In this ULTIMATE Camping Festival Packing List Essentials, we will tell you everything you need to add to your checklist, from the ultimate camping festival necessities and essentials to clothes that you should consider packing.
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This camping festival packing list works whatever festival with camping you go to from Bonnaroo, Coachella and Firefly in the US to Glastonbury and Isle of Wight Festival in the UK. But if you want to have something more specific that is very tailored to the weather and individual festival aesthetic check out the below posts:
- Coachella Camping Packing List
- Bonnaroo Packing List
- Firefly Festival Packing List
- Glastonbury Packing List
- Isle of Wight Festival Packing List
Festival Camping Packing Tips
Before we go into what we think should be your festival camping essentials, we thought it would be worth talking about what to consider when packing so you can tailor our essentials for your actual festival.
The first thing to consider is:
Weather will be your biggest influencing factor in terms of what you need to pack.
If you are going to Coachella for instance it is really important that you pack for extremely hot desert weather. Whereas if you are going to a UK festival there is always chance of rain so you will want to be sure that you pack enough water proof wear to last for the entire trip.
Know your Pitch Size
Depending on what festival you are camping at will depend on what the pitch size is for your tent and camp site. For instance, pitch sizes at Coachella are
- Pitch sites are 30’x10 for car campers and
- 15’x10′ for those camping without a car.
Be sure you know what space you have to ensure your tent and other accessories are able to fit into the allocated space.
When looking at what to wear to a music festival it will off course depend on the weather but will also depend on the vibe of the festival.
Some festivals will have more of an aesthetic and fashion forward outlook than others. If this is the festival you are attending you will want to pay a bit more attention to what you pack.
For more travel essentials for women check out this post.
Festival Camping Packing List Essentials
Documents i.e. Festival Tickets / Wristbands
Firstly the most important thing to have with you for any festival is your documents, tickets or wristbands along with any other documents that you need to gain admittance.
Obviously music festivals go on late into the evening and are often in more remote places that isn’t necessarily well lit.
Therefore we recommend always having a headlamp with you.
- Dome tent with a sturdy frame that withstands 35+ mph winds
- Easy setup in only 10 minutes. Good for backpacking
- Weathertec system with patented welded floors and inverted seams to keep you dry
- Large windows and a ground vent for superior ventilation
- Measures 7 x 5 feet with 4-foot center height
This may sounds obvious but if you are camping at a music festival but then you are going to need a tent.
I would recommend getting a pop up pop down tent as there is nothing worse than struggling to put up a tent. If you don’t have a pop up tent we recommend practising several times at home putting the tent up and down as it will save you a lot of stress when on site.
As obvious as it is to say bring a tent to a festival, it is probably just as obvious to bring a sleeping bag. However depending on the location your festival is depends on what sort of weight sleeping bag you need.
For me when camping I am always concerned about security. For this reason I always advise packing a tent lock to add an extra layer of protection for when you are away from your tent.
Inflatable Mattress / Sleeping Pad
I personally HATE sleeping on the floor so in my opinion this is absolutely a festival camping essential.
The truth is that while a sleeping pad or inflatable mattresses will improve your sleeping experience there is one other thing that is going to be a big help and that is ear plugs!
Campsites at festivals are very noisy places so ear plugs with you to drown out some of that noise.
And if you are wanting to sleep in you might want to add an eye mask to your list.
Camping Chairs or Inflatable Couch
For me it is always important to have somewhere comfy to sit down. You could consider something like a simple camping chair but for additional comfort an inflatable couch might be a useful addition.
I know if might sound strange to say that fairy lights are my camping essential but here me out. It can be really hard to spot your pitch in a sea of camp sites. One way to make yours stand out is to use string fairy lights on your site.
The best type of lights for this purpose in our opinion are string and battery operated lights.
The one thing you will notice at whatever music festival you are at is that you use your phone ALOT! To contact friends, to take photos and videos, and to use your torch to name a few.
Therefore you are going to need to have a phone charger with you.
And you might go through several so we recommending having a couple of battery packs with you
Festivals are great but are expensive places especially if you plan to eat all your meals at food trucks. We therefore recommend trying to cook at least a few of your meals yourself at your campsite.
