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13 SEC-Approved Tailgating Essentials

Here are the secrets to setting up a Spread Worthy of a Win
Filed Under > "Hostess with the Mostest"

SEC Tailgating essentials, Waiting on Martha

Being a non-Tennessee native, people always ask me why I ventured down to University of Tennessee to become a Vol years ago.  I think honestly a huge part of the reason was the SEC tailgating!  If you’ve ever been to Neyland Stadium, then you’ll understand.  The sea of screaming fans and the beloved culture surrounding Game Day is enough to turn anyone into a lover of orange and white.  And years of tailgating in Knoxville has taught me a thing or two about SEC tailgating essentials. 

But of course, tailgating is a treasured tradition throughout the entire SEC.  And the gear and tools to set up a proper spread are taken very seriously.  Think luxury coolers, embroidered throw pillows, high-end bartending pieces and enough food to feed a small army.  I’ve included my top picks in the list below…take a look and tell me what I’m forgetting!  Go Vols!  Cheers, Kat

P.S. Check out two of our favorite tailgate libations HERE

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Classic Cocktail Kit

Waiting on Martha Home, $45

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This perfect little cocktail mixing kit is just what you’ll need as you combine drinks for a crowd. The mixing glass, stir stick and strainer have proven to be the exact essentials for a great libation. 

Insulated 50 oz. Bottle

Waiting on Martha Home, $54

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Swig has answered my tailgating prayers with this 50 oz. insulated bottle.  It literally can hold up to 2 bottles of wine, all while staying discreet in a double-wall stainless steel bottle that you can top off all yours and your friends’ cups throughout the day. Sounds like a good Game Day to me. 

Hand Embroidered College Pillow

Waiting on Martha Home, $175

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These gorgeous designs deserve to be front and center on the tailgating chairs, back home on the couch (if you’re watching from afar), or atop a throw blanket in the bed of the truck.  They’re available in 60 different designs, ensuring that you can rep your team in style. 

Southern Cocktails

Waiting on Martha Home, $14.95

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Toast to the SEC with classic southern cocktails at your tailgate! Think Mint Julep, The Hurricane and all of the essentials you’ll need to stock a proper bar on Game Day. 

Tailgating Tavern

Overstock, $64.70

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The secret to a great tailgate lies in preparation AND organization. This transportable station will be your new best friend, offering a nice workspace and easy storage for all of your essentials. 

Chip & Dip Serving Tray

Target, $39.99

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Talk about a great chip and dip bowl!  This handwoven seagrass piece offers easy cleanup with its glass insert, and provides nice storage with the included lid. Love the elevated look of this serving piece at any tailgate. 

4-in-1 Bronze Bar Tool

Waiting on Martha Home, $35

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The worst thing ever?  Getting out to the tailgate lot and realizing you didn’t bring a bottle opener!  This 4-in-1 tool is a lifesaver in more ways than one. 

Cork Insulated Luxury Cooler

The Grommet, $495

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Talk about a fancy cooler! I mean this thing will have everyone on the tailgate line green with envy.  The design has cork as its natural insulator; making the cooler as functional as it is beautiful.  And a clear shield lets the cork shine through while protecting it for years to come. The design can store wine bottles upright and to keep things organized and presentable inside, there’s a divider, too. Not to mention, there’s a clear prep tray included that makes everything easier as you’re mixing up your next cocktail.  

Divided Serving Tray

Target, $27.49

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Here’s another great piece in Target’s Artland Garden Terrace collection! Two glass trays and three glass bowls offer great containers for tailgating snacks.  Not to mention, the handwoven seagrass is stylish AND durable. 

Acapulco Glass Pitcher

Target, $12.99

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Bringing along an easy, affordable pitcher is a must when serving any sort of batch drink to the crew. This one from Target is a go-to whenever we’re packing up our tailgating gear. 

Ultra Soft Throw Blanket

Overstock, $44.95

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Can’t be caught without some team gear!  This super soft, oversized throw blanket always makes its way with us, offering easy seating when the place gets packed, and some festive decor when thrown over a chair after we head into the game. 

Picnic Time Collapsible Chair

Overstock, $94.46

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This design should be considered as the king of tailgating chairs, in my opinion. It features a convenient surface for your plate and drink, easy storage for any belongings you need to set aside while lounging, and it also keeps drinks closeby in a nice little cooler.  Genius, really. 

28 oz. Insulated Tumbler

The Grommet, $39.95

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Here’s another beautiful design by Sovaro; the 28 oz. insulated tumbler.  It’s perfect for a large mixed drink, and keeps a low profile.  I love this elevated take on your standard tumbler cup!

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

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