Tickets – Check.
You finally scrounged up the cash to buy a ticket to that music festival with your friends, and camping on the festival grounds was everyone’s first (OK, only) choice for lodging. You can walk back to your tent whenever you want, you won’t miss any acts because you’re stuck in traffic, and you definitely won’t be paying an outrageous house rental rate to stay nearby.
Now you just need a festival essential packing list to make roughing it for three-plus days a little more enjoyable. And that’s why we’re here.
Less Is More
First things first: Anything you pack you will have to carry around with you most of the day. So this is not the time for taking along life’s luxuries or any of your favorite, well, anythings. If you’d be upset to lose or ruin it, leave it at home.
Pack clothes you can layer – a couple of tank tops, T-shirts, long sleeves and hoodies – and just one or two pairs of really, really comfortable shoes. Black is great for hiding sweat, but make sure to choose lighter fabrics if you go this route. Count on swimsuits to pull double duty as shorts for guys, or underwear for girls.
To help freshen up your clothes, wash them with Downy Unstopables in-wash scent booster before your trip.
First off, food and water. Take a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated throughout the festival, and stow away a few quick-grab foods like granola bars or nuts so you can snack without heading back to your tent. You’ll also be glad you brought a hat and/or bandana (to keep the sun and dust out of your face) and rain gear (if you don’t bring it, guaranteed you’ll need it).
But it’s not all about the shows – you’ll be at your campsite quite a bit, too, so keep it tidy by bringing along your own garbage bags, zip-top gallon bags for separating items in your cooler, bath towels and Bounty paper towels for cleaning up any messes. And if you’re traveling to the festival by car with six of your closest friends, we have one word for you: Febreze.
So Fresh and So Clean, Clean
A weekend of baking in the sun without a shower isn’t going to leave you smelling like roses. But you can make yourself more comfortable without braving the public showers if you bring along Pampers Sensitive wipes (yes, really), Olay Daily Facials, Secret Freshies on the Go or Old Spice Invisible Spray, Crest toothpaste, and Pantene dry shampoo. Other necessities include lip balm, ibuprofen, hair ties and Tampax Pocket Pearl tampons.
When push comes to shove (and your Day 3 hair looks like it could lead its own drum circle), the right accessories can go a long way to making you feel pulled together. And have fun with them – if there was ever a time to experiment with a new style, it’s in a crowd of thousands of people you’ll never see again.
Safe and Sound
If you’ve never been to a festival or been camping, spoiler alert: You will get dirty and may get some scrapes and bruises. Throw together a festival survival kit that will help you get through relatively unscathed. You’ll want to bring plenty of sunscreen, bug spray, bandages, some Charmin Freshmates (you never know) and earplugs – trust us, you’ll sleep better if you have them.
Consider an eye mask, too, to help block out any late-night lights. And in that same vein, sunglasses are an absolute must. But forget the designer shades – there is a very high likelihood you’ll break or lose them. Instead, take the opportunity to go wild with multiple pairs of cheap but colorful ones.
Wherever you’re going, one thing’s for certain – there’s no shortage of entertainment at a weekend-long festival. Yoga, art classes, people-watching ... there’s no excuse to spend a single minute bored, so enjoy it all! Make a plan by first checking the festival’s website to see what entertainment is in store, and take a look at the FAQs section for specific suggestions on what to bring. They’ll have info on what kind of weather is typical to help you pack, as well as what you can expect to find when you arrive.
What’s your favorite part of attending a summer festival? Let us know in the comments!