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Packing List for a Festival

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

Summer 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 a summer festival, 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, that serves multiple functions and 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. Mind venue rules. Some are okay with propane stoves but 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 to be 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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Bravo Six

Adrian Feliciano is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, holds a B.A. in English, is a US Army veteran, and is Boston's most imperfect photographer. He makes a damned good Filipino adobo, too.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. My Packing List Add-Ons Include:

    TarpS to place under your tent!! ( Ground is Wet!)
    Rain Fly to Keep Your Tent (More) Dry

    Closed Footwear: Hiking Boots, Tennis Shoes, Rubber Rain Boots, Duck Shoes

    Be prepared for paths that have numerous Exposed Roots, and may be slippery & muddy!!
    Watch Your Step! Really Keep a Close Eye on The Path!!

    Umbrellas for the Rain

    It will be chilly, bring long-legged shirts, sweaters, sweatshirts, and waterproof jacket for Thurs, Fri, Sat.

    Amenities:. Cooler, with ice packs, Folding, collapsible table, Folding Chairs, Pop-Up Canopy (10×10) is Great!! Hammock,

    Manual Pump for blowing up Air Mattresses. EXTRA BATTERIES

    Bed Pillows, Sleeping Bag, ++Extra Sleeping Bag to put on top of your sleeping bag, for
    sufficient warmth, in Cool, Rainy, Breezy Conditions!!
    Small light/lantern for use at night, Inside Your Tent!!
    Toilet Paper for those middle of the night need to GO, when You don’t want to walk too far.

    Picnic Basket/Backpack — to carry with you, and use at camp site — plastic dishes & cups, cloth napkins, silverware, tablecloth??

    Ground Cloth to SIT On during Concepts.
    Mine is Waterproof on one side, and flannel on the other.

    Beach Chairs to sit on, during festivities.
    Put Your NAME on Masking Tape, and place on front of back rest, and back side too,. to Keep Track of Them.

    Your Own Coffee Cup And/Or Water Bottle, to ReUse, and have with You.

    Hats for Sun Coverage, and to help keep you dry when it rains!!

    Beach Towel — there is a LAKE!!
    Matt to sit or lie on, on the sandy beach.

    Poison Ivy Soap to Remove the Plant’s Oils from Your Skin.
    Anti-Itch lotion, to put on skin should you get a rash.
    (I prefer First Aid Spray, that is a little numbing).

    Insect Repellent, and the First Aid Spray I Mentioned Above.

    Pocket Package of Kleenex, also good if TP in bathrooms runs out.

    Bath Towels & Personal Care Items.
    Note:. The Bath House IS UNISEX!!
    Be Prepared to Be Publicly Nude.

    A hand mirror to comb hair, or put on make-up. Also handy When You Do a Tick Check Everyday!!
    Tweezers to Remove Ticks!!

    KEEP a Copy of the MAP in your pocket or bag!!

    Make an Identification Card for Your Children Ahead of Time, ( At Home) that they can wear around their neck!!

    Advise Medical Staff When You Arrive of Any Medical Issues They Ought to Know About in Advance of Occurrences!!
    Seizures, Major Illnesses or Allergies, Medical Conditions, Children with Special Needs…

    Much of the Food is Vegetarian.
    You might bring other proteinaceous foods, if that is your preference.

    MORE MONEY than you think you will Need!!
    Buying Meals Really Adds Up!!
    Buying great items from the Many Vendors!!
    Paying for Special Healing Services, Available.

    It is VERY DARK at NIGHT!!
    NO Street Or Pathway Lighting.
    BUY a HEADLAMP and KEEP IT WITH YOU,
    So You Don’t have to Go Back & Get It!!

    Sunscreen for the Sunny Days. You will be Outside More than Usual, on an Open Field with little Shelter from the Sun!!

    Have A Great Time!!

    CHARGE YOUR PHONE BEFORE YOU ARRIVE!!

    1. Excellent suggestions Barbara, thank you!

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