Ski Mountain Tailgating – Your New Way to Lunch and Aprés

Article by NEMO

Ski Mountain Tailgating – Your New Way to Lunch and Aprés

A tailgating Photo Contest and recommendations to make your skiing adventures more enjoyable!

Base lodge looks a little different this season. On pause are the days of lodge-made chili bread bowls, hot cocoa machines, and taking your boots off by a crackling fire. Mountain restrictions and ticket reservations have many folks, especially those with families, settling into a home-bound routine with not enough time outside.

Thankfully, the mountains are still open and many of us are still making the most of the season by heading up to enjoy some sunshine rich in vitamin D, fresh air, and the silver lining of less crowded slopes. We’re encouraging you to break the logistics barrier and get after it!

We’ve put together not only a list of recommendations for our favorite gear, but we're also hosting a Photo Contest for a chance to win an epic tailgating kit of many of those comfort items — see more info below. NEMO is partnering with some of our favorite brand friends at Glerups, Good To-Go, Flylow Gear, Tamworth Distilling, Ski The Whites Coffee Roasters, and Field Mag to give away a kit of tailgating prizes that will be sure to make your breaks better than a packed lodge — and a lot more fun!

Being in the mountains is an incredible release emotionally and getting outside almost makes things feel normal in these crazy times. There is a lot of work to get the kids geared up to ski without the luxury or warmth of a lodge, but it is always worth the time to set up a basecamp and spend the day outside with the whole family.

Turns out, tailgating your ski lunch break can be pretty comfortable — and as much fun as you want to make it! There is a feeling of independence in boldly defying the elements by having your own setup, connecting with your family and friends, and most of all — enjoying the benefits of time spent outside.

Recommendations for Your Core Winter Tailgating Kit

We want to help make your lunchtime at the mountain more enjoyable and more comfortable for you and your children so you can have a successful day on the hill. Building the right kit is a key step in that equation.

Having a few pieces of the right gear makes the process so much easier — especially for our two boys. Comfortable chairs and our Victory™ Blanket keep us off the cold, snowy ground which makes eating lunch and getting geared up super fun and a lot more comfortable.


1. Functional Ground Cover

Nothing sucks the life out of you and your little ones faster than standing on the cold ground for long periods of time. The foundation for any good kit is a sturdy, waterproof barrier — and our Victory™ Blanket is just the ticket for establishing your cozy zone. Rugged enough to walk on, yet soft enough to sit on, the waterproof base is lined with a membrane that creates a barrier for the cold. And stake points help keep it in place when the breeze picks up.

2. Comfortable Yet Packable Chairs

A good chair really makes all the difference in this scenario. You want something that is sturdy on uneven ground, with a seat that is comfortable so you can let your leg muscles relax from all those pow turns long enough to recharge and enjoy your lunch.

Of course, any chair will keep you off the ground so you are warm and can easily take your boots off to give your feet a break. But one of the most important features is having a chair that packs up small so you have room for all of your ski/snowboarding gear and your tailgating/picnic kit. NEMO’s Stargaze™ Recliner Luxury affords all of that comfort and is the only swinging recliner you’ll see in the lot — it truly is the perfect chair for lunch breaks or just catching some warming rays from the afternoon sun.

3. Hassle-Free Hot Lunches

Nothing feels better than warming your body from the inside out with warm, nourishing food. At NEMO, we’re big fans of our good friends and neighbors in Maine, Good To-Go. We all use them on our backpacking and camping adventures and have quickly added them to our ski mountain tailgating kits too.

Sure, a sandwich works. And bringing leftovers from home requires bigger heating devices and more dirty dishes than one would like to think about when you’re trying to get as many runs in as you can. With a small camp or backpacking stove from your summer kit – you have all you need to heat up the necessary amount of water to fire up a few Good To-Go meals for the family. The best part is they hydrate right in the package so all you need is a spoon to start eating. And their meals consist of fun recipes from all over the world so you can add some spice to your lunch and create a fun food adventure for your children— all in a tidy kit with easy cleanup.


4. Warm Feet, Happy Feet

Two of the best parts about coming into the lodge for a break are taking your hat/helmet and goggles off to rub your head AND taking your boots off to wiggle your toes, get the blood circulating again, and letting your feet and ankles take a break from the confines of your ski and snowboard boots.

A good, warm slipper will let you give your feet the break they need. Many of us at NEMO love the super toasty, wool felt slippers with rubber soles made with Merino wool by our good friends at Glerups. They are the perfect shoe to slip into while you enjoy a break from the slopes, keeping your feet warm and letting the muscles relax so you can get recharged for the afternoon. The thick wool felt and rubber sole, working in tandem with your ground barrier, really makes for a comfortable, rejuvenating experience.

5. Thank Goodness for Down

A good down jacket can serve you in two ways — when it’s extra cold on the mountain it always helps to rock a layer of down to keep the cold, dry air away from your body. But when you’re tailgating at the mountain, it’s also great to have some down on hand so you can let your body rest for a bit and not have to work to stay warm.

