Wear Light Clothing: Wear light colors and dress comfortably.
  • Bring a Portable Fan: Take a break every once in a while and plant yourself in front of a fan.
  • Get Some Shade: Bring a canopy tent so you have somewhere to relax and get some shade.
  • Protect Yourself From the Sun: Don’t forget the sun screen at home!
  • Relax: Remember to take a break from the action and spend some time off your feet.

If you found these tips helpful, be sure to check out our tailgating section for tips on tailgating!

Sam Rebinskas

Sam is the co-founder of Improve Your Gameday and loves all Boston sports teams.

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