If you plan to cook rather than just eating things that are cold and that don’t require cooking you will need to have a camping stove and fuel with you. Alternatively you could consider BBqs depending on how frequently you camp.
Food safety is really important wherever your music festival. One way to ensure your food doesn’t go off is to have a cooler with you with plenty of ice.
You will use a lot of ice storing your food and drink in the cooler. Bring some with you.
We also recommend freezing bottles of water before you travel. This will therefore double up for keeping food and drink cool but will give you a nice cold beverage when it has melted.
Reuseable Water Bottle
These days you will usually find water refill stations around a festival ground. To be able to use these and be environmentally friendly bring a reusable water bottle with you.
Food and Drink
Depending on the festival will depend on what exactly you can bring with you in terms of food and alcohol but usually you can expect not to be allowed to have glass with you.
I recommend bringing things that aren’t perishable and have adequate ice and coolers with you.
Check your festivals guidelines to ensure that you comply with the rules before you pack.
As well as food for cooking meals we also recommend taking plenty of snacks that you can grab on the go.
I can not get my day started without my cup of Joe. If you want to have a morning coffee either bring some cold brew with you or canned coffee or have some camping coffee with you.
Cutlery (non plastic) and Plates
You will also need to have cutlery with you if you are planning on cooking at the festival. although disposable plastic cutlery is convenient it is really bad for the environment.
Therefore we recommend packing some environmentally friendly reusable cutlery and plates with you.
A hydration backpack can be a useful addition to stay hydrated in the desert. A backpack with water storage is great for this.
Another must for storage is a fanny pack. Now I am not usually a fanny pack person. However at a festival it can be useful to have your hands free but you will need to carry tickets, wristbands phones etc and don’t want to worry about thefts.
Therefore a fanny pack can be the perfect solution.
If your campsite has showers, you will need to bring your own towel with you to use.
Top Tip: we advice getting up early to get a shower to avoid the inevitable long lines later in the day.
And while I recommend showering every day at the festival, I also recommend protecting your feet in these shared communal spaces. A pair of shower shoes are definitely a hygienic addition to your packing list for Coachella.
If you plan to use the showers be sure to have some travel size toiletries with you.
These can be useful for wiping down surfaces, sticky hands or just for cleaning yourself up.
If for some reason you can’t wash your hair in the shower, you might want to consider having some dry shampoo with you instead to help freshen up your hair.
Although the bathrooms should have toilet paper you can’t guarantee that there will be toilet paper left when you go to the portal. Be sure to bring some with you.
Campgrounds aren’t the most hygienic place so be sure yo have plenty of hand sanitzer with you.
Sun Screen is important no matter where you are camping but is even more important if you are camping in the desert.
No one wants to get burnt at a music festival but aloe vera will help you if you do gave this misfortune.
Travel First Aid Kit
A travel first aid kit is worth adding to your packing list wherever you are going.
Optional Things to Have on your festival packing list
Battery Operated Fan and Handheld Fans
If you are going t a festival where you are expecting hot weather be sure to have a battery operated fan for in your tent as well as a hand held fan.
E-Z Up Canopy
If you have a room on your pitch and you are expecting hot weather you may want to add an easy up canopy to your list.
Campsites very rarely have shade so if you are expecting hot weather a canopy (and potentially an extra blanket and tarp to hang around it) is the best option for adding shade to your pitch.
As I said above, it is amazing how hot your tent will get in the desert. One of the reasons for this is because there is literally no shade in the desert and Coachella camping grounds. One way to add shades to your pitch is using a canopy.
As with tents, we recommend a canopy that is easy to pop up and down (But practice before you head to the festival).
If you have room in your pitch and are preparing food or even if you are planning to play some table top games you will want a trellis table with you.
If you want to wear make up at your festival be sure to bring your make up bag with.
Make Up Remover Wipes
If you wear make up, bring make up remover wipes with you.
Hair Glitter and Face Glitter, neon sticks
You are at a Festival after all so why not add some face and hair glitter or neon make up to your packing list.
All campgrounds will have people playing music so you will want an option to play your own music rather than having to listen to other people’s.
WE love camping games. Be sure to pack some with you.
Some of our favourites include cards against humanity but a simple football or cards can be a fun addition to your festival camping packing list.
What else would you add to your festival camping packing list essentials or nice to haves? We would love to know what you would add below in the comments.