Even if it’s just a shell and/or fleece type of day, taking them off to let the moisture evaporate will make your afternoon session that much more comfortable. While those layers air out, throw a nice down puffy on and start heating up your lunch. We love Flylow’s Betty Down (women's) and General’s Down (men's) for their 800-fill power goose down warmth and versatility for these situations.


6. Warm Drinks for All, Especially Coffee

Since you’ve already packed your compact backpacking stove and hopefully plenty of water, we definitely recommend bringing some hot cocoa for the kids (some of our favorite hot cocoa recipes are here) and freshly roasted coffee for the adults. It’s really easy to heat up some water for these quick warmups that offer a good shot of energy.

We recently discovered that our friends at Ski The Whites, an outfitter in Jackson, NH, just started roasting their own single-origin beans in small batches. Ski The Whites Coffee Roasters maintains a roast-to-order policy so you are getting beans that are as fresh and flavorful as possible. We couldn’t think of a better way to start our day while getting after it in the Whites — or boost our afternoons for that matter — than with a fresh cup of Ski The Whites coffee.


7. Blankets Are Your Friend

It’s always good to have a few blankets on hand — they pack up small and warm you up quickly! Think of any rescue kit, there are always blankets … and nothing lets your body rest and relax better than having a warm coverup.

NEMO’s Puffin™ Blankets are the perfect option for winter tailgating — and will be again when you’re sitting around the campfire this summer! Buttery soft fabrics, lofty, synthetic insulation for heat-trapping comfort and small packed size make Puffin™ the perfect addition to your winter picnic kit.

8. And, After All, Apres

We’re all missing the post-ski glow on a deck filled with friends in the afternoon sun or listening to live music upstairs at the lodge bar as you feel your cheeks thaw out. And whether you like to wind down a ski day with a tea or a cocktail, it is important to do so — even if it has to be home when the lodges are closed!

For those who like to mix it up, we’re loving Skiklubben Aquavit from our dear friends, and New Hampshire neighbors, at Tamworth Distilling. Not only is this traditional Scandanavian spirit a delightfully warming dram after a long day on the hill, but it’s also inspired by a cool piece of New Hampshire ski heritage — the Nansen Ski Club was founded in 1872 in New Hampshire and it is the oldest operating ski club in the country. This winter, we’ve been enjoying this delicious recipe from Tamworth at the end of some of our snow-filled days.

The Swedish Mule

  • 2oz. Skiklubben Aquavit
  • 3oz ginger beer (preferably Maine Root)
  • ¾ oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Pour Skiklubben Aquavit and lime juice into a mug. Add ice cubes and ginger beer — stir to combine. Add a wedge of lime and enjoy while reminiscing about the big powder slashes you made earlier in the day.

9. And Don’t Forget These Other Useful Items

A small cooler can be really useful. Instead of keeping things cold — the insulation keeps items from freezing and is an awesome place to stow away everything you need for lunch including your camp stove and utensils. It also makes a great table and place to put your feet up, whether to relax or to get in or out of your boots.

A small dust broom is nice to keep a tidy camp and brush snow off your ground covering. And music brings joy to any picnic — we’re definitely remembering our favorite Bluetooth speaker.



A Ski Mountain Tailgating Photo Contest #adventureanywhere

NEMO has partnered with Glerups, Good To-Go, Flylow Gear, Tamworth Distilling, Ski The Whites Coffee Roasters, and Field Mag for a tailgating kit of prizes that will surely make your breaks better than a packed lodge — and a lot more fun!

Win this epic winter tailgating kit and bring the comfort of the lodge with you.

Prize Package includes:

Base lodge looks a little different this season — but we're not letting that stop us! To celebrate, NEMO has pulled together some of its favorite brands for a Photo Contest so you can show us your ski lot setup and win a tailgating kit similar to ours. Show us how you stay comfortable and inspired to ski and snowboard, despite the challenges of social distancing!

Contest Rules

To be entered for a chance to win, please be sure to do all of the following by March 14, 2021.

  • Give all brands a follow on Instagram (or Facebook): @nemoequipment, @glerups_usa, @goodtogofoods, @flylowgear, @fieldmag, @tamworth_distilling, and @ski_the_whites.
  • Post a photo of your best ski mountain tailgate setup with all brands tagged and use the hashtag #adventureanywhere.

Terms & Conditions

Must be 21 years of age or older to enter. Prizes will only be sent to an address in the United States. Any images posted can be reposted by any of the brands tagged. Those not on social media can email their photos and information to or mail them to NEMO Equipment 383 Central Ave Suite 275 Dover, New Hampshire 03802 before March 14th, 2021. It is our hope to inspire people to keep getting outside, to enjoy the activities they love, and to continue to have fun and connect with their favorite people. Be safe!