Tailgating can run the gamut from a frat party to a gourmet affair. Whatever your preference, here’s what you need to make sure your epic preparty sizzles and amps you up for the New England Patriots-Seattle Seahawks meeting in Super Bowl XLIX Sunday.

1. Beer, and an ice-packed cooler to keep it crisp. In cold weather, hot drinks are a hit, too -- think mulled cider, hot chocolate or hot toddies. Whether you’re faithful to Budweiser or an aficionado of the newest local craft beers, stock up so you don’t run out. Remember, you can always have what’s left over later, so, as they say, drink responsibly. And don’t forget the water, to stay hydrated.

2. Meat, and a grill and fuel to cook it with. There’s not a lot you can’t barbecue, so be creative when firing up. Steak, sausage, hot dogs, chicken and burgers (meat or veggie) -- as well as the corn on the cob favored by the Food Network -- your stomach’s the limit.

3. A table to hold all the bounty. This bounty can encompass classic hearty dishes such the Smitten Kitchen’s macaroni and cheese, potato salad and green salad, as well as cheese with crackers or chips with dips for the inevitable snacking. Don’t forget basic necessities, either: utensils, dishes, napkins and, of course, condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard and relish.

4. Something to sit on, preferably a comfortable something. If you’re doing an authentic tailgate party and sitting on of the back of a car, you’ll probably need more seats for tailgaters than the width of a trunk (or two) can provide. Classic folding beach chairs and camping chairs are both easy to carry and use.

986000308_82f0aeda3d_o Tailgating can be as lavish or simple as you want it to be. Photo: Tina Lawson/Creative Commons

5. Music. What’s a party without tunes? Technology makes transporting and blasting songs so easy these days. Collect your favorite pregame and party tunes in a playlist that you can pump through your car’s stereo system. Or, better yet, bring your own dedicated tailgating speakers (as advertised on eBay), battery-powered and wireless.

Bonus: To get into the true spirit of the Super Bowl, bring a football to toss around and work up an appetite (or stave off a food coma) before the game’s kickoff.