LOS ANGELES -- Football season has arrived, which means it's time to dust off your grill, load up your truck and get together with your most diehard friends for tailgating.
Whether you're a seasoned pro or a rookie, here are some tips to make tailgating easy:
Mark your territory
After you find the perfect spot in the stadium parking lot, make it easy for your friends to find you by marking your territory with balloons tied to your side view mirror.
Turn your cooler into a food warmer
Coolers are not only for keeping drinks ice-cold anymore. With a few bricks, towels and aluminum foil, your cooler will be transformed into a food warmer, keeping your premade bites hot.
Food warming cooler instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
2. Wrap four bricks (or however many fit in the bottom of your cooler) with aluminum foil.
3. Place the bricks in your oven and bake for 45 minutes.
4. Line the bottom of your cooler with towels.
5. Using oven mitts, place the bricks on the bottom of your cooler.
6. Cover the bricks with towels and put in your favorite foods to keep them warm.
Household items make for great organizers
Many household items can be used to make your tailgating experience more convenient and easy. A tool box is a great place to store grilling tools, utensils and any other items you might need throughout the day. They are portable and the many compartments make it easy to organize.
A six-pack bottle holder is the perfect place to hold condiments. The condiments are easily accessible and everybody will know where to find them. A pop up hamper with a garbage bag can be used as a lightweight and collapsible trash bin. And to hang up a paper towel roll, run a bungee cord in the middle and fasten it in your canopy tent. Your friends will be able to easily grab a napkin, even with a hotdog in their hand.
Show off your team spirit
Friends make tailgating fun, but the real reason you gather is to cheer on your favorite team. Make sure to bring an extra team shirt in case one of your buddies comes unprepared, or maybe you can use it as a bet against a rival fan.
Have a feast and have fun
Food is the fuel that makes tailgating go, so make sure you have it in abundance. Handheld foods always work best for fans on the go. Pass the time before the game by passing around the pig skin, or play some corn hole or ladder ball. Most of all, enjoy spending time with great company and cheer your heart out for the home team.
This story is sponsored by Southern California Toyota Dealers.
Tips to make tailgating easy and fun for football season