By Marshal M. Rosenthal

The tailgate host is always running around making sure everything is running smoothly. Where’s the fun in that? With a little planning ahead, this doesn’t have to be you at your next tailgate party. And by planning ahead we mean getting electronic devices that serve no other purpose than to make your life easier. You’ll spend less time making sure everybody is having a good time and more time having fun yourself. Bring it on.

Nomad 7 Solar Panel ($100)

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Photo Credit: Goal Zero

Every device that isn’t plugged into an outlet needs a USB socket for charging — and it’s always at the worst possible time. Unfold and prop up Goal Zero‘s solar panel and let it drink in the rays. Its seven watts can revitalize cameras, cell phones and GPS devices… self-serve style. There’s even a 12-volt charging slot. And it’s weather/water resistant, which means it can handle a little spilled beer or sauce.

Buy the Nomad 7 Solar Panel.

iGrill Thermometer ($100)

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Photo Credit: iDevices

Who wants to stand around a hot barbecue when the action is happening elsewhere? Plunge one of the probes into that steak and walk away. With the iGrill Thermometer, you can monitor your food’s temperature — on the app or LCD panel — from up to 200 feet away. But don’t be surprised if those delicious aromas tempt one of your hungry guests to grab a snack right off the seemingly unsupervised grill.

Buy the iGrill Thermometer.

iPhone Bottle Opener Case ($40)

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Photo Credit: Opena

Make sure there’s a bottle opener when you need one by always having one. “But key chain bottle openers are as 1980 as fuzzy dice,” you say. The Opena iPhone case is the perfect update of this must-have tailgating gadget. It’s an iPhone case that doubles as a bottle opener. Slide it out when you need it, slide it back in when you’re done. Now if only they could turn that smartphone into a mini-wet bar.

Buy the iPhone Bottle Opener Case.

Spy Video Car VX6 ($80)

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Photo Credit: Spy Gear

Driving a remote control car is fun in a crowd. So how can it not be more fun when there’s a video camera transmitting everything it sees back to you? The Wildplanet Spy Video Car VX6 has a rugged design for racing across a blacktop and night vision for those after-game tailgates. The dual controller‘s LCD panel even displays in full color. It’s like having your own mobile patrol making the rounds.

Buy the Spy Video Car VX6.

Happy tailgating!

Keep score and keep your drink cool with the Scorzie!

Find more cool gear for your next tailgate.

Marshal M. Rosenthal is a technology, gadget and lifestyle writer based on the West Coast.


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