Festival Essentials to Pack This Summer

If you are lucky enough to be headed off to one of the many major music festivals happening across the US this summer, you will need to be properly prepared. While fun and games in the sunshine, with a ‘dirty cocktail’ in one hand and a glow stick in the other, can sound like a slice of heaven, the fun stops if you do not have the right essentials.

The bottom line is that festivals are alien environments. They are loud, dirty and wild, which means that festivalgoers should be prepared for anything. This handy guide to the festival essentials that you need this summer will help you to make sure that the experience is one to happily remember.


Courtesy of Keith Carlsen for the Washington Post

Staying dry and feeling comfortable

The first thing you need to think about when preparing for a summer festival is your sleeping quarters. It is a bad idea to leave this until the last minute, or to assume that there is room for you in another tent, because this is how people end up spending an entire weekend without any real shelter. The last thing that you want is to stagger back from the headline performance in a fit of excitement, only to remember that you are returning to the cramped confines of a spare equipment tent.

If you are keen to stay comfortable, it is a good idea to pack little things like soap, a spare toothbrush (in case one gets lost or dirty), a waterproof coat, an extra blanket, a roll mat, and some sunscreen. The reality is that even if you are attending a festival like Coachella or South by Southwest, which are located in very dry regions, it is important to be prepared for cold, rain, and stormy conditions.

Knowing what to avoid this summer

Lots of things are prohibited at festivals and you should take care not to pack them. The rules for each individual event can vary, however, so make sure that you check the website if you are unsure. For example, some festivals allow gas-powered stoves, but others do not. It should already be clear that drugs of all kinds are prohibited.

For a trouble-free experience, it is helpful to leave things like gas canisters and portable stoves at home. Yes, it can be expensive having to buy meals from the food trucks, but it is part of being at a festival, and it takes the stress out of having to prepare your own meals on a muddy campsite. The same can be said for expensive mobile phones – leave them safe at home.

How to be safe at a summer festival

It does not matter whether you are headed for the Electrical Daisy Carnival or Burning Man, personal safety should be a top priority. If you want to prevent injuries, it can be a good idea to protect old knee injuries with a compression sleeve or sock. For example, if you know that one of your knees is prone to weakness, soothe a long day of walking by sleeping in a Tommie Copper compression sleeve.

To guarantee a successful festival experience, and have the time of your life, preparation is essential. It does not have to take up a great deal of time, especially if you pack over the course of several weeks, and it will allow you to kick back and set your mind to carefree summer mode.