tailgating7 15 Bad Weather Survival Guide to Tailgating in Denver

Stay warm while tailgating this season (Credit, Michelle Perez)

Colorado is known for high altitudes and cold weather; and although we enjoy over 325 days of sunshine each year, the chilling temperatures can be downright unbearable. Don’t let that discourage you from getting out to Sports Authority Field at Mile High this season when the temperatures drop. As many loyal fans will tell you, it’s never too cold to cheer on the Broncos. Here are a few tips from expert tailgaters on how to survive bad weather in Denver.

Layer Up

At the top of the list for enduring harsh weather conditions was one of the more obvious, but underestimated. Packing on the layers came highly recommended. From long underwear, long-sleeved shirts and sweaters to several layers of socks, Denver tailgaters say layering is key to surviving blizzards and cold weather. These professionals wouldn’t miss a game on account of weather conditions and many haven’t for over a decade. “We layer really well…football tights work well. Layering is important,” vouches Jeff Johnson, a veteran tailgater for over 30 years.

Just Keep Moving

This tip comes from one of Denver’s most infamous tailgaters and Bronco-fan celebrities, the late Tim “The BarrelMan” McKernan. His friend Jay “The HatMan” Hocking says, “You keep moving. That’s a secret during any game. That was Tim’s secret, you just keep moving and you don’t get cold.” Coming from a man who wore nothing more than a Bronco-studded barrel with suspenders to every game, rain or shine or snow or blizzard, I’d say this is one proven strategy.

The Usual Suspects

If you live in Colorado, you know that beanies, scarves, gloves, mittens and earmuffs go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway. Colorado natives have thicker skin than many of their transported neighbors, so it’s important to remind them that these items should be carried at all times. There’s no telling when a little breeze is going to bring in a touch of chilly winds and snow. Like the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes,” – then it gets even colder and you really won’t like it. So come prepared to the tailgate party with the winter basics this season.

Portable Heaters

That’s right, the same ones you use to warm your toes at home are available in portable form, great for the tailgate season. Some models come with car lighter plugins and propane connections making them perfect for the tailgate lot. If you’re lucky, you might be able to snag some traditional electricity from a neighbor with a generator. Bronco fans didn’t hesitate to put heaters on the list, commenting that they made all the difference.

Hand Warmers

Hand warmers and foot warmers are essential. These little treasures are hailed by Bronco fans as a must have in cold weather. You can purchase hand and foot warmers at many grocery and sporting goods stores, and they are simple to use. Just open the package, give the little packet a good shake and stuff them in your shoes, gloves, pockets or simply hold onto them if you came really unprepared. They last for up to an hour. These are the perfect item to have when the weather takes a chilly turn. Remember to bring them to your tailgate party this winter season.


With the exception of your car, Bronco tailgate fans say to bring additional shelter gear, such as tarps, screens and canopies. These are useful when it’s windy, snowy, blustery and even for those occasional rainy days. Don’t get stuck hiding out in your car during the tailgate party. Pop up an outdoor shelter tent and party like the sun is shining.

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at tailgatefan.cbslocal.com.

Michelle Perez is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.


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