Excited about this year’s festival season? We at The Jamwich certainly are! There is something blissfully unique about basking in the warm summer sun with the greatest people you’ve ever met, sipping on a mimosa whilst listening to the greatest music to ever grace your eardrums. In this moment it is easy for one to become just as blissfully unaware of a rainstorm approaching or worse yet, a snowstorm approaching. The possibilities are endless.
Today, we are going to discuss the utter necessities and tips to remember to make sure that your festival experience is anything but a wash. This list of things to remember goes hand-in-hand with traditional camping; however there are a few points I am going to make that will show how different festival camping can be.
The most important part of any attempt at outdoor survival is having a means of shelter, and hydration, but we will get to hydration later. In my time as a festival-goer, I have seen all different types of weather scenarios. It has long been said that luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity, and after this article I hope to grant as much of that as possible. Any combination of cold & wet can wreak havoc one one’s immune system, the colder and wetter it is, the worse off you are unprepared. Common things come to mind; tents, tarps, and blankets. Don’t forget to bring a towel! If the forecast for the area in which you are festivating happens to be quite rainy, you might want to consider sleeping in an SUV, station wagon, or pickup truck under a tarp. The latter is probably a worst-case scenario in that regard. Don’t have access to a vehicle? Ensure that your tent will stay dry. High ground, a tarp underneath, and good supply of duct tape or Gorilla tape will come in handy. Zip that tent fly shut, and blankets blankets blankets. I cannot say it enough. Extra blankets and coats are an absolute necessity. If you so happen to choose a vehicle instead, do not run the engine to stay warm, especially if you are in the vicinity of tent-sleepers. Carbon monoxide gas from the exhaust can creep into your local festival brother or festival sister’s tent and kill them! Yes, death! Please be mindful. If sleeping in a tent, avoid vehicles for this reason.
Have you had water today? Yes? No? Doesn’t matter! Drink more water. After that, drink more. Water sustains life. Water makes life. Water IS life. The single biggest culprit of adverse health situations at music festivals is dehydration. My recommendation is to buy a case or two of spring water. Spring water is filtered or unfiltered and comes straight from springs, so it has the tendency to not contain fluoride like tap water. When in need, either tap water or spring water will do though. Share water with anyone who looks like they might’ve had too much or anyone that says hello. They will thank you later. Share water with literally everyone and make sure you consume it as well! I find it rather ironic that a flood of clean water will bring an untold number of benefits for your body, but can really dampen your spirits if it falls from the sky and stays outside your body.
Food. Non-perishable canned goods. Bread. Marshmallows. Hot dogs & hot dog buns. Chips. Pots & pans. Silverware or plastic ware. Paper towels. A cooler filled with ice. These are examples of items that can make or break your festival experience. Feel free to omit or add items as you see fit. Bring a knife! Bring a can opener! Bring a pie iron for late-night treats. A sandwich of Nutella, peanut butter, any jam, and marshmallows cooked in a pie-iron will top your list of festival treats. Make a list and check it twice!
This one is iffy. Long sought as the cure for cold tired bones at a festival, isn’t always allowed at every festival. If fire is allowed, make sure you bring in locally-sourced wood and not wood from home. This will prevent the spread of parasites such as the Emerald Ash Borer and other pesky insects that travel by transportation of firewood. Bring a metal fire pit, preferably raised from the ground. You can make homemade fire starters quite easily by stuffing dryer lint or sawdust into each small cup in an egg carton. Pour melted paraffin wax over top of all twelve little cups, and then cut them into twelve individual fire starters. Voila! You have eliminated the need for reams of newspaper.
When was the last time you went on a date with soap & water? No one likes to hear this. Pack a camp shower, swim trunks or a swimsuit, and a shower curtain if you want privacy. Quell the stink! Don’t forget a toothbrush either!
You need them. Don’t drink after other people, and you won’t catch the crud that’s been going around. Always remember to pack a daily multivitamin to keep your body functioning to fight off these germs!
Very useful for a variety of things, you need these too.
-Spare Car Keys
Hide them in a magnetic key box under your car, stash one in a wallet, or carry one in undergarments. You’ll thank me for this later.
Always pack a flashlight. They come in handy when it’s dark, and keeping one in your car can help in dire situations outside of the festival grounds too. Bring extra lighters too, they function as a light source and they are the most stolen item at festivals. Don’t get left in the dark! A 5 pack of Bic lighters is your best bet.
With the list I have here, you should have a most awesome year! Most of all remember to love each other and practice random acts of kindness every day. Be good to everyone you come across. Share. Hug. Show compassion. Clean up after yourself and show some love to Mother Earth! We are all in this together. If you have anything you’d like to add, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for reading, and like Red Green used to say, keep your stick on the ice.