The weather is warming up, you’re packing away those long sleeve shirts in favour of neon muscle tees, and all your top artists just announced their tour dates near you. Know what that means? Festival season is rapidly approaching, my friends. But before you get carried away daydreaming of indulgent watermelon slices and outrageous dance moves, don’t forget about those things that can completely make or break your entire experience: all the must-have festival gear.
From Instagram-worthy attire to your hydration necessities, the list of items you need to procure and pack for your car-camping, head-banging endeavours is long and mighty (unless, of course, you’re that guy who’s always borrowing everything… yeah, we see you).
Do yourself a favour and start making your shopping list now so you can stress less right before your favourite set. Here are the top things you’ll regret to forget.
- Sun Savers
Don’t be dumb. Whether you’re heading to Coachella in the spring or Digital Dreams in the summer, one thing’s for sure: the sun will be out and shining, guaranteed. If you’ve ever been sidelined while sitting in the shade, nursing your blistering sunburn, while all your friends make their way to the headlining DJ on the main stage, then you know how important this tip is. Sweat-resistant sunscreen, SPF lip balm, and wide-brimmed hats are absolutely non-negotiable… unless, of course, you’d rather wince in pain than get down to the bass drop.
Not to mention, unprotected sun exposure leads to premature aging—and we festival goers plan on being forever young, right? Your future smile lines are something you should own with pride, but unsightly sunspots will make you wish you were a bit smarter while having so much fun.
- Hydration Game Strong
Keeping with the theme of the hot sun and high temperatures, we can’t go without mentioning the critical importance of hydration during your festival outings… or, pretty much anytime you’re imbibed and dancing your sweet heart out. Don’t be a hero. You might think you’re okay, no perception of thirst whatsoever, and then suddenly—BAM, the dude with the dreadlocks behind you receives an unexpected trust fall after you pass out from dehydration.
The solution here is to pick up a groovy Vibedration backpack or some sort of water container that can stash all your essentials alongside your H20 supply. I mean, their company motto is “Life is a party, stay hydrated”, so you know you’re in good hands. Just don’t forget to force yourself to take sips periodically.
- Funky Fashion
You can choose to follow this advice or not. Hey, live your life okay? But if you want to be like 99% percent of the festival-going population, you should get in the spirit of the season with some fun and funky fashion pieces. If you think this is some agonizing process reserved for Urban Outfitter elitists, think again. Just pick up some cheap Hawaiian shirts and call it a day, or head to the thrift store and find the craziest thing $6 can buy. Contribute to the vibe and wear something that will brighten everyone’s day as you walk by… both literally and metaphorically. We promise you’re not as embarrassing as you feel. Look at the guy in the rainbow cat onesie to your right and remind yourself you’re doing just fine.
- Getting on the Grid
True, part of the excitement behind venturing off to your remote campsite and immersing yourself into the festival world for a few days is because you want to get off the grid. That being said, there will undoubtedly be times that you lose your friends in the crowd, get swept up and in the chaos, and have trouble finding your tribe. Can you solo mission the rest of your day? Probably. Will you want to? Probably not. Bring a portable battery charger that can supplement all your Snapchatting, and if you know chances for cellphone reception are slim, it’s probably smart to equip your group of go-to humans with a set of walkie-talkies in case you get separated.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned vet or embarking on your very first festival journey. All of us forget something that we didn’t know we’re missing, until the moment we desperately wish we had it. Check this list—and check it twice—and you’ll be set for success for all your shows this season.