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Packing for a Festival

Packing for a Festival
Nightshade packed for Fractalfest, an annual summer festival hosted by Fractaltribe.

Festival Packing List

(Your mileage may vary)

Summer festival season is upon us. I thought it would be helpful to make a general list of things to bring to Fractalfest, or any other appropriate event. Mind you, certain things are very specific to me, but hopefully this festival packing list be considered a starting point for others, and may vary from festival to festival.

  1. Some Form of Shelter – For me, it’s Nightshade, my class B RV, who serves multiple functions that can change day to day. For others, it’s a tent, or an improvised set up in their vehicles.

  2. Clothing – Weather conditions can change suddenly. Warm weather clothing as well as cool weather clothing are crucial. Extra socks and undies (if that is what you wear). Festie-grime IS a stereotype for a reason. Comfortable shoes. Towels. Panchoes, or some form of wet-weather gear.

  3. Food and Water – This goes without saying. I have seen some amazing set ups with complete kitchens, and enjoyed some darned good meals prepared by friends. I like to bring MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) that I pick up from a local military surplus store to go with whatever else I bring.

  4. Coffee or tea. French press, or cold-brew, as needed. Instant, if nothing else.

  5. Propane stove / fuel – Nightshade has her own small galley, others bring some form of propane camp stoves. No charcoal grills or open fires are allowed.

  6. Utensils – Knife, Fork, Spoon, Spork, Chopsticks. Whatever. (I travel with all of them)

  7. Soap of some kind – Should be biodegradable and multi purpose. Good for sponge baths, clean up of food, clothing, or shampoo. Camp soap, Dr. Bronner’s, etc.

  8. Toothbrush and toothpaste – Can you imagine three or four days of festival grime on your teeth?..

  9. Menstruation related products – Yes, I am a cis het male. Yes, I will go to a festival with tampons, pads, baby-wipes, moist towelettes, etc. Someone may need them. Also, if you wear them, period panties can be life changing.

  10. Bug repellant – Expect mosquitoes and ticks are horrible every year.

  11. Flashlight(s), headlamps, LED lanterns, Chem-Lights/Glow Sticks.

  12. Trash bags – Leave No Trace. If it came with you, it leaves with you. If it did not come from the land, it does not remain on the land.

  13. Phone/Walkie Talkie – If you’re with a group, it’s good to remain in contact with the group

  14. Chargers and batteries for all your electronics – Cigarette Lighter Inverters are a wonderful thing!

  15. Venue Map – Besides knowing where to camp, park, art galleries, unique festival features and the stages are it’s crucial to know where medical services, porta-potties, security desk, and water stations are.

  16. Performer Time Slots – Who is playing or performing, where, and when.

  17. First Aid Kit, Benadryl / epipen / medical ID tags / In Case of Emergency (ICE) Contact List, condoms – You never know.

This is not a list that is fixed, and set in stone and should be considered a starting point. What is appropriate for me can be very different for someone else. 

What Would you Pack in your festival Packing List?


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