Going to a music festival is an exciting experience that people look forward to each year. However, being well-prepared can be crucial to having a great time during these events. So, getting the right things for your festival backpack and keeping in mind the different situations you could face is of utmost importance. Extra points if, like us, you also think of sustainability!
In this post, we’ll cover the ten indispensable belongings one should carry in their festival backpack. These items, some of which are classic staples, will ensure you have a great time and are ready for anything. We’d also address why knowing what to pack for a festival matters. We will also give you some packing tips in the process.
10 Must-Have Essentials for Your Festival Backpack
The Importance of Packing Effectively for a Festival
Festivals have been a source of cultural expression and celebration for centuries. The ancient Greeks hosted the Dionysian festivals around 600 b.C., focusing on theatrical performances and competitions.
Nowadays, these events can last multiple days. Depending on the festival, anyone attending may need to prepare for different weather conditions and environments.
When getting ready for a festival, it is crucial to consider factors such as climate, terrain, and duration. Even though the festival season is between Spring and Summer, the weather can still surprise you. One historical example is the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset, England, which dates back to 1970. Because of England’s typical cloudy skies and rain, Glastonbury attendees know to pack an umbrella every yea, just in case.
A well-organized backpack has items for any situation, including some worst-case scenarios.
Moreover, if you’re attending festivals involving camping or limited access to food vendors, you need to prioritize your nutrition. Packing non-perishable food items like canned goods or protein bars will give you the necessary sustenance throughout the event. Likewise, hydration is a primary concern, so a reusable water bottle is always a great idea. Are you wondering what else you’ll need in your festival backpack? Let’s start the list!
10 Festival Backpack Must-Haves
1. Portable Phone Charger(s)
We live in a day and age where we’re always connected. So, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you to bring your phone to a festival. However, only taking your regular charger is a rookie mistake.
You’ll be taking photos and videos, posting, and probably calling friends to meet. As a result, your battery will drain faster than usual. But here comes the challenge: Finding a working empty plug to connect your charger and phone.
Portable chargers and power banks guarantee you stay in touch with your friends and family in emergencies. These products will also allow you to post on Social Media as much as you want to. You may have reception issues since most people will be posting simultaneously, but that’s another story.
2. Reusable Water Bottles
Festivals like Coachella, in the Colorado Desert, Barcelona‘s Primavera Sound and Mad Cool, in Madrid, are under hot weather conditions. So, although hydration is always important, it is critical in these venues.
Just carrying a water bottle and looking at it will encourage you to drink more water and stay hydrated.
You will save money by not buying water and avoid extra time in line at the festival.
Also, carrying a water bottle reduces plastic waste, so you will even be doing the planet a favor.
Sunscreen is a festival bag essential. For starters, no matter the city or time of the year, you should wear sunscreen every day. This habit will not only protect your skin from sunburns, but also from premature ageing and, more importantly, cancer.
After all, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, regular sunscreen use can reduce the risk of skin cancer by 40%. Moreover, sunscreen can lower your melanoma risk by 50%.
Also, there are many sunscreen options according to your skin type, preferences and budget. Thus, you can choose to use a sunscreen lotion, spray or stick from many different brands.
There are only two things you need to remember when using sunscreen. First, apply the sunscreen, for at least, 15 minutes before you go outside. Second, make sure you apply enough and reapply it a minimum of every two hours.
4. Wet wipes
Something festival goers tend to forget to pack is wet wipes since they may not seem that necessary to some. But this product can be a convenient solution for maintaining personal hygiene around limited showers or hand-washing facilities.
Wet wipes can come in handy, all jokes aside, to remove bacteria from your hands and body. The fact that they keep bad odours at bay doesn’t hurt either.
Wipes are also an excellent option for cleaning your phone, camera or other electronic devices. This simple trick can help you decrease the risk of infections while keeping your possessions looking spotless.
It’s time to talk about real, forgotten heroes in the festival: Earplugs.
