9 Music Festival Camping Essentials You Absolutely Need to Pack
BY CATHERINE CHOJNOWSKI
IT'S SUMMERTIME AND THAT MEANS WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF THE BEST PART OF THE YEAR –– FESTIVAL SEASON. WHILE SOME OF US OPT FOR DAY FESTIVALS SUCH AS COACHELLA AND ELECTRIC DAISY CARNIVAL, WHERE AFTER THE MUSIC STOPS YOU CAN RETURN TO THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOTEL ROOM TO RECHARGE AND START FRESH THE NEXT DAY, OTHERS SEEK THE FULL 24-HOUR FESTIVAL EXPERIENCE OF FESTIVAL CAMPING.
Various multi-day festivals, such as Electric Forest and Camp Bisco, offer a camping option where festival-goers get to set up camp next to the venue for a complete festival adventure where the party and music never really stop. While the idea of camping for a few days and making sure you don’t miss any of your favorite artists’ sets might be a bit intimidating and overwhelming for those of us who aren’t too familiar with the wilderness, the experience is unforgettable and truly worth it. However, in order to ensure you have the best time possible, you need to be well prepared for those few days of sun, music, and dancing. Here’s a brief list of festival camping essentials to help make your festival experience the best one yet!
1. BOOTS OR SNEAKERS
Odds are when you're at a camping festival, there will be dirt and likely mud. Make sure you’re ready for a few days of dancing and roaming the festival grounds. Be sure to bring one, if not two pairs of either boots or sneakers with you to the festival and make sure they're super comfortable. Don't bring your most expensive pairs either -– there's no doubt about the fact that your shoes WILL get dirty.
2. A CANOPY
We all know that the summer sun is intense. While most of us are accustomed to resorting to air conditioning when we need to cool off, when you're at a camping festival you need to find other ways to stay cool. A canopy creates shade and a kind of communal hangout area for the group you're camping with. Make sure to bring some tapestries or sheets to hang from the sides -- this not only blocks out the sun, but also looks pretty and makes your campsite more recognizable.
3. BLANKETS & SWEATERS
When you typically think of a festival, you think of keeping cool as your biggest concern temperature-wise. This may be true during the day when the sun is out and in full blast, however when you're camping, you'll realize that once the sun goes down it can get very, very cold. Be sure to bring blankets to keep you warm at night in your tent and at least one sweater for when you're catching those late night sets. Once you're done jumping around in a crowd of people and have to walk back to camp, it will definitely come in handy.
4. A WATERPROOF ZIP BAG
We all know weather forecasts are not the most reliable. Even if the forecast predicts sun for the next few days, mother nature might have something else in mind. That being said, it's definitely a good idea to bring along a waterproof zip bag to keep your valuables and even some clothes in, just in case a flash storm hits, either to keep in your tent or carry with you.
5. A TARP
Just like with the waterproof zip bag, bringing along a tarp is always a good idea, even if the forecast isn't predicting rain. Anything can happen and living in a damp tent with a puddle in the corner definitely isn't the most ideal situation. Either place the tarp under your tent to ensure the bottom of your tent is protected from rainwater or drape it over your tent for extra coverage. Although most tents are created with the intent of being weatherproof, extreme conditions can sometimes require a little extra protection.
6. TRASH BAGS
Remember that if you go to a camping festival, oftentimes you will be camping in an area with its own ecosystem and animal inhabitants. While you most likely won't see any of the creatures that call the festival ground home, be respectful. Make sure to keep your campsite clean and although trash is inevitable, try to minimize your waste –- buying reusable cups and bowls instead of single-use ones is also a great idea! If you see trash laying around either your campsite or even someone else's, help out by throwing it into a trash bag and strive to leave your campsite in the same condition as you found it.
7. A HYDRATION PACK
You can never bring too much water. After being in the sun, dancing, and exploring all day there's no doubt that you will be thirsty. Not only is it essential to have plenty of water back at your campsite, but you should have some with you at all times. Once you step into a crowd in front of a stage, not only is it insanely hot but also insanely difficult to get out of the crowd. That's where hydration packs come into play -– they're small backpacks with pouches you can fill up with water and then conveniently drink through a nozzle without even taking the bag off. Make sure to stop by a water refill station to fill up your Camelbak before heading into a crowd, especially if you plan on staying at the same stage for a while.
8. HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS FOOD
Although there will most likely be a number of vendors with a variety of food options available, if you want to save some money, bring food with you. Either way it's always a good idea to keep some snacks on hand or at your campsite. When you're getting food for your festival, try to lean towards healthier choices full of protein and nutrients. You're going to be exerting a lot of energy over those few days and should keep yourself fueled with healthy and substantial foods to stay energized and ready to go!
9. A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
This one's pretty self-explanatory. Go into the experience with an open mind and an open heart. Remember, people go to festivals to let go, escape society for a few days, and express themselves freely. You'll make some great friends along the way, whether they're your campsite neighbors or people you randomly end up standing next to at a set.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels