When I first started going to festivals, I would pack the essentials: the outfits, a change of socks, a tent if it was a camping festival, and maybe a couple of snacks if I was feeling extra prepared.
While there is nothing wrong with packing the essentials and simply living off the vibes, after a while I found there were a few items that really made the difference in my festival experience.
In truth, they didn’t just make a difference. They were essential if I wanted to have the best festival experience possible. Here are 5 non-negotiable items to bring to a festival.
1. Car Batteries
First things first, a car battery. Bringing a charged car battery completely changed the game for me during camping festivals. Attempting to charge cell phones off of multiple different portable chargers over the course of a weekend has proven to be frustrating and unreliable.
This year at Shambhala, my rave group brought three charged car batteries, an inverter, and a few extension chords; boycotting the portable chargers.
This set up charged all 10 of our phones (for 5 days), powered our large speakers, hair tools, and a number of other random items. Car batteries are maybe 100$ each, but are completely worth it to have the peace of mind, especially if you split the costs with the group.
2. Baby Powder
There is nothing worse than getting back to camp/the hotel from the first day of a festival with your thighs on fire. In day-to-day life, most of us aren’t in these (usually) hot conditions, walking around and dancing all day.
The friction between your legs can cause some serious irritation and can make for an uncomfortable festival experience. Applying baby powder or talc powder to the areas that get irritated can prevent chaffing as well as provide relief from irritation.
3. Snacks and Electrolytes
The running joke in the EDM community is ravers can survive off of one chicken finger over the course of a weekend and be fine. While this does happen, it is definitely not safe or recommended.
The average human body needs around 2000 calories in a day just to survive; this is not including the calories required to fuel yourself dancing around all day and night.
Obviously, I pack junky snacks to enjoy like chips and cookies, but I also try to bring healthy options that will fuel my body and make me feel energized all weekend.
Here are some snacks I recommend packing:
- Smoothies: Pre-made smoothies are my favourite way to get in nutrients when its too hot to eat. I tend to reach for these in the mornings when maybe I’m not too hungry but need the energy to start my day.
- Fruit: Fruit is a healthy, cool, snack to munch on that will help regulate blood sugar levels. This can help with energy crashes throughout the day.
- Trail mix: Nuts and seeds have fats that release their energy slowly, providing fuel all throughout the festival.
- Tuna: Having tuna either by itself or on a sandwich/wrap is an excellent source of protein. The best part about tuna is it is preserved in a can, meaning it will last even if cooler ice is melting.
- Veggies and Hummus: Lastly, having veggies and hummus is a great way to get fiber and protein in, while being a yummy snack.
In addition to bringing healthier snacks, it’s important to stock up on electrolytes. Dehydration is so common at festivals, even if you’re drinking lots of water.
To replenish your body, and hydrate fully, bring items like coconut water and sports drinks. The electrolytes in these drinks will help balance your body’s pH levels, move nutrients into cells and remove waste from cells.
4. Massage Gun
This item is a bit random but has completely changed my festival experience. We all know the feeling of getting back to camp/the hotel at the end of the day and everything hurts. Your feet hurt, neck hurts, back hurts, etc.
I decided to bring my massage gun with me this year to EDCLV and will never go back. After using the tool on my feet and back I was able to go to sleep without the aches and pains that tend to last for the entire festival.
Recognizing that not everyone has a massage gun handy, there are affordable options available online. There are also a variety of foam rollers and tensor balls that will also provide relief.
If you can not bring a massage tool, learning techniques off of the internet on how to properly stretch and massage yourself would be a game changer. Taking these steps to care for your body will release some of the stress that it endures over the weekend, I’m sure you’ll thank yourself later!
5. Eye Mask and Earplugs
I am sort of cheating with a two-in-one item, but they go hand in hand. Whether you’re camping or in a hotel, bringing an eye mask and a pair of earplugs is vital when considering the quality of your sleep.
Festival attendees are already likely to be lacking quality sleep throughout the weekend with the late nights and early risings to get the next day started. This isn’t taking into consideration the interruptions that are bound to happen in these experiences.
Whether it’s the sunlight streaming through your tent, a friend that can’t stop the party, or just the hustle and bustle around you, your sleep probably isn’t other people’s priority.
Having a comfortable eye mask that blocks out the light, and a solid pair of earplugs will give you a better chance of getting more solid sleep.