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Packing for a Festival

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