By Joe Drozda and Bob Bley
As we’ve said, writing a column about tailgating isn’t just about recipes. It entrusts to us the responsibility to make honest recommendations to our readers of what to buy to make their tailgating experiences better. We’re not going to repeat the list of close to 100 items we have tried out and observed since 1995. But remember, when we say you need something, it comes from our own observations and personal experiences.
Late in the football season we know these basic truths: It’s going to be cold in the early part of the day, warmer in the afternoon and then it’s going to cool off and become cold in the evening. For the most part, this means people will want to have things that make them feel warm. First, they exhibit what is called heliotropism, just as plants do. It means they follow the sun. The sun makes one feel warm even on a cold day. They also try to stay out of the wind, and they dress warmly in layers. So now that the body is warmed, what about the spirit?
Nothing makes one feel better on a cold day than a steaming bowl of a hearty soup or chili. There’s something warming to one’s spirit when they see steam rising. People are known to even put their hands above the bowl just to feel the warmth of the steam. But now the question becomes, how can the chili you make at home, usually the night before, be steaming when you get to the game? Here is one easy solution.
Tailgaters need a thermo-electric cooler. Ours is the 40-Quart Powerchill Hot/Cold Thermoelectric Cooler by Coleman. One good thing about this device is that a hot pot of soup, stew or chili can be placed into it and the pot will travel to the game as hot as it was when it was placed into the cooler. The cooler plugs into the lighter outlet in the vehicle and heats as long as the vehicle’s engine is running. But cold weather isn’t the only time for this cooler.
The Powerchill also can cool like a refrigerator. That’s right, when the power plug is changed from hot to cold, the device cools. We use ours as an extra fridge to store items like soda, water and beverage bottles that clutter our fridge when we need to use the space to store items prepared for the next day’s tailgate. This cooler has a converter that allows us to plug it into a 110 outlet as well as a lighter so it is useable at home and in the car.
As we’ve said these last few weeks, items like this are now on sale. Coleman.com has it at $134.99, now reduced to $94.49. Target has it, as does Sears and other retailers, so look around and find this necessary tailgating item. It will be a perfect gift.