Festival season is one of my favorite times of the year. A music festival packing list is something I have learned to prepare, having gone to some of these events without some essential items. A festival packing list will do a lot for you and your family and make sure that you bring all you need to enjoy the event.
I learned early on that when you are excited about going on a particular camping trip, it is easy to overlook things to bring.
What to bring to music festivals can be particular and personal, but there are common things we all need to bring. Surprisingly, we often forget the festival essentials.
First, do not forget that this is a camping trip. Most festivals have that group camping vibe atmosphere, which is what makes it a special and unique occasion.
There will be many things to do while camping during a festival, sharing these activities with other folks and families.
Camping at a festival is perhaps one of the most memorable trips you will experience. You will see a diversity of people, with large families and their generous tents pitched, next to couples in their little pop-ups. You will likely see veteran campers as well as first-timers.
No doubt, it will be a fun experience with a diversity of people. Here is a list of key things to bring to make sure your festival experience is a fun one.
Camping At Festivals Essentials
1. The Festival Ticket
If the festival you are attending is a ticketed event, make sure you bring yours. Look at your ticket as being akin to forgetting a passport if you traveled abroad. Disaster! This is perhaps the most obvious of the essentials to bring, so make sure you bring the ticket(s).
To be sure, you should have these on your person. You would be surprised by the number of folks that show up at a festival, only to be turned away or have to buy a ticket a second time. In especially popular festivals, be conscious of pickpockets that operate.
2. A Tent and Sleeping Gear
If this is not also obvious enough, then perhaps you are a first-timer. Festival regulars will already have these items packed and ready to go. If you are new to festivals and are just acquiring these camping essentials here are some buying guides to help.
Tent Size – Whether it is a two person or 5-person tent, always make sure you check a tent’s real capacity to take people lying side by side. Alternatively, you could opt to bring multiple small tents if your family plans to sleep separately.
Tent Water Resistance – This is a rating of how much water the tent can repel before leaking. Chances are a festival will not be scheduled during rainy weather, but it would be great to have a waterproof tent in case it did rain.
A Sleeping System – This will consist of a sleeping mat and sleeping bag, and often an inflatable pillow. The mat will insulate you from ground cold and offer more padded comfort. The sleeping bag is what you will actually sleep in and the pillow is just for added head support.
3. Camping Chairs
As this is a festival, there will be entertainment of some sort. Portable chairs will make the experience much more fun. There is nothing more uncomfortable than sitting on wet grass or soggy ground.
Camping chairs are often foldable and pack in a very small package. These units will have armrests with cup holders. Bring one chair per person so everyone is comfortable.
That is right. Cash. No credit cards, please. There will be booths galore selling stuff from souvenirs to food items. In other words, there will be lots to buy, but almost all transactions will be on a cash basis only.
5. Minimal Food and Water
I say minimal because all you want to bring are emergency types of food and drink. Perhaps some biscuits, dehydrated noodles, and easy to carry water bottles that you can reuse. One of the main attractions in festivals is the food in the various booths and stalls.
Chances are you will be swamped by booths selling all sorts of delicious meals, sandwiches, and even novelty food from different cultures. Gastronomic pleasures await you and the entire family. (Read What is Primitive Camping)
Other Essential Stuff to Consider
Toilet Roll and Baby Wipes and Other Hygiene Basics
Need I elaborate on why you should have these essentials? Once the call of nature beckons, these will help you stay clean. The festival portable toilet will likely run out of these essential hygiene stuff, so bring your own.
I would also remind you to bring other hygiene items like a bar of soap and the usual toothbrush, toothpaste for your daily routines.
Change of Clothes
Depending on the length of the festival, bring clothes that will last you throughout the event. Also, be sure to bring items that will allow you to cope with weather surprises, like rain. A good all-purpose jacket is good to have, and conversely a pair of shorts could come in handy if it gets hot.
As I mentioned earlier, festivals will likely happen around glorious times of the year. Good outdoor weather is a likelihood, so be sure to bring lots of sunscreen and a wide brim hat. A large umbrella would also come in handy.
More experienced campers will also pack a tarp and set it up as a general-purpose area for multiple people to shade in.
It is not likely that you would forget to bring a smartphone. You will need this for the obvious reasons, especially its camera to take snapshot/video souvenirs. The more serious festivalgoers will perhaps bring a full-fledged SLR.
Another handy item to bring is a two-way radio or walkie-talkie. These are extremely convenient for quick communication while on the festival grounds. Of course, make sure that you bring all the charging/battery paraphernalia so your gadgets work all thru the trip.
A First Aid Kit
Just in case you run into some unfortunate incident, have a handy first aid kit for treatable situations. Band-Aids always come in handy, along with some basic OTC stuff like aspirin to dull a headache (or hangover) and perhaps some meds to handle a bum stomach.
A DIY Kit
Likewise, if you have to do on the spot repairs of any minor sort, have a DIY kit handy. A stash of duct tape, plastic bags, rope, and extra tent pegs will all help deal with unexpected gear malfunctions.
Festival season is always a time of the year that I look forward to. It is a great bonding activity for the family, abundant with great music, good food and drinks, and wonderful people. One final piece of advice is to leave the place the way you came to it, so other people can enjoy it without your trash. (Learn How to Camp for Free)
These occasions can accumulate a lot of trash so do your part in mitigating this. Otherwise, have the time of your life at a festival of your choice.