These tiny friends play an essential role in preventing hearing loss among festival attendees. After all, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that volumes exceeding 85 decibels (dB), can lead to permanent hearing damage after prolonged exposure. So, wearing earplugs during the concerts you’re not interested in will save your audition in the long run.
Yes, you may not hear every strum of a band’s guitar, but you’ll still be able to hear and sing along.
Besides, if you’re going to a festival with camping, earplugs can also help you sleep, even next to snoring “roomies.”
6. The Right Clothing
I know, I know.”The right clothing” is a very subjective and personal matter for a festival. But, although we all want to rock the coolest outfit, there are other things to keep into account besides aesthetics.
From experience, I can tell you that shoes are, perhaps, the most important part of the festival fit. You need to make sure that your shoes are comfortable and can protect you from the sun, rain, mud, other people stepping on you, mosquitoes, etc. Please, don’t bring those boots you think are already “broken in” (like I did) if you’re not 100% sure. Unless you want to get blisters and hurt your feet.
Besides being comfortable for hours of standing, dancing and a lot of walking, you must consider the weather while picking clothing. Even if your favorite weather app tells you it won’t rain, it may be wise to pack an umbrella, depending on the festival’s location. Hats and sunglasses are also a necessity and not only cute accessories.
Also, for storage purposes, it’s better to have clothing made in lightweight materials. Likewise, if you’re camping, you’ll need gear that’s easy to carry.
Although there are always food stands or food trucks at festivals, they tend to be expensive and not that healthy. Plus, there are always lines for food and drinks, which can make you miss some of your favorite artists.
There, you could pack perishable food items like granola bars and dried fruit. This type of food can be easily transported without spoiling and will provide you with energy.
While you’ll probably still need more substantial meals, which you can get at the festival, energy bars and snacks will help keep you going.
That said, please check what kind of food you can bring to the festival’s venue beforehand.
8. Personal Care Products
Personal care products are another crucial category of items to include in your festival backpack.
These essentials encompass hygiene goods such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, soaps, towels, and insect repellent.
Yet, if you want to take it one step further, you could get a first aid kit. These kids contain band-aids, pain relievers, and other medical supplies that can address minor injuries.
Though every festival must offer medical assistance, you could save yourself some time for a not-so-serious injury by having a first aid kit.
9. Cash and Documents
These days, you can pay with a card in most places. But, it is still a good idea to have some cash on you for a festival or event.
Cash will be a lifesaver if there’s any issue with the sales points throughout the festival. If, for any reason, there’s no sales point available at a food truck, for example, you’ll be thankful you got cash. And yes, I know that cash technically goes in your wallet, not your backpack, but you get the point.
On the other hand, essential IDs/documents are vital for purchasing food, merchandise or accessing certain areas within the festival grounds, while also providing identification in case of emergencies. So, please make sure to bring these documents with you and not forget them at the festival.
10. Pocket-sized blanket or cushion for sitting
Pocket-sized blankets and cushions for sitting have become increasingly important items to carry at festivals.
Festivals involve long periods of standing and walking, so you will need a comfortable area to rest. These products will ease the physical strain and help you relax during breaks between performances.
If the festival you’re going to involves camping, a blanket will be your new best friend.
How to pack efficiently for a festival
To make the most of your festival backpack, use compression bags to reduce the space your clothes and other soft items occupy.
Creating a checklist will help you make sure you don’t leave crucial items behind by accident. You should organize items into categories such as clothing, toiletries, camping gear (if applicable), and technology.
As I mentioned earlier, understanding the venue restrictions regarding food or drink will help you decide what provisions to carry. Moreover, if there are camping areas at the festival, make sure you bring lightweight gear,
In conclusion, efficiently packing for a festival requires careful consideration of the items necessary for the event’s duration. You’ll also have to follow the guidelines set forth by the organizers.
Organization techniques, weather-appropriate clothing, and being mindful of the festival’s specific regulations will give you a successful and worry-free experience.