Must Haves for Festival Season
You could say I have a reputation among my friends as being exceptionally well-prepared, no matter my state of sobriety. This has resulted in nicknames like “festival goddess,” “the candy fairy,” and “the most prepared woman on earth.” What I carry varies completely on whether it’s a simple night out at a club or a camping festival - but it’s true, I probably take a doomsday-prepper style approach to any of the options. Maybe you brought your wallet, your phone, and your Camelbak - but there's a few other things that can ensure the best possible experience. As festival season approaches, I thought I’d share with you a few things I recommend (each item is linked to Amazon as well). As always, you should check the rules of any given festival or club to ensure you can bring inside any of the items listed here.
1. Ear Plugs
The reason we’re all here is for the music. The last thing you want is to damage your hearing permanently, so they’re a must. There’s tons of custom options out there (like these from H.E.A.R. or ACS Customs.) But if you’re not willing to quite make the plunge into custom models, I’ve been pleased with Downbeats brand ones (they even come with a convenient keyring case!).
I love bringing a little more than I will personally need of some of these items, I’ve either made new friends in a snap or saved the day for the friends I already have. They’re cheap enough you won’t mind giving them away to help someone out. Emergen-C is a great choice to replenish vitamins and minerals that are depleted over the course of a day at a fest (and additionally, are particularly valuable if you’re consuming substances that are especially draining). Check out www.dancesafe.org for more information on this.
One of my best tips for a better festival experience is having ginger candy on hand. It’s a near instantaneous and foolproof cure for nausea and indigestion. Festivals rarely allow for healthy and non-gut-busting meals, let alone the typical issue of hangovers and the consumption of more illicit items. Peppermint oil on pulse points also works great for this, but it’s more difficult to bring into a venue.
Amazon and Daiso are a great resource for inexpensive and compact folding fans that can really assist in cooling you and your friends down when you need it most. I usually buy several so I have extras if one breaks and to give to friends. A mini deodorant can help you stay fresh over a day of dancing and sweat.
I am avowedly terrible at staying hydrated (admittedly I rarely experience any negative effects). Adding a squirt or two of these super convenient flavorings is a great way to encourage myself to drink more water, replenish some lost vitamins, and even get a bit of a boost from caffeine without adding a bunch of sugar. Mio makes a variety of flavors, some with caffeine, some without for whatever your preferences are.
Need I say more? Just do it and thank me later.
Whether it’s to remain in contact with your friends, ensure you don’t miss something on the lineup, or snap a few photos (but please, no flash!), it’s easy to drain your battery down to zero early on in the day. I recommend a mini cord for your phone model of choice to save space.
These things, essentially for travelers to avoid pickpocketing and passport theft, are essentially wallets on lanyards. It can be so easy to lose your most important items (ID, phone, cash, credit cards, insurance cards etc) in the fun and confusion of a festival (never mind the inebriation). Additionally, targeted thefts are not uncommon either. This can be a great solution in keeping your valuables low profile and easily accessible to yourself but difficult for thieves.
There’s nothing like being on your feet for 8-12 hours a day to really feel broken. Gel insoles not only are a total blessing for your feet but also your lower back. Even the best fitting and most comfortable shoes can cause blisters with enough hours of dancing, and this is where moleskin and BandAids truly come in clutch.
A small pack of facial wipes is a great choice to cool off, prevent breakouts, and fix makeup if you’re wearing any in a pinch. Hangovers and many hours of dancing can cause anyone aches and pains, and a small sealed pack of Advil can save the day (I recommend a sealed bottle or concealing it carefully to avoid confiscation).
While this isn't meant to be a completely comprehensive guide to everything you should bring to a festival, it covers a few pro tips that will make a great experience even greater. Feel free to sound off in our comments section below if you have other suggested items!