Bad Weather Survival Guide to Tailgating in Philadelphia
Philadelphia football fans don’t feel very lucky these days. With a seven-game losing streak and just a short week to prepare, week 13 of the NFL 2012 season tosses the Eagles deep into rival Dallas Cowboys territory. While Eagles fans do their best to see through the gloom for Sunday’s game, it’s time to start thinking ahead and preparing for the stormy weather that’s sure to come. To clarify, we’re not talking about injuries or coaching staff here, just mother nature’s occasional hiccup.

If Hurricane Sandy and the early snowfall this year are any indication, this winter could pack a punch with some nasty weather. As Philadelphia tailgaters know all too well, when it rains, it pours, floods or snows. You get the picture. A little bad weather doesn’t stop football, though. The game must go on, and that goes for tailgating too. Eagles tailgating fans are at the Linc for home games regardless of conditions at the stadium, inside or out. True fans don’t let a gloomy season keep them from weathering the storm. With a little preparation, they can handle whatever’s thrown their way.


  • Dress in layers.
  • Know the signs of frostbite.
  • Drink warm beverages.
  • Move around, stomp your feet, play games and stay active to stay warm.
  • Get in the car to warm up as needed.
  • Be very careful when warming up near grills and open flames.
  • Keep your head, hands and feet covered and dry.
  • Invest in good gloves, hat and thermal socks.
  • Watch the alcohol intake when it’s very cold out.


  • Stay current with the weather forecast. As history has shown, Philadelphia can get slammed with a couple feet of snow in a very short period of time. As fans found out just a couple years ago, football games can be rescheduled in a snow emergency.
  • Bring a shovel and a bag of sand or kitty litter in case your tires get stuck.
  • Have the right tires for driving in snow.
  • Bring along enough brushes and brooms for everyone to help keep your ride free of snow.
  • Clear all the snow from your vehicle before driving, including snow on the roof, which can fall down onto your windshield or blow onto another car’s windshield while driving.
  • If you bring along a tent or tarp to keep the snow off your food, be very careful with your grill.
  • Watch out for ice in the lot. Black ice is hard to see. You don’t want that freshly cooked platter of hot, steamy burgers to go flying as you try to keep your balance on a slippery spot.
  • Snowballs are fun, but remember that you’re in a crowd. Besides, snowballs and Philadelphia football don’t necessarily mix well.

Freezing Rain

  • Nothing makes you feel quite as miserable as being soaked to the bone as the thermometer hovers at the freezing point. Dress for the weather and keep some rain ponchos stashed in your car, just in case.
  • If the rain starts to freeze, make sure to keep up with any ice accumulating on your vehicle windows and door locks.
  • Be careful with umbrellas and tents/tarps in the wind, as they can blow away and possibly hurt someone or cause damage to a vehicle.

As Ben Franklin said, “Keep your mouth wet and your feet dry.”

So, Philadelphia Eagles tailgaters, eat drink and be merry. But stay warm, and above all, stay safe.

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at

Christy Ayala covers sports, recreation, the outdoors, and leisure activities in the Philadelphia area. She earned a masters degree in recreation administration from George Williams College and managed programs in the Midwest, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Her work can be found on

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