Sleep hasn’t come easy these past few nights. Slowly but surely, we’ve been starting to pack for Lightning in a Bottle and every night I’ve been lying in bed, rehashing plans and crossing my fingers I’m not forgetting anything. Thank goodness I’ve developed into a semi pack-rat about things; after some quick thinking, I unearthed my packing list from the festival last year and with a few fell swoops I’ve developed a new, improved and rather idiot-proof list of festival essentials that you won’t want to leave home without!
If you’re camping, this is almost a ‘No-duh!’ moment. Of COURSE you want a tent, but what kind of tent? First, take into account how many people you’re camping with (if you’re small, add one – trust)) and before you make that impulse purchase that sounds too good to be true (read: it probably is), Google that shit and see how it ranks on Amazon. We got our 3-Person Coleman tent at Big 5 on an uber discount, but Amazon as always is also amazing.
Don’t forget your sleeping bags, some toss away pillows and second hand blankets that you’re okay getting a little trashed over the weekend.
Different Types of Footwear
As awesome as it is to gallivant around in sandals all day, sometimes – they’re just not practical. I always have a pair of toss-away boots on me in case the weather gets wacky – and if you’re feeling fiesty, there’s no better feeling than getting a new pair of electric or neon inspired kicks.
Fact: you can’t say the word ‘Bubble’ and be unhappy. Try it. Now again. That very feeling is the reason I looooove running around with a bubble gun at festivals! Not only are you constantly making your day with your own floating, translucent Technicolor army – but you’ll be making the weekend a prettier place for everyone.
Try your local convenience store, CVS, Rite-Aid or Target for awesome options!
See all that stuff you’re planning on bringing? At some festivals, you get to camp with your car which is absolutely perfect. Others, like Lightning in a Bottle, you have to buy a separate pass for car camping and some – like myself – choose not to. So we don’t have to break our backs lugging stuff (and people!) too and fro, we’ve invested in this handy dandy garden cart. Check your local Home Depot or gardening stores (or, per usual – Amazon)
Whether it’s a pallet of water bottles from Costco, or a refillable, personalized water jug – you should always know where your next drink of water is coming from. Plus, if you’re the creative type – it’s always
fun customizing something you’ll be able to use at future festivals!
Mini Supply and First Aid Kit
You never know what could go down at a music festival, and it doesn’t hurt to be prepared – snag a little first aid kit from your local convenience store and make sure you’re fully stocked with hydrogen peroxide, band aids, tums, wet wipes, ear plugs.
While you’re at it, throw in a hammer, pair of scissors and a roll of duct tape just in case; you never know what you could need!
One thing I forget to think about at festivals is food, and even though there are always ample options in the food court – they can cost a pretty penny. Which for one day, and one meal – it’s not so bad….but on day four of a festival, you might wish you’d brought some of your own snacks. Invest in one of these, pre-freeze some hamburger patties, get some ketchup, mustard and buns and have yourself a little festival tail-gate. Plus, food is a phenomenal way to meet friends.
Having a small bag at all times to house your little gear – like travel sized SPF, chapstick, your cell, wallet and a camera – is 110% necessary. Some ladies love the over the shoulder satchels, but I opt for something a little more retro and hands free.
Waterproof Camera Case
EDC week in Las Vegas last year was the first time I’d played around with a waterproof camera case, and ever since I’ve been on the prowl for one of my own. So, when we were at Big 5 the other day grabbing a tent – I couldn’t resist the impulse purchase! Now, instead of worrying about getting sprayed with water, jumping in the pool or ruining my camera – I can get that epic shot I’ve always wanted. I’m also bringing an extra, fully charged battery, sturdy case and a charger just in case it runs out of juice.
At night time, it can be hard to find your way – especially back to camp. I stocked up on little flashlights so everyone in my camp can have one – and it’ll definitely make going to the bathrooms at night a lot easier 😉
Festival Friendly Beauty Products
Model in a Bottle: You definitely don’t need much makeup during a festival, but that doesn’t mean you won’t want the option. I absolutely SWEAR by this product – spritz it on after applying makeup for a set that’ll last through water, sweat, tears and lots of epic raving. I’ve used this at every EDC since ’08 and my makeup’s been flawless post-ragefest.
Fenix Sunscreen: Most suncreens deposit a layer on your skin that the sun can still fight through, Fenix products reflect sunlight instead of absorbing – which is so much better for your skin!
Real Spray Aloe: If your sunscreen fails, it’s nice to have something as backup and spray aloe is the way to go.
Ouidad Climate Control: Frizzy, Curly, Straight – whatever you want your hair to do, it might not be so willing on Days 3 as it was on Day 1 to control itself – get a little glob of this on your hands and through your hair and you’ll be set for the entire day.
Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to bring a towel so you can dry off quickly after galavanting through spritzing water, a quick shower or for something to catch some rays (and Zzzz’s) over the weekend.
Oh, and some good vibes and great company – but you knew that already, I’m sure 🙂 Friends might say that I’m in rare form this year – on the regular, my social schedule can get pretty packed, especially in the Summer months. Blame it on age, or being happy in love and filling my life with a world beyond festival life – but over the past year, I’ve more or less removed myself from the festival circuit. Electric Daisy Carnival, Together As One, Love Festival, How Sweet it Is, Nocturnal Wonderland – you name it, if it’s been in Southern Cali in the past 7 years I probably raved it. Gradually, my taste in music evolved and I migrated from being an open minded observer, to a full on member of this beautiful, international community of music aficionados and perpetual dream chasers. I started the year with Sea of Dreams, and besides Lightning in a Bottle – and maybe Sun City in Texas, there’s nothing on my agenda – so I have to ask: what are your favorite music festivals and what are your must have packing essentials?