If you are caught in a situation in which you are unprepared, don't feel bad, because this has happened before. It is normal to assume that you will find a grill at your local park or beach area, but you should know that most of them are charcoal, not gas. Keep this in mind, and make sure you are prepared from here on out.
There are a few things you need to know about cooking with charcoal, especially if you've never done it before. For one, charcoal takes almost twice as long to get to proper cooking temperature as a gas grill. This is due to the fact that the charcoals must be completely white before you are able to cook anything with them, and this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes. The time required is also dependant on weather, such as wind or rain, since many charcoal grills do not have covers. This really is especially true in public areas.
You can save time by picking a barbecue grill that has a cover. If it is possible to keep the heat contained, it will heat faster and stay hot longer. You will also be able to maintain a more even heat to cook with. If you do not have a choice, and must choose a grill with no cover, make sure to keep it out of the wind so that your flame and heat stay strong.
Sometimes you only have time to cook quicker foods such as hamburgers and hot dogs. While these taste superb after being cooked on charcoal, sometimes you just want more - especially if you are having guests. In this case, chicken, ribs, or even steaks may be on the menu. Just keep in mind the longer cooking time of charcoal, and you'll be enjoying an awesome charcoal grilled meal in no time!