Summer is the perfect weather for tailgating. Too bad the warmer months tend to be a little short on sporting events. What is there besides NASCAR and baseball? And you often have to travel for those.
There’s actually plenty to do, if you broaden your horizons a little. Concerts, holidays and vacations all offer great tailgating opportunities. Even a sunny day is a great reason to hang out in the backyard with some friends.
Or a warm evening. Turn your gathering into a viewing party. For this you’ll need more than just food and drink. So here’s the gear, the music and the big screen, because it’s movie night, baby.
Photo Gallery: IOGEAR
IOGEAR MediaShair Hub ($78.07)
Why bother with a smartphone connected to a Bluetooth speaker when you can connect everyone’s smartphone all at once? Create a group music player, and get all your guests involved! This battery-powered server from IOGEAR has its own wireless network, so an SD card filled with music will play on up to 7 iOS/Android phones or tablets simultaneously. Just have everyone download the free app first. And it’s just as easy to stream video clips or share photos too.
Camp Chef 120-Inch Portable Outdoor Movie Theater Screen ($283.99)
You can’t watch a movie without a screen. But dragging a TV to the park or out into the yard just doesn’t make sense. So that’s why you get a portable outdoor movie screen, like this 120-inch 16×9 beauty. It’s at least twice the size of that screen in your living room, and takes just a few minutes to assemble; get one of your friends to help. Since it’s not inflated (it uses a steel-tubed frame), there are no fans or escaping air to worry about. Just be sure to stake in the ropes for stability. Pack it in the carryall when the party’s over.
Every big screen needs a big image. And just like you’re not dragging out your TV, you’re not going to dismantle your home theater setup either. So hoist this LED-powered 800×600-resolution projector into position and pop in a DVD, SD-card or USB flash drive. Heck, you can even connect your game console. The projector comes with built-in stereo speakers, if you’d rather not connect an external pair, and an antenna and built-in TV tuner, should you prefer an evening in front of the television.
Zoomable Clip-on Cap Hat LED Light Lamp Flashlight ($5.99)
When the movie ends, and everything is dark, you’ll need a little light to keep from knocking things over. So clip this LED flashlight on your cap to get a hands-free bright light as well as a light you can zoom. It’s bright, and it works on a few AAA batteries.