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Packing For a Tailgate Party? Don't Forget the Weather!

UPDATED November 1, 2013

By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Chad Merrill

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It might be easy to think of the beverages and food to pack for a tailgate party but don`t run out the door without checking the weather. Just a few items will spare you from things like sunburn and frostbite and allow you to fully enjoy a full day at the football game.

Don`t forget to pack warm clothing to keep the body warm. Remember, half of your body heat can be lost from your head. Wearing a tightly woven hat will hold most of the heat inside your body. Gloves snug at the wrist will go a long way in protecting your hands from extreme cold. When you are not eating or drinking, cover your mouth, preferably with a scarf, to protect your lungs from extreme cold.

If gloves alone won`t do the trick, one of the easiest ways to avoid frostbite on your hands is to pack hand-warmers. They are relatively cheap, found at many outdoor activity shops and fit inside gloves and even boots to keep your toes warmer. Some are even reusable.

However, beware of the fire and burn hazards with hand warmers. Too much lighter fluid added to liquid fuel hand warmers can cause a fire. Hand warmers with metal casing should be left in their wrapper to avoid burns to the hand or feet. Use hand warmers on and off during the tailgate party and not for long periods of time to avoid getting burned. Be sure to carefully follow the directions on the package.

Warm liquids will also keep your core body temperature up, helping to avoid hypothermia. Consider putting your favorite coffee or hot cocoa in a thermos to keep it warmer longer. Although a bit pricey, thermoses are durable and often last for a long time. Avoid spiking drinks with alcohol because it causes your body to lose heat more rapidly, making you more susceptible to hypothermia. Check stadium rules before trying to taking a thermos inside though, some don`t allow outside food and beverages.

Despite the lower sun angle and colder temperatures, the sun`s UVA rays are still strong in late autumn into winter. If a winter storm just passed through the area where you will be tailgating, the sun`s reflection off the snow doubles the ultraviolet strength. Avoid getting sunburn by packing a sunblock with an SPF of at least 30. Don`t forget your lips; they become chapped in cold, dry air, so bring some lip balm too.

Windbreakers and umbrellas will keep you dry if rain or snow becomes a problem during the tailgate party.

Packing these few simple items can go a long way in ensuring your tailgating party is both fun and safe.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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Story Image: Fans dress in layers to watch this football game in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Jane Collins, WeatherBug user)

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