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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Just when we thought the COVID-19 pandemic was behind us.... well, it wasn't. Although 'Rona has disrupted our concert and festival plans the past few years — with this year also seeming uncertain, that doesn't mean you can't prepare for that music festival down the road.
It's a bummer not knowing when festivals will get back to normal, but it's safe to say that when it does, things won't as normal as we once knew it.
But with that said, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel! So, when it's time to rally your friends, pack your camping gear, and get back to the festival circuit again, you want to make sure you are fully prepared!
Music festivals are wonderful, but what is not so wonderful is being unprepared for one. Especially when it comes to camping festivals, you want to ensure you are fully equipped in order to have the best experience possible.
As someone whose been in the festival scene for 10+ years, I've gained a ton of experience and knowledge (often the hard way). Which is exactly why I have written this Music Festival Survival Guide!
Below you will find a list of essential tips, tricks, hacks, and secrets for surviving a music festival. So, when it's time to gear up for the next big camping festival, refer back to this guide to prepare successfully!
Even though you are roughing it out for a couple of days, it's still important to keep up your personal hygiene — if not for you, at least for others who have to be around you. Showers at festivals are typically expensive, cold, with long lines to wait in. Which is why you always want to equip yourself with plenty of toiletries and alternatives to getting clean:
Here is a packing list of personal items you may want to grab before heading out:
• Baby Wipes (in case you can't access a shower)
• Face Wipes (festivals are notoriously dusty)
• Travel Shampoo, Conditioner, & Body Wash (bring water jugs to wash off with)
• Toothbrush, Toothpaste, & Mouthwash (use water bottles or jugs to brush teeth)
• Toilet Paper & Paper Towels (incase the porta-potty runs out)
• First-Aid Kit (band-aids, Neosporin, gauze, etc)
• Medication & Vitamins (paid meds, any immune-support vitamins,
• Sunscreen (this is a MUST and take it with you everywhere for easy re-application)
• Hand Sanitizer
• Hair brush & Hair Ties
• Shaving Kit
• Insect Repellent
• Lip Balm
• Ear Plugs
One mistake that I've made plenty of times is not bringing the proper clothing to a music festival. Of course you want to look cute, but you shouldn't bring anything that you wouldn't want to get dirty or potentially lose. Especially in the chance of rain, it's likely that whatever you bring is going to get pretty messed up at the end of the festival. Also, let's be honest, unless you have a secure lock on your tent, there's a chance that your stuff could get stolen.
So, leave your expensive nice things behind and opt for some cheaper options instead. Here is a list of the clothing and gear you should think about packing for a music festival:
• Shoes (at least one pair of walking shoes, flip-flops, & boots or rain shoes that can get wet)
• Extra Socks & Underwear
• Warm Clothes & Cold Clothes (even if the forecast predicts weather in the upper 90's all weekend, prepare for the unexpected. Pack both warm jackets and hot weather outfits just in case)
• Sunglasses (again, opt for the cheap pairs because it's likely that they will get scratched or lost over the weekend)
• Hats & Head Coverings (that sun is brutal out there)
• Bandanas & Face Coverings (the dust and dirt is brutal too)
• Sleeping Clothes
• Swim Suit
• Extra T-Shirts, Shorts, Pants, etc.
• Raincoat & Rain Gear
• Backpacks, Camelbacks, Fanny Packs
*Pro Tip: plan your daily outfits out before you leave for the festival, and know exactly what you are going to wear. This way, you don't bring a ton of extra stuff and don't have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions*
Part of the music festival experience is getting to enjoy some of the fantastic food vendor options they have available, but keep in mind that festival food is also very expensive. If you are balling on a budget, it may be in your best interest to bring your own food options.
You'll need a cooler to keep some of your food items and drinks cool. It's recommended you grab some dry ice over regular ice, as it will last longer in the hot sun for a few days. If you want to have a hot meal without the extravagant camping gear, you can always purchase a portable stove burner and butane tanks for under $30.
This way you can heat up can soups, have hot water for oatmeal, coffee, tea, or boil water for hot dogs, veggies, and more.
Here are some great ideas if you plan to bring your own snacks or cook your own food at your next camping festival:
• Protein/Granola Bars
• Nuts & Jerky
• Non-Refrigerated Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Grapefruit, Bananas, Grapes, etc)
• Peanut or Nut Butter
• Bread, Crackers, Chips, TrailMix
• Coffee & Tea
• Hydrating Drinks (Powerade, Gatorade, Bio-Lite)
• Hot Dogs & Buns
• Cheese Sticks
• Individual Cups (pudding, fruit, jello)
• Carrots & Hummus
• Canned Soups, Pastas, Meats, Beans
Along with the most obvious and important items like food, clothing, and toiletries, here are some less obvious items that you will probably want or need with you for any camping trip you take:
• Tent & Tarp (make sure your tent comes with stakes and a hammer to secure it into the ground, along with a tarp to lay underneath it and a rain tarp to lay on top of it)
• Air Mattress & Pump
• Sleeping Bags, Blankets, Pillows, & Tapestries
• Folding Table & Chairs
• Trash bags, Paper Plates, Plastic Cups
• Disposable Cutlery
• Cable Zip Ties
• Scissors, Multi-Tool, Pocket Knife
• Plenty of Water (jugs & bottles)
• Pots & Pans (if you plan to cook)
• Dish Soap & Scrubber
• Can Opener
• Food Storage Containers & Bags
• Phone Charger
• Portable Charger
• Car Battery Jump Starter
• Battery Powered Fans
• Bluetooth Speaker
• Flashlights & Lanterns
• Extra Batteries
• Bungee Cords
• Portable Cooler
• Tent Locks
• Extra Car Keys
• Fun Stuff (hula-hoops, glow sticks, flow toys, LED lights games, bubbles, glitter, etc)
• Festival Tickets or Admission Passes
When festival season rolls around again and it's time for you and your crew to hit the road, we hope that you keep this Survival Guide in mind! It's easy with to forget basic necessities when you are packing up with so much excitement.
Just remember, triple check everything before leaving out. Use the information given in this article to help you check off your packing list, and share this article with your festie crew so they can be prepared as well!
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.