Festival Season: What to Pack

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When packing up to attend your favorite festival, make sure you have the following essentials to guarantee that nothing interferes with your good time:

  • A good bag. Make sure you have the smallest possible bag for the items that you need. Choose a bag that’s lightweight but supportive for your back. If you opt for a Camelback (a great option for hydration) or a rolling bag for back relief, make sure these options are permitted at the festival you’re attending.
  • An empty water container. Most festivals do not allow outside water, but there may be a place to fill bottles once you get inside to keep yourself hydrated and save a little money. Just be sure to avoid glass containers.
  • Cash. Many festival vendors only accept cash payments for items like food and souvenirs. You'll also minimize the risk of losing your debit card.
  • Sunscreen. Apply sunscreen before you leave your house, but bring more for reapplications. You may also want to consider a lip balm with SPF for extra protection.
  • Sunglasses. While sunglasses are a great festival accessory, they are also important for protecting your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet rays.
  • Hat or scarf. Outside of just protecting your head from the sun, these items can also be used for cooling down by coating in water and tying around your neck.
  • Tissues or baby wipes. These are both essential festival survival items! They can be used for anything from cleaning up after a meal to wiping off festival dust.
  • Earplugs. Festival amplification systems can be louder than you may realize at first. Somewhere down the line, you will be glad you packed a pair of earplugs.
  • Ziplock bags. On the off-chance a spring shower comes along, a plastic bag will protect your phone, wallet and anything else you don't want to get wet. They can also double as handy to-go containers for your favorite festival foods!
  • Medication. You don’t want to bring your whole medicine cabinet, but at least make sure you have any prescription meds you may need as well as headache medication and something for upset stomach—just in case the festival food doesn’t agree with you!
  • Portable phone charger. No room in your bag? Take a tip from 1999 and designate a meet-up spot for the end of the day just in case your phone dies, gets lost or cell signals are overloaded.

If you have a little more space in your bag, consider adding some of these additional items:

  • Sanitary supplies. If you know you will need them (or think there’s even the slightest chance you will), pack sanitary supplies. And if you don’t need them, a girlfriend or fellow female festival goer might.
  • Healthy snacks. These are great if you’re trying to avoid temptation or are just overloaded on festival food and need some fruit, nuts or a protein bar to keep you full. Be sure your festival permits outside food. If not, pack a cooler of healthy post-fest snacks and beverages for the car for the ride home.
  • Band-Aids. Festivals are not the place to break in a new pair of shoes, but just in case a blister situation happens, be sure to have a few Band-Aids on hand. A friction stick can also do double duty for shoes that rub or chaffing concerns. Don’t let anything keep you from dancing your heart out
  • Scarf. A lightweight scarf, throw or sarong can be used as a place to sit or for extra sun coverage. Or, if the weather turns, you can use it to bundle up or dry off from a passing rain. An umbrella or parasol can also come in handy for protection from the elements (if permitted).

Always check ahead of time to see what is permitted at your festival of choice. Also, make sure you know where to find a medical tent or emergency personnel in case of anything from a headache to heatstroke.

Let the good times roll!

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