Festival Camping Checklist

Music festivals are an incredibly fun experience, especially when you spend a given festival camping. Whether you plan to attend Coachella, Burning Man, or another festival entirely, you’re sure to have a blast.  

That said, there are definitely things you should know before heading to a music festival. Additionally, there are many things you’ll want to pack that a festival newbie may not ever think of.

For this reason, we have put together a list of the things you absolutely must know and the items you absolutely must take when attending a music festival. After reading this article, you will be much better prepared to tackle your first festival and have an amazing time doing it.

What Do You Need when Camping at a Festival?

First let’s discuss what to bring to a music festival. There are a few things that are super important and should be at the top of your packing list. A place to sleep, for instance, is something you’ll want to consider before ever booking your campsite.

Many festival-goers choose to camp in a tent. That said, if the festival in question allows it, we highly recommend taking an RV. Even if RVs aren’t allowed, you will be able to take a van in many cases.

RVs and campervans provide better shade, protection from the dust that so often fills the air at these events, and in some cases, even limited access to running water and electricity. For this reason, many of the best festival camping setups begin with an RV or van.

Don’t own an RV? You can always rent one. Try one of the rental searches below (or if none of these apply, type in one of your own):

Besides some sort of shelter, other super important items to add to your camping festival checklist include lots of water, plenty of nutritious snacks and meals, and protection from the sun, which is often exceedingly bright during music festivals.

How Do You Survive a Camping Festival?

If you’re a first-time festival attendee, you may be feeling a bit nervous about how you’ll get through it all. After all, music festivals are quite a lot to take in, and they do require a certain amount of stamina.

Our top tips are as follows:

  • Ask for help. For the most part, festival goers are incredibly kind and helpful. They will almost always be willing to help you set up camp, figure out where you’re going, or help with whatever else you may need.
  • Stay hydrated. It can be tempting to skip the water and fill your days with beer and fun. However, because these festivals tend to be in warm climates, and because you’ll be pushing your body to keep going through the entire event, failing to stay hydrated could mean spending your trip in the hospital rather than hearing some awesome music.
  • Protect yourself. As mentioned above, the weather at these events is almost always hot and sunny. Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by wearing sunscreen and a hat. Going through the festival with a sunburn is not fun at all, so don’t forget this!
  • Pack well. Be sure to carefully follow the festival packing list below. Take all of the music festival essentials mentioned along with you, so you are prepared for any situation that may arise.

The Do’s and Dont’s of Camping Music Festivals

Surviving the festival is one thing, but you want to make sure you have a great time while doing it. Therefore, we’ve compiled a handy festival camping checklist of dos and don’ts. By keeping these things in mind throughout the event, you’re sure to have an amazing time and go home exhausted, but happy.

Do: Make friends

Making friends will ensure you have a helping hand when you need it. It will also improve the overall experience, making the event a more fun and social one.

Don’t: Get too comfortable

Making friends is great, but you don’t want to go home with regrets. It’s easy to overstep boundaries, especially when you’ve been drinking, so be sure to think before you act.

Do: Bring food

You will need to eat during the event after all, and getting in and out of the festival may be next to impossible.

Don’t: Pick out complicated meals

You’re going to be pretty tired during the event. Additionally, you probably aren’t going to have tons of extra time on your hands. Because of this, packing super simple meals is the way to go.

Do: Show your style

People like to accessorize and strut their stuff during festivals. Join in the fun!

Don’t: Sacrifice comfort

You will want to look good, of course, but make sure you’re comfortable as well. Clothing that can breathe is best, and comfortable shoes are a must.

Do: Take advantage of daytime events

Most festivals will offer events such as art classes, yoga sessions, and more during the day. Be sure to participate in some of these!

Don’t: Wear yourself out

That said, you won’t want to wear yourself out at these daytime events. Make sure you have the energy for the music performances as well.

Do: Clean up after yourself

Pick up all of your trash and make sure bottles and cans make it into the recycle bin. Clean up the area around your site as well.

Don’t: Trash the place

Not only is leaving your trash laying around bad for the environment, it also makes it hard on the event staff.

Do: Pack well

Make sure to pack anything and everything you might need. You probably won’t want to leave once things get started.

Don’t: Bring in prohibited items

Some items are prohibited at certain music festivals. Glass bottles are a good example of items that usually are not allowed. Find the list of prohibited items and make sure you aren’t bringing any banned items in.

Packing Essentials

Looking for a detailed list of exactly what you should pack in your RV in order to ensure your trip to a music festival is as awesome as it can be? The music festival checklist below is for you.

This festival camping checklist includes every single one of the festival camping essentials we could think of. Pack them all and you’re sure to be well prepared!

RV

  • Fully charged battery
  • Generator and fuel
  • Jack pads
  • Jack tool
  • Level
  • Full freshwater tank
  • Sewer hose
  • Tank chemicals

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bags or extra blankets
  • Pillows
  • Sheets

Clothing

  • Shorts
  • Pants
  • Tanks and tees
  • Hoodie or light jacket
  • Dresses or skirts
  • Hats or caps
  • Bandanas and scarves
  • Raincoat or poncho
  • Rain boots
  • Undergarments
  • Sunglasses
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfortable shoes (bring an extra pair)
  • Socks
  • Accessories, face paint, etc
  • Small bag

Living

  • Pop-up tent
  • Tarps (to hang for shade)
  • Folding table(s)
  • Tablecloths
  • Chairs
  • Outdoor rug
  • Flashlights, string lights, and lanterns
  • Zip ties
  • Scissors
  • Cell phone case
  • Portable phone charger
  • Phone charging cable
  • Umbrella
  • Bungee cords
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Cleaning spray
  • Paper towels
  • Sponge
  • Trash bags
  • Gallon plastic bags
  • Laundry bag
  • Broom

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen
  • Dry shampoo
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Towels
  • Flip-flops
  • Wet wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper
  • Medications
  • First-aid kit
  • Hairbrush
  • Chapstick
  • Hair ties

Food and Drink

  • Cups
  • Water bottle
  • Jugs of drinking water
  • Cooler(s)
  • Ice
  • Skillet
  • Saucepan
  • Potholders
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoon
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Anything you want to eat or drink

Recreation

  • Frisbee
  • Football
  • Hammock
  • Lawn games
  • Ping-pong balls for beer games
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Inflatable floaty

Keep in mind, this festival camping checklist assumes you’ll be in an RV. If you’ll be in a tent or a van with fewer amenities, make sure to add items such as an air mattress, a solar shower, and a propane stove to your festival list.

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