ThePineapple - Camping Festival 101 Essentials

Festival 101: Camping Edition

The absolute basics for festival camping.

Festival camping is a worthwhile experience, but it requires some preparation to ensure you have a fun, comfortable, and safe time! Whether you’re planning months ahead or your spontaneity struck a couple days before, here are some basic essentials that you should keep in mind when planning:

  1. Tent: Make sure you have a tent that is suitable for festival conditions! I’ve brought a broken tent before, overpacked a tent with too many people, and I've also slept in my car ~ either way, you’ll want somewhere to sleep and house your belongings for the appropriate weather. This 2-person tent is only $25 so no excuses!

    In my experience: I enjoyed sharing an 8-person pop-up standing tent with my sister (being able to stand makes all the difference) but if I had the extra car room, I would’ve loved to bring our shift pod with the air conditioning attachment if it was a festival during the summer! Creating your space is important but make sure it’s not a dreadful pack-up for the journey home. 

  2. Sleeping Bag or BlanketsSleeping bags make it easy to pack and are usually just enough to keep you warm through the night. I recommend choosing one that can withstand the lowest temperature you may be encountering. Sleeping padsmemory foam pads, and air mattresses are always worth it for the extra comfort. 

  3. Camping chairs and table: You can survive without these, but to have a good and comfortable time at the absolute basic level, you’re going to want camping chairs to chill in and a table to cook on. 

  4. Meal Planning: Plan your meals ahead of time and bring food that is easily stored and prepared. Canned goods, energy bars, dried fruit and all that are great options, but I’m the type who likes to pack extra ice and dry ice and bring all sorts of healthy food, fresh or frozen to prepare throughout the week/end. Don’t forget a portable camping stove or grill and gas to cook hot meals! If you’re trying to minimize packing/cooking time and trying to maximize on time in the festival, many of my friends often bring Mountain House freeze dried food packs to easily rehydrate and refuel. 

    Tips: I’ve done the whole don’t eat and party, unhealthy food prep, and dry food prep… it’s not nearly as appetizing or nourishing and trust me when I say the days after the event, your body will wish you had taken better care of it. For those who want to optimize time inside the festival, you can always buy food inside but that can get pretty unhealthy and pricey. It’s easy to lose time and forget to eat so I recommend packing protein drinks or bars or pre-freezing meals that are ready to go and easy to reheat!

  5. H2O - Lots of Water: Staying hydrated is essential so I always pack an extra gallon than what we plan for. Sometimes we need extra water to wash any gear in the “kitchen” or  for washing our body’s and faces! This really depends on your maintenance and needs ~ some events will have showers, sometimes I go the whole time with just body wipes, and sometimes I’ll use some water to wash my face and hair. 

    Pro-tip: This is when stainless steel reusable water bottles really come in handy. You can keep your water and drinks hot or cold for extended periods of time and limit the use of plastic cups! My friends and I love to add ice and an electrolyte pack to our bottles. 

  6. Prepare for the weather: Always check the weather forecast from a few weeks before all the way to the day before so you can prepare and pack accordingly. Bring layers so you’re able to add or remove as the weather changes. A lot of times it will be hot during the day and very cold at night, and every once in a while it can get super windy, dusty, and/or rainy ~ always pack layers and don’t forget your faux/fur coats!

  7. Headlamp / Flashlight: A headlamp or flashlight is so important to have when navigating your campsite, walking to the bathrooms, or going from location to location in the evenings. Bring extra batteries or your portable charger in case it runs out of power.

  8. Portable Charger: Festival camping usually means no electricity, so bring enough chargers and cords to power up your electronics throughout the week/end. Keep in mind how many days you’ll be without because sometimes power stations or generators will be recommended.

  9. Toiletries: Toothbrush, toothpaste, face wipes, body wipes, shampoo and conditioner if you plan to shower (onsite or in your own camping site - i love to bring soap bars), hair brush so you don’t let the dreads get out of control because from personal experience, untangling my hair after an event can be pretty brutal if left untied. I also recommend bringing your own roll of toilet paper because bathrooms will often run out and it’s always nice to have your own back-up.

  10. Body Wipes: You’ll definitely want some body wipes to have a quick and easy clean up whether you just need to blow your nose or wipe your whole body down.

  11. Dish Soap & Paper Towels: Mixing dish soap and water into a small spray bottle with a second spray bottle of pure water makes clean up super easy! I always recommend bringing reusable gear to limit our carbon footprint and opt out of paper plates, bowls, and plastic utensils. 

  12. First-Aid Kit: There will always be first aid on site but it’s always best to have your own just in case of emergencies! I always recommend having some band-aids, pain relievers, and antiseptic wipes.