Tailgate parties (if they're any good!) feature beer, burgers, bratwurst or hot dogs, chips, and your favorite mayo-filled salad. Munchies are most often displayed via a folding table that, may or may not, have a team-themed tablecloth. There's a cooler or two, some chairs, and maybe even an EZ-Up to provide a bit of shelter. That's about as basic as it gets when it comes to tailgating "essentials."
While there's nothing wrong with this standard item list (it's exactly what most tailgaters expect to find), a lot of tailgate party aficionados want to do something "extra" to differentiate their setup. Maybe they'll experiment with some gourmet foods (like stuffed, bacon-wrapped jalapeños), or try to impress with micro-brewed beers. Perhaps they'll bring the party into an RV or motorhome. Or just maybe, they'll go all out and enlist the help of a professional catering company, complete with a buffet table and top-notch outdoor seating.
However, these aren't the only options out there for taking a tailgate party to the next level. Here are some swanky suggestions for making your tailgate the most memorable of the season.
Bring Fantasy Football To Your Tailgate Party
A laptop, a mobile hotspot from your cell phone provider, and a decent sized LCD TV are all you need to create your very own Fantasy Football "update center."
- Start by enabling your mobile hot-spot and sharing the login and password info with your tailgating friends. Be sure to set a password for your hotspot, as other people will try to connect if you leave it open (some smart phones automatically connect to wi-fi that isn't password protected).
- Setup a table, a chair, and a laptop. Use Google Chrome as your browser, and install the Google Cast Extension in your browser.
- Bring a 40" LCD TV, plug it into your ArkPak (or other power source), and then hook up a Chromecast device to the TV.
- You should be able to get online with the mobile hotspot, load fantasy football stats and standings into your Google Chrome browser tab, and then "cast" that tab onto the television.
If everything works correctly, your party attendees can check their line-ups, see real-time fantasy stats as the party progresses, and possibly (depending on the speed of your mobile hot-spot internet connection) view video highlights on ESPN, NFL.com, etc.
While everyone can check their stats on their phones, it's far easier to hit "refresh" on a laptop and cast all the updated stats directly to a TV everyone can see without putting down their food. The ArkPak can provide most 40" LCD TVs sufficient power to start and run for days (depending on how efficient the TV operates, of course), as most LCD TVs pull far less than 100W when operating, and just a little bit more than that amount when starting up.
Bring A Video Game Tournament To Your Tailgate Party
Football fans often love to play Madden, and there's nothing that says you can't have a mini Madden tournament while you're tailgating. All you need is a TV, a game console, and an ArkPak (or two) to get it going. Wireless game controls are a must-have here as well.
The ArkPak has a 150W* inverter, which provides plenty of power for most mid-sized (40" or smaller) LCD TVs. In terms of powering the game console, the ArkPak may or may not have the power you need. A newer XBOX 360, for example, consumes nearly 150W of power all by itself, which means you'll want either:
- A separate ArkPak for your game console OR
- A DC power plug for your game console, which frees up your 110VAC plug for your TV
Obviously, running both a game console and a TV off the same ArkPak will shorten the amount of time you have to play. However, even if both the console and the TV require 250W of power together, an ArkPak with a 100ah battery should be able to power both devices for 3.5 hours without discharging the battery more than 50%.
Remember: The ArkPak can provide hours of power for most electronic devices. From running a LCD TV, to charging up your guests tablets and cell phones, to just being the power source for some music, the ArkPak is ideal for tailgating.
Not to mention, you don't have to worry about killing your vehicle's battery during your next tailgate party!
*Specs on newer versions vary. Check them out here.