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Bad Weather Survival Guide to Tailgating in San Francisco


As the San Francisco 49ers readily acknowledge, the swirling wind and chilly weather at Candlestick Parkare "infamous." The team says architect John Bolles' stadium design was supposed to shield Candlestick from the San Francisco Bay's wind and cold. As fans know, though, Bolles' design failed to accomplish that.

In November, the average high temperature at Candlestick is 63 degrees, while the average low is 49. In December, it's even chillier – an average high of 57 and an average low of 45.

As for the Candlestick wind, it famously played a role in baseball's All-Star Game in 1961, back when the stadium was still home to the San Francisco Giants. At the time, it was reported that a wind gust blew Giants pitcher Stu Miller off the pitcher's mound during the game. Years later, Miller insisted the wind pushed him "a little bit," but didn't knock him off the mound. The wind gust did cause him to be called for a ball, however.

So, how can you stop the wind and cold from knocking you for a loop while you're tailgating at Candlestick? Here are some pointers.

  • Dress in layers and peel them off when you feel too warm. "The heat captured in between the layers keeps you toasty," the National Wildlife Federation says. The Mayo Clinic says your clothing should be loose fitting and lightweight. Outerwear should be made of tightly woven, water-repellent material, the clinic says, while wool, silk and polypropylene are the best materials for the inner layers.
  • Wear gloves or, better yet, mittens. Mittens are warmer than gloves because fingers retain more heat when they touch each other, according to the National Wildlife Federation.
  • Put on a coat or jacket.
  • Wear thick socks to keep your feet warm.
  • Don't forget a cap or hat. A lot of body heat escapes through your head.
  • Wrap a scarf around your neck.
  • Bring a blanket.
  • Pack an umbrella and rain poncho. "Nothing chills you like wet skin," according to the National Wildlife Federation.
  • Make sure you eat enough food to fuel your body. Types of tailgate friendly food that can help you keep warm include soup, stew, chili, mac and cheese, meatloaf and lasagna.
  • Limit your consumption of alcohol. Booze makes you feel toasty but doesn't actually warm you up. Drinks that really can stave off the cold include hot coffee, hot chocolate and hot tea; just be sure you don't spike these drinks with alcohol.
  • Don't overdo it. "Avoid activities that would cause you to sweat a lot. The combination of wet clothing and cold weather can cause you to lose body heat more quickly," the Mayo Clinic says.

Check out Tailgate Fan to keep the party going at

John Egan is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on

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