Camping festivals offer a completely different type of experience compared to regular music festivals. Whether it be surrounded by trees at Electric Forest or in an open field at Lost Lands, camping at any music festival provides endless adventures and human connections. But if you’ve never camped at a music festival, let alone camped at all, it may seem a bit overwhelming. We’ve compiled a list of the most essential items to prepare and pack away for your next camping festival.
What To Bring To A Camping Festival
Open up your tent before you pack it away in the car and check to see if there are any rips or tears. Double-check that you have all the poles, stakes, and rainfly. Make sure you also have an extra-large tarp to put under your tent so water doesn’t seep through. And don’t forget to bring a mallet!
Before you throw your air mattress in the car, you’ll want to fill it with air to check for any holes or leaks. Nothing is worse than bringing an air mattress but not being able to fill it up. Make sure to bring an air mattress pump and some batteries. Be sure to double-check the type of air pump you bring, too. You wouldn’t want to bring a car-powered air pump unless you’re camping next to your car.
Sleeping Bag & Pillows
Unroll your sleeping bag and check for any bugs that may be hiding in it. Maybe throw it in the wash before packing it away too. After dancing all day and night you’ll want to get the best sleep possible so make sure you bring a pillow or two as well.
Nothing is worse than being cold when you’re trying to go to sleep. Be sure to bring lots of blankets because the temperature will drop and it will get cold at night! Mother nature is very unpredictable at times so don’t always rely on the weather forecast! Be prepared!! Packing a tapestry is another great idea and can be hung up somewhere to provide shade or even used as a blanket to sit on and relax.
If you’re relying on your phone’s flashlight to use as a light, be aware that your phone will probably die pretty quickly – especially if you’re in an area with bad service. Pack a flashlight or two and check them beforehand to make sure they work. Also, consider bringing some string lights to hang in and around your tent and campsite. A lot of string lights are powered by batteries which are super convenient.
A clean campsite is a happy campsite, so be sure to clean up after yourself. Bring extra trash bags just in case. You’d be surprised how much garbage you accumulate over 3-5 days. Trash bags can also be super useful if it starts to rain. Use them to protect some of your belongings from getting wet.
Food & Water
Never rely on surviving off of food trucks and vendors. If you do plan on relying on these vendors, be prepared to spend more money than you anticipate. Also, check the festival website for more information on what types of food vendors should be there. Dancing all day and night takes a lot of energy, so be sure to bring lots of water and nutritious snacks. Head to our blog for more information on What Food To Bring To A Camping Festival. Having a hydropack to hold your water on your back is super convenient and nice to have, especially when dancing all day at the stage.
Don’t underestimate the strength of the sun. It’s easy to burn quickly if you’re outside all day at a festival. A lot of festivals don’t offer much shade near the stage or in general. Bring sunscreen with a good amount of SPF.
A toothbrush and toothpaste are honestly one of the easiest things to forget. And nothing sounds more horrible than not being able to brush your teeth. Be sure to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, toilet paper, and wet wipes. Even if the festival doesn’t offer showers, you can easily wash your body and hair with a jug of water. Make sure to pack a bathing suit to make this process as easy as possible!
Although there will be a first-aid tent at the festival, you should always bring a first-aid kit just in case. It’s always better to be prepared. And to be honest – it’s pretty easy to accidentally cut yourself on random sticks, rocks, etc. when out in nature.
Multi-tool/knife & Scissors
A multi-tool, knife, or scissors may not be needed, but it’s always a good feeling knowing you have them when you run into a situation where you do need them.
Folding Chairs & Table
A folding table and chairs are not essential, but they are definitely preferred. Dancing all day will take a toll on your legs and body. So having a place to sit down comfortably and relax, eat your food, and just chill is nice to have. If you have them and can bring them, definitely pack them along. A hammock that can be hung between two trees is another nice thing to have. Check the location of the camping festival and see if there will be trees that you can use to hang your hammock.
Whether this is your first camping festival or your twentieth, we hope we were able to provide you with some useful and helpful information. And if you are a newbie attending your first camping festival, don’t stress out! Everyone is super friendly and most people are always willing to help. Check out our other blog for a more detailed checklist of what to bring to a camping festival.
Juliet Norelli has been a part of the rave community for 10 years. She shares her knowledge through writing to give helpful tips and advice to all ravers.