15 must haves for your festival campsite!

** Check out my updated list! I made it in the form of a YouTube video!**

Top 10 Must Haves for Music Festival Camping


1. An easy-up Canopy If you are going to bring 1 thing, bring this. I was so jealous of other camper’s nice, cool, shaded camps. Having something you can stand or sit under in the shade is essential. It is much better than having to put your chairs in the shade from your car…..and having to move them every hour to follow the shade. (PS make sure you peg this down well! I saw many of these tumbeling across the campground from big gusts of wind!)


2. Rugs/mats/tarps. If you’re camping on grass, you’re lucky. The main reason I use mats is so I don’t have to roll out of my tent into the dirt…. Also, mats and rugs make your camp more inviting and comfortable!


3. Plastic Drawers. Assuming you’re camping with your car, these little guys are perfect for camping. I just take one. I store my toiletries in one drawer, snacks/food related items in another, and then random things like tools, first aid, flashlights and duct tape in the last one.


4. Hanging orginization. You can hang these on your canopy or even in your tent if its big/strong enough. There are tons of different options too. A lot of these are pretty common and you should be able to find in your home (or walmart)! Use this to store food, supplies, costumes, socks, whatever you want 🙂 4c15783cdfe023b6984c4cf789fa2e12ae82e908e3ee7aa7c6b6f8a54701dcd4eec0cccbd0ec36f7fc149c725c50769e3db30c4c0a458e442225331bfad6071d