With South Africa’s oldest music festival Splashy Fen just around the corner, we thought we would give you a heads up on some of the tips and tricks you need to know ahead of your adventure.You’re going to have to brave hours on your feet (either standing still or jumping around like the floor is lava), the endless sea of crowds, the potentially damp, marsh type ground you’ll be wading through to get from one act to the next. Here’s our guide to help you figure out how to pack for your next music festival:
1. Choose Suitable Bags
Before heading out to your chosen music festival, pack accordingly. Keep your destination in mind when choosing travel bags, and remember that you aren’t headed to a five-star hotel. That means no bellhop to carry your tote, no turndown VIP service, and no safe to store your valuables. Plus, you won’t want to lug large, heavy suitcases with wheels around dirt-laden camping grounds.
So pack your clothes and larger items in a daypack and keep smaller items like keys and sunglasses in a Wristlet or Sac and Cubes are a great thing to pack, too! They make smaller items easier to find and keep everything nice and compact in your festival day bag.
2. Prepare to Stand
Long lines and hours spent on your feet are the norm, so be prepared to stand. This means comfortable shoes are essential. When you go to kick them off, throw them in a shoe sac inside your bag whenever you’re not wearing them. That way you don’t get the rest of your belongings dirty, but can let your feet breath and stretch out those toes!
3. Pack Cleansing Wipes
With public restrooms being your only option for showering and going to the bathroom—and hundreds of others sharing them—cleansing wipes are a must. Not only will they help you wipe down and wash up in a pinch, but they can also double as an easy way to wipe off used utensils and even shoes.
For those few times when you’re desperate enough to brave the long line for showers, don’t forget to bring your toiletries with you. Pack your items in a water-repellant hanging toiletry kit like the Uplite Toiletry Pouch that conveniently has a shatter-proof mirror and can be later washed.
4. Consider Weather Necessities
Rain or shine: Be prepared to brave the elements. Bringing along an umbrella—even when the forecast predicts sunny skies—is smart. Consider easy-to-store, lightweight umbrellas like the Rain Away Travel Umbrella that comes with a pouch that makes it easy to tuck away when skies are sunny.
If you’re caught in a rainstorm and end up sloshing through muddy campgrounds, or withstanding insane heat as you dance the day away, fear not. Keeping damp or smelly items separate with packs like the Clean/Dirty Cube will not only help prevent the transfer of odors, but also help prevent microbial growth (yay!).
5. Bring Clothing to Layer
Temperatures can fluctuate greatly from day to night, and what might be a balmy 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) during the day could cool down to a brisk 30 degrees Fahrenheit (-1 degree Celsius) at night. Pair that with sleeping outdoors in a tent, and you’ll likely want to bring along layers to keep you warm. Keep items to a minimum, but have a variety of tanks, long sleeves, and hoodies on hand.
6. Carry Cash
Bring along an easy-to-strap-on bag that can hold the majority of your daily essentials—including cash. When it comes to festivals, you can’t rely on plastic. Fanny packs work great, but an even better idea is a travel-safe Silk Undercover Bra Stash that tricks even the savviest of pickpocketers.
7. Pack A Water Bottle and Non-Perishable Food
Packing fresh food for a three-day festival is impossible, but that doesn’t mean you should leave home without snacks to keep you fueled. Bring along non-perishables like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruits. Also pack a reusable water bottle that you can refill on the festival grounds or at water fountains. You’ll be doing the earth a solid and saving cash at overpriced stands, too.
8. Rest Up!
While you don’t want to over pack, having a few items on hand for when it comes time to sleep could help you wake up feeling well rested (or at least on the right side of the blow-up air mattress). Soft earplugs can help you get some shut-eye, even when nearby campsite neighbors are blasting their stereos. (They also come in handy during the day if you find yourself too close to the band’s sound system.)
An eye mask can fool your body into thinking that the tent is totally dark (even if a friend is reading by flashlight), and an easy-to-pack, inflatable lumbar pillow can give you the added lower-back support that your body needs after hours spent on your feet.
What about you? What else would you bring to a music festival? Add your advice in the comments section, below.