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The Not-So-Obvious Festival Packing Guide

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Staying Clean & Staying Safe

There are definitely a few ways that you can easily over pack. However, there are some items that can be an absolute game changer half way through the weekend. Toiletries are certainly amongst the things it’s totally okay to over pack. Often times, your neighbors and even campmates may need a Tylenol or pair of tweezers and you’ll be there to save the day.

  • First aid kit – We HIGHLY suggest picking up a backpackers first aid kit. These usually come with the typical bandaids and ointments, but also include meds to help settle your stomach, cure a headache, or fight an insect bite.
  • Deodorant melts – Most festivals are in the prime of summer. Think about getting a gel deodorant for the weekend, they tend to do better in the heat.
  • Vitamins/Suppliments – Taking a multivitamin in the morning will help with the lack of sleep you’ll likely encounter and over dancing you’ll be doing. If you find it hard falling asleep at festivals, Melatonin is a good option to help settle you in and get you your rest.
  • Ear plugs – We suggest 2 types here. 1 pair for partying and cruising the festival grounds and the other for sleeping. Throwing in a pair of foam ear plugs at night will help kill some of the stage sound bleed or your rowdy neighbors.
  • Toilet Paper – Be prepared for the possibility a port-o-potty is out of toilet paper. If nature calls bring a roll with you just in case. For ease of packing, remove the cardboard roll to help make the roll more packable.
  • Condoms – This goes for guys and gals… better to be safe and prepared.
  • Test kit – While this doesn’t apply to everyone, we do understand there are those who enjoy taking substances at festivals. We HIGHLY recommend you purchase your own test kit for personal use. Never trust what someone is selling you, test for yourself before finding out the hard way. Some festivals provide on-site testing, but for the ones that don’t you should bring your own.

festival camping guide harm reduction

Cooking vs Food Vendors

Making sure you’re maintaining a good diet can be the difference of crashing out on day one, or powering through the whole weekend. Packing your food in is always a way to save some cash, but keep in mind you’ll have limited space in a cooler, and may not have access to more ice once you’ve arrived. Most festivals provide a great selection of food at reasonable prices and best of all… it’s a hot meal you didn’t have to cook. Finding a balance of when to cook at camp and when to eat out will help cut some unnecessary items you may otherwise feel the need to bring.

  • Plan your meals – Do a little research into backpacking meal guides. Most have an extensive list of healthy meals that require little to no cooking. Best of all, most meals won’t require anything to stay cold.
  • Canned foods – Perfect for a quick bite, can easily be warmed up on a single camping burner and doesn’t require refrigeration.
  • MREs – “Meal Ready to Eat” are simple, freeze-dried meals that only require some hot water. You can pick these up for under $10 a meal and make for easy cooking and cleaning.
  • Eat out for dinner – In most cases, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but at festivals, dinner is the real hero. Keep breakfast and lunch for the camp site with simple meals list instant oatmeal, granola bars, fruit or canned foods. Having a good dinner before a full night of dancing will make sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank.
  • Fruit stands – Most festivals happen outside major cities and often times you pass through a small town with a local farmers market. Pick up some freshly picked apples, oranges or other fruit. Stay away from bananas, however, as the tend to get crushed and make a mess.

festival camping guide food


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Avid adventure, and full time wild thing. Lover of all types of music but hold those that make me want to shake my rumpus close to my heart.

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!

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Important things happen in Pacific Northwest nightlife, and DMNW will send you alerts!