The Ultimate Camping Music Festival Packing List [Updated for 2021]

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Feeling a bit overwhelmed with the festival wrapping process? We know your pain. Browse our packing list for music festivals for inspiration (and a half-decent place to start). For a simplified list that you can download and edit yourself, click here and if you want to see my specific loading of More than 100 festivals across Europe, click here.

Breakdown of this list:

  1. Stuff you need for every festival
  2. Camping supplies
    1. The essentials
    2. Site upgrade
    3. Camping car
  3. Clothing recommendations
  4. Kitchen supplies (optional)

Good to have

Check your day pack and make sure these items are tidy inside.

  • Money – Cash is still the king of commerce. Keep a hidden stash for emergencies.
  • Credit card – Your lower limit is the best in case it gets lost. For international festivals, you’ll want one that doesn’t have a foreign exchange fee.
  • identity card / passport – You will need it more than you think.
  • Tickets – Print a physical copy in case your phone breaks.
  • Cell phone / charger – Do you ever leave without?
  • Lighter – If you don’t need it, someone will.
  • Festival schedule – A printed copy is both fun and infinitely faster than the app.
  • Negative COVID vaccine / test – Welcome to the new normal (screams into the pillow).
  • KN95 face mask – For public transport, indoor shows and town criers.
  • Collapsible water bottle – Lightweight, reusable and perfect for water stations or smuggling half a liter of vodka into the festival.

Camping supplies

Your campsite is your home. You might as well be comfortable. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we hope it gives you an inspiring place to start.

Level 1 – The Basics: If you have to travel light, pack the bare minimum in your bag.

  • Attempted – Buy high quality and it will last you for decades. Another huge benefit to spending money on a tent is that you will not enter a tent full of water.
  • Reflective tent poles – Exchange your usual stakes for something colorful and / or reflective. It won’t stop a tripping party from tripping over your tent, but it will help.
  • Sleeping bag – The three-season bags are cool. Summer bags are even better.
  • Air mattress – Don’t forget a pump. Or just buy one that takes less than 10 breaths.
  • Travel towel – To paraphrase The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – a towel is the most useful thing an interstellar party can have.
  • Headlamp – Use in tent, on foot and in dark toilet scenarios. Bring extra batteries if you don’t know how cool they are.
  • Gear-Aid Tape – For holes in the tent, sleeping pad, coats, etc.
  • Garbage bag – Pick up after you!
  • Tent pole repair kit – Broken pole? We can fix that.
  • Compression bag – Keep everything well packed. Can be used as a pillow.

Level 2 – Camping upgrade: If you have space, consider putting some in your bag

  • Bluetooth speaker – Need a recommendation? We have one.
  • Hammock – The best way to spend a morning.
  • Pillow – Nice to have if you have room, otherwise a bag of dirty laundry will work.
  • Tarpaulin – Can be used as a shade screen or for sitting. Or both.
  • Dry bags – If you haven’t bought a high quality tent and want to keep things dry.
  • Solar lights – Light up the stakes / lines so other festivities don’t fall into your tent.
  • Solar charger – Good for keeping phones and speakers full of juice.
  • Clothesline – Dry towels, swimsuits and all your wet clothes.
  • Tent footprint – Move your tent away from the muddy ground. Or not. I’ve never used one and it’s okay.

Level 3 – Car Camper: Bring everything!

  • Camping table – Food preparation. Card games. Beer pong.
  • Decorations – If your camp has a theme, it will be a whole different list.
  • Lantern – Light up the night.
  • Collapsible water containers – Saves you many trips throughout the weekend.
  • Tape – Don’t go anywhere without it.
  • Mallet / hammer – For hitting tent poles on hard ground.
  • Camping chairs – Determined by the size of your car / bag.
  • Large / small cooler – For food and drinks.
  • Flag – So you can find your way home at night.
  • Shade blinds – Sitting directly under the scorching sun is miserable.
  • Windshield – Keeps your car a little cooler in a field all weekend.
  • Jump cables – For when you finally get back to your car and realize the lights have been on all weekend.

