How I Stay Healthy, Survive & Thrive at Summer Music Festivals // [Packing List & Tips]
After football season, late spring is my favorite time of the school year. Warmer weather, pastels, summer plans and, of course, music festivals.
For many people (both young & old) April marks the annual dawning of glitter tattoos, flower crowns, heavy sunblock and camelbacks. It’s the time of year we splurge far too much on concert tickets and say “haha screw it” to basic personal hygiene for a full weekend, all in the name of good music. We bond with friends, make memories to last a lifetime as well as suffocate everyone on social media with “just one more picture” from our trip. Good times, good times.
I’ve been to Coachella twice, and camped both times. I was intimidated at first, feeling lost on what to pack. I did, after all, want to still be alive at the end of it. Stories of heat stroke, the Coachella cough and sinus infections made me nervous. My immune system was already suppressed with the medication I was taking!
Not to worry though. Rest assured you can still enjoy music festivals while staying healthy too. It doesn’t take much effort either, just a little upfront knowledge and packing!
- Camelback/Water Bottles – please please please drink water. When in doubt, drink. Camelbacks are a huge help & easy to carry.
- Sunscreen – I’ve been told aerosol cans aren’t allowed inside the festival, so spray it on before and stick to sunblock lotion once inside. Ladies, pack some strong SPF lip balm and SPF foundation.
- Bandana – great for protecting your neck or head, but the real genius lies in its ability to be a dust shield during concerts. It will get windy out there. Save yourself from a mouth full of dirt & the dreaded post-festival smoker’s cough.
- Long Sleeve Shirt – daytime sun protection, nighttime warmth.
- Aloe – even if you’re applying sunblock during the day & finessing a great tan, apply aloe at night to help soothe the skin.
- Hand Fan
- Spray Bottle
Water is your best friend. If you can only do one healthy thing this festival weekend let it be this – drink water.
- Hand Sanitizer
- Netipot/Sinus Rinse – great for getting that desert dirt out at the end of each day.
- A Festival Only Toothbrush – preferably one that comes in a tube to protect the bristles. After the festival, throw that ish away.
- Feminine PH Wipes
- Antiperspirant Wipes
- Shower/Baby Wipes – if you aren’t showering (I didn’t the both times I went), these wipes will be your saving grace. Stock up.
- Wet Napkins – sticky hands, they happen.
- Imodium – stomach relief.
- Aspirin/Tylenol/Ibuprofen – headache relief.
- Neosporin – no infections today, Satan.
- Claritin – helpful for combatting hay fever.
- Emergen C Packets/Airborne – take everyday.
- Toilet Paper – the porta potties will run out, trust.
- Extra Hair Ties
- Pee Funnel?! – ok, I haven’t tried this myself but a lot of people online swear by it. This cheap plastic contraption allows girls to stand while peeing? Idk, but I thought it was worth an honorable mention.
If you’re camping, be aware that showers are far and few. The lines are infamously long. If you do shower, do it in the middle of the weekend, on Saturday. Get there an hour before they open to beat the ungodly wait.
On-the-Go // Heat-Friendly:
- Dried Fruit
- Single Serving Nut Butter Packets
- DIY Trail Mix - make in bulk and put into huge zip lock baggies for your backpack or big mason jars to keep back at the hotel (Need some inspo? Try this mix: almonds, cashews, raisins, goji berries, coconut & dried banana chips)
- Cliff Bars
- RX Bars
Base Camp & Hotel // Cooler-friendly:
- Fresh Fruit – water dense, cools the body and full of vitamins & minerals
- Juices - homemade is best for cutting added sugars
- Raw Coconut Water
- Chopped veggies
Eat a big breakfast. Pack a blender to whip up protein smoothies at your hotel or make overnight oats in the campgrounds (mix oats & water, let sit over night, mix with fruit and protein powder in the morning). A big breakfast will keep you full, well nourished and less likely to desperately reach for a quick, unhealthy option midday.
Meal prep. Take advantage of your hotel fridge for storage.
If eating inside the festival grounds, splurge on protein heavy meals. The $7 pizza is cheaper, but the $10 burger or burrito is going to pack more macronutrients for your buck. Protein will keep you fuller longer, especially as you walk around all day in the blazing heat. Vegetarian? A meal w/ beans & rice will give you all the essential amino acids.
If not camping or shuttling, keep some snacks & water in your car’s cooler for the long drive out.
- Blanket/Lawn Chair – great for those you may be allergic to grass. If you’re camping, you definitely don’t want to be sitting on the hard ground all day.
- Proper Shoes & Band-Aids – Gladiator sandals are cute, but make sure you’ve worn them in first. Preferably, I’d recommend closed toe shoes. And bring band-aids to cover up blisters!
- Portable Phone Charger
- Take care of your body in the weeks prior.
- If you can, take a nap during the day.
- Open public doors and touch surfaces with your elbow or a paper towel.
- Avoid excessive hand to face contact.
- After the festival, take a recovery day, or two.
- Have fun, seriously! The idea is to blow off some steam and escape reality for a day or two.
Comment below if you have any additional items or tips you’d recommend for a healthy festival experience. Also, keep in mind this isn’t a complete packing list. You bet I'm lugging several other bags for all my clothes, makeup and accessories. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Have fun, beat the heat and soak up every minute!