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The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

How to pack for a music festival

The Sahara tent was packed for the performance of Showtek, a brother DJ team of Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen, on the third and final day of the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., Sunday, April 20, 2014. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
The Sahara tent was packed for the performance of Showtek, a brother DJ team of Sjoerd and Wouter Janssen, on the third and final day of the second weekend of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, Calif., Sunday, April 20, 2014. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/MCT)

I’ll admit it: I had never camped out before I went to Bonnaroo. No matter how experienced you are with daytime music festivals, camping festivals are an entirely new challenge. Even still, eating, sleeping, sweating and surviving with your closest friends — and thousands of new ones — brings an entirely new sense of comraderie to the festival experience. Here’s what to bring to be prepared.

Camp gear and goods

Tents, sleeping bags and other gear can be expensive, but the Ray Meyer Fitness Center rents camping equipment for a minimal fee.

Most other equipment is essential — do not discount the value of duct tape — some, like camping stoves, chairs and entertainment, can be left behind if necessary. Do bring something to mark your campsite; while it might be easy to find during the daytime, the immense city of tents can be difficult to navigate in the wee hours.

festivalpackingFood

If you do plan on bringing a cooler and perishable food, buy a brick or two of dry ice to stack below your bags of ice. Wrap the dry ice in a light towel to keep it untouched and dry, and it will preserve your ice for days. Drain excess water, and be sure to regularly check the temperature of your coolers.

Freeze any raw meat before leaving, and individually wrap pieces liberally in plastic bags, to ensure fellow campers do not expose large packages to an inevitably dirty cooler. Prepack snack bags of fruits and vegetables, and secure messy or fragile foods — like eggs, dips and cheeses — in additional containers. Store open snacks before leaving the campsite and bring chip clips for snacks to avoid infestation.

Clothes

That expensive, fringed boho blouse won’t look so cute after you’re covered in dirt, hot and worn down by exhaustion. Instead, stick to shorts and tee shirts. To account for rain and mud, bring at least one pair of boots, one pair of close-toed shoes, extra socks and a poncho. Bathing suits are good for hot days, mock showers, rain or when you’ve given up on your looks. Bandanas and hats can secure hair, keep you cool and protect your face from the dust and dirt on windy days.

Hygiene

Some people can go four days without a shower. I am not one of those people. While most festivals provide bathing facilities for a fee, washing yourself by dumping water over your head and using shampoo can be just as good. Be mindful of water use, and give preference to those who only need drinking water.

Even if you prefer going mostly au natural, scrub off excess dirt with baby wipes, brush your teeth, freshen up with dry shampoo and apply deodorant. The portable toilets will run out of toilet paper, so keep a few rolls handy. Women: you will make friends by sharing your TP.

First Aid

Even if you plan on remaining safe and sober throughout a festival, odds are someone around you is not. And while drugs and alcohol contribute to festival injuries, these factors are not the only danger; there’s sun, heat, exhaustion and bumps and bruises to account for.

Bring aloe, lotion, painkiller and a basic first aid kid (or at least bandages) to account for minor issues. Keep an Ensure Plus or another supplement on hand for someone in need of more major nourishment, and utilize first aid. Most have privacy policies and will not incriminate anyone in danger after using substances.

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