As we enter June, we are also getting into the heart of music festival season. If you won’t be attending a music festival at all this summer, you’re missing out on something pretty amazing, just saying. If you will be sacrificing 3+ days of indoor plumbing and AC to experience a weekend of music and mischief, you are probably camping. I am not a camper, but I’ve grown to love pitching a tent in the middle of some field for a weekend and blending in amongst the hippies and hipsters. I’ve camped at two festivals, and am about to do my third, so I’d say I’m an expert. Can’t help you out with music recommendations, but I can suggest a few items that you should probably shove into your trunk to make your festival experience a wee bit more enjoyable. And if you’re one of those people that can actually afford “glamping,” get out (just kidding, can I come with you?!)
1. TOILET PAPER!
And/or baby wipes. Think about this for a hot second. A couple hundred porta-potties, a few thousand hot, sweaty and drunk human beings. It’s only a matter of time before those plastic restrooms are running on empty, in terms of the TP, they are guaranteed to be quite full otherwise. Anyway, you’re gonna want to have a few rolls with you just in case. When you are lined up to empty the tank in the morning, you will thank me when you don’t have to use the last questionable piece on the only roll you can find in your little hot box of doom. Baby wipes are a good call as well, they can help you out in the John, as well as double as a shower in a plastic pouch.
2. Something that can function as a shower
Speaking of showers, take one long enough to last you a few days before you head out to your festival of choice. Sure, most festivals give you the option to shower on the campgrounds, but paying $8 to take a shower in the back of a weird truck, only to walk back to the campsite in the heat on a dusty road immediately after never really appealed to me. You can really rough it and just give yourself a few baby wipe rub downs everyday, or you can bring a bunch of gallon jugs of water and some shampoo and really make a go of it. I think this year I’ll be bringing one of those giant water jugs with the little spigot on the front- pop that on the roof of the car and you have an instant shower. Please don’t forget deodorant.
3. Tent Accessories (Tarps on tarps on tarps)
Technically, all you really need to shelter yourself is a tent, however, it is nice to have some extra layers of protection. Tarps are not all that expensive, and they will easily put an extra layer between you and the dirt. It might rain, and you don’t want to take any risks and end up having your tent flooded in the middle of the night. Tarps can also add an extra layer of protection on top of your tent. Even better, if you have one of those canopy things people use as vender tents and such, or know someone who has one, those things are like gold. They will protect you from rain, from sun, and from having a lame camp site. The people that have canopies are cool. Also in this category- chairs.
4. The biggest water carrying vessel you can get your hands on
Biggest may have been an exaggeration, there is probably a limit on these things. If you can score one of those Camelbak water storage backpack things, you should. Reusable water bottles do just fine, but the backpacks hold more water, and you don’t have to actually hold anything in your hands. Holding on to a water bottle can get annoying, and odds are you will probably drop it. You can also use said Camelbak to hold everything else you’ll need for the day, and traveling light is key. The water storage compartment in those things can also hold things other than water. Like cans. About 3 cans. You aren’t supposed to bring in outside beverages, but hey, 3 hidden cans. Did I say that? Follow the rules… 😉
5. A spare set of car keys
Give it to the most responsible member of your group, or stash it somewhere good. That isn’t in the car. Just in case.
P.S. I also recommend NOT bringing one of those teeny camp stoves, not because it wouldn’t be awesome to cook up some hot dawgs at night, but because meat needs to be kept cold. And that requires ice. Which is heavy, and usually dispensed far from the tents. You don’t want that obligation, PBJ all day.
image via thinkstock