What to Pack: Music Festivals (When You’ll Be Camping)


Next week I’ll be travelling to Wayhome, Ontario’s newest large-scale music festival! It’s actually sort of hard to consider it travel per say, as it’s located in Oro-Medonte which is only an hour and a half drive from Toronto, but I like to think of it as a fun weekend getaway. With all of my friends. Plus some cool music. And some real boozy camping.

This is my list of must-haves for camping at music festivals. A few things might sound pretty obvious, but sometimes we all need a little reminder.

I think one of the most important things people forget to do before they head to a music festival (especially one where they’ll be camping) is to make sure they have everything they need for a successful weekend. For example, the first festival I went to was Bonnaroo in Tennessee with some friends. It didn’t occur to us that we should maybe bring a canopy tent to sit under during the scorchingly sunny afternoons and we all burnt to a nice shade of lobster. Won’t be making that mistake again.

Here is my list of things you should forget when packing:

1. A tent and sleeping bag for sleeping in, but more importantly, a canopy tent for sitting under.

gazebo tentYou will be as happy as this family with a canopy

The canopy tent is an absolute necessity. Chances are, you’re going to be spending quite a bit of time drinking, eating, and hanging out at your campsite. If it’s super sunny and hot, the canopy saves you from getting sunstroke. If it’s really rainy and windy, the canopy keeps you, your chairs, and your food from getting wet. If you decide to pick one up right before the festival, make sure you test it out first! The last thing you want is to try and put it together for the first time after you’re a couple drinks in.

2. Sunscreen!!!

Even if it’s a little overcast, you can still burn. And if it’s sunny out and you’re as pale as I am and forgot to put on sunscreen, you’ll definitely burn. Make it easy for yourself and get some spray sunscreen, it’s faster to apply. Bonus points for a waterproof formula because you’ll probably be getting real sweaty.

3. A headlamp


An essential item if you tend to get lost in the dark

When it’s 3am and you wake up in your tent and have to pee and so you go out into the pitch darkness surrounded by thousands of other tents that look the exact same as yours and you have to mission real far to the bathroom? You’re going to be real happy you remembered to bring a headlamp to find your way there and back.

4. Toilet paper

When you’re grabbing your headlamp for your middle of the night trip to the bathroom, don’t forget to take some toilet paper! The last thing you want is to arrive at a gross outhouse and find zero TP left.

5. Water

At this point in your life you should know how important it is to stay hydrated. Unfortunately beer does not keep you hydrated, so make sure you always have a bottle with you that you can fill up at a pumping station.

6. Food and booze (and ice!)

Wayhome is actually going to have a bunch of awesome food options this year, but it’s definitely more economical to bring your own (the same goes with alcohol!). Bringing a BBQ and doing big tailgate-style meals is absolutely an option, but if you’re lazy like me and don’t actually want to cook anything, make sure you bring a bunch of fruit, granola, beef jerky, and chips (that’s almost the whole food pyramid!). I also like to overestimate on the booze because running out would be terrible and you can always bring the excess home (or share it).

7. Festival appropriate clothing and accessories

lindsaylohanLook, I’m not here to judge, but Lindsay Lohan may want to rethink her festival outfit.

I know music festivals are the perfect place to wear your most insane outfits. I get that. But it’s probably not a good time to bust out your 4 inch heels. In fact I would suggest only wearing shoes you don’t mind getting absolutely caked in mud that you can comfortably walk and dance in. Realistically everything is going to get covered in mud and dirt, so all white outfits are inadvisable. And a hat, unlike a flower wreath, will likely do a bit better at protecting your face from the sun. Other items you might want to bring: a rain jacket (no one likes getting rained on and being soaked for the rest of the day), a fanny pack (you don’t have to worry about theft or losing your purse because your belongings are literally strapped to your body), and enough clean socks and underwear.

8. A phone charger

Even though I’d like to think I could go the whole weekend just living in the moment and not being plugged in for a change, a phone charger is probably a good idea if you’re going to be taking photos, calling and texting your friends to meet up, or seeing which festival babes are on tinder. Just plug it into your car (or better yet, get one of those solar ones) and you’re good to go.

This is really only a start, but if you remember to pack anything into your car, make sure it’s these eight items!



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