Hygiene and harm reduction

You don’t have to live like an animal for the weekend. It is possible to both party and stay sober at a festival. There are a ton of small items you can bring along to make the weekend a little more enjoyable.

  • Earplugs – Good for very noisy shows and sleeping in the campsite.
  • Bottle of water – Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.
  • Travel shampoo – Shampoo can be used as a body wash. Biodegradable is ideal for washing in rivers and lakes.
  • Toothpaste / toothbrush – Everyone will thank you.
  • Dental floss – I forgot that once and spent a miserable 24 hours with a berry seed stuck in my tooth.
  • First aid kit – Dressings, tweezers, tick removal.
  • Over-the-counter medications – Ibuprofen, anti-diarrhea and allergy medicine.
  • Lip balm – One of those things that you don’t think you need until you do.
  • Solar cream – You will be miserable if you burn.
  • Wet wipes – There will be no toilet paper inside the porta pot.
  • Hand sanitizer – There will be no water outside the porta pot.
  • Condoms – Bring home a t-shirt, not an STD.
  • Insect repellent – Mosquitoes can be bad in some places.
  • Additional earplugs – For when you lose the first pair of earplugs.
  • Protective glasses / contact lenses – You have to see!
  • Visor – The sunrise rises strongly inside a tent.
  • Travel mirror – Prepare for the day.
  • Hair elastics – It’ll be hot.
  • Deodorant – People don’t like your musk as much as you might think.
  • Gold binding powder – Keep your feet dry. Also, will save a man’s life during a 4 day wet festival with limited downpours.

Clothes

Music festivals are an amazing place to express yourself with fashion. It’s impossible to create a generic packing list for clothes as it varies from individual to individual, but here are most of the basics you should consider incorporating into your wardrobe.

  • Backpack – Depends on the type and duration of the festival as well as your personal preferences. Fanny packs, hydration packs, and small backpacks are all candidates. If it comes with a rain guard, bring it.
  • Shoes – You will walk. A lot. And dancing. Make sure your feet are comfortable. Your body will thank you on Monday.
  • Rain shoes – Rain boots, Tevas and Crocs work well in the rain.
  • Sandals – Flips work great for showering or kicking around the campfire.
  • Swimsuit – You never know when there will be a hot tub.
  • Bandanas / buffs – Protection against wind, dust, sun and sneezing.
  • Hats – Great for keeping the sun off your face.
  • Sun glasses – The coolest way to protect your eyes. Bring a pair that you are willing to lose or that you won’t mind if they are broken.
  • Raincoat – It will rain. Be ready. Can also be used to keep you or someone else warm around the campsite.
  • Comfortable sleepwear – There is nothing better than wearing clean clothes in bed.
  • Insulating layer – A hoodie, a puffy coat, anything that has long sleeves. It can be cold, even in the middle of summer and especially at night.
  • Cap – If you are having a festival during shoulder season or anytime in Scotland, a warm hat can change your life.
  • Tent socks – These are your warmest and most comfortable pairs of socks that never leave the tent because nothing is more amazing than slipping into dry socks during a rainy festival.
  • Underwear – We prefer to compress them and dry quickly so they don’t take up too much space and dry quickly if you need to reuse them (we hope they don’t). My top pick is Uniqlo, which is great high quality and super affordable.
  • T-shirts – Or you can just buy some in the merch tent.

Kitchen supplies (optional)

You won’t starve at a music festival, but you risk going broke. Bring your own food and turn your campsite into a kitchen of wonders.

  • Stove – Bam!
  • Cookware – Pots, pans, spatulas. Your menu will determine this item.
  • Additional gas cylinders – You don’t want to run out of gas.
  • Biodegradable dish soap – People who have not cooked clean the house.
  • Pot / sponge washer
  • Reusable bowls – Just about anything can fit in a bowl. Use it for all meals.
  • Reusable cups – Enough with the plastic cups already.
  • Reusable silverware – Do you already feel a theme?
  • Ice – Festival ice cream is expensive. Buy before you arrive and store in a great cooler.
  • Flasks – We would never recommend smuggling alcohol.
  • Bottle opener / corkscrew

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