We love it when the days get longer and the weather gets hotter. There’s more time to chill poolside, the rooftop bars open up, and snow melts off our favorite hiking trails. We can’t really call it “summer” without festivals, though. There’s nothing like getting a group of your friends together for a few days of great music under the summer sun. Here, we put together an ultimate festival checklist with everything you need to make your festival experience top-notch.
Part of the fun of festivals is sleeping under the stars (or at least under the dome of your favorite tent). This is not the venue to test out your dad’s old camping gear, though. Before you set out, make sure you set up your tent. Check for holes or tears in the tent fabric, and don’t forget to check the lining along the bottom. It’s a good move to buy some waterproofing spray and generously coat your tent a few days before you hit the road. Make sure you’ve got the following:
- All structural poles
- Something to hammer those stakes in with
- An extra tarp to lay out beneath the tent
Since you’re already packing away your tent, you might as well bring along a few extra items to make your experience as smooth and comfortable as possible.
- Waterproofing tape in case of spontaneous leakage
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Solar-powered lantern
- Doormat so the festival grounds stay outside your tent
- Camp chairs
- Small camp stove
- Flipflops for quick trips to the porta-potty or for working around the campsite
- Extra toilet paper
- Hand sanitizer
Gear to Bring
So, you’ve got your tent and campsite all set up. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to pack your bag. Bring a mixture of sweat-wicking material - summer festivals can get hot hot hot, so do yourself a favor and invest in some quick-drying shorts and tanks.
It can’t hurt to bring a rain jacket or shell, just in case. A hat is a necessity, as are shoes that won’t make you want to crowd-surf your way right out of the festival. Check the weather forecast before you go, and make sure you’re prepared for anything. Future you will thank… you!
While we’re on the subject, consider also bringing along the following items:
- Camping bath wipes (shower tokens = expensive, and dirt = part of the festival experience)
- Enough headbands and hats to keep your hair out of your face
- Sunscreen. We can’t say that one enough!
- A couple of towels
- Bubbles (why not?)
- A great backpack
Things to Know
We said it already, and we’ll say it again: summer festivals can get hot. Dehydration can take even the most epic day and make it suck. If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And dehydration can make you slow, sluggish, and irritable. Not exactly the person you want to be for your fellow festival-goers - and not to mention, you’ll feel like crap.
So, bring a couple refillable water bottles and take every chance you can to hydrate. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to indulge in whatever “festival-experience-enhancing” substance that’s on your list - just do yourself a favor and stay hydrated.
Lots of festivals have banned cigarettes (and, really, anything that could generate waste). If you’re a smoker (of anything), it might be a good time to make the switch to portable, reusable, better-for-the-environment pens and pods. You’ll generate less waste and will avoid irritating your fellow festival-goers with clouds of cigarette smoke.
Last but not least, remember that you’re part of a greater community of festival-goers. Festivals are so great for forging connections, and they can be truly memorable, life-changing experiences. So, do your part to spread good vibes - share sunscreen, cookout with your tent neighbors, and help your friends stay within their limits. Go into the experience with an open mind, and you might never want to leave.
Happy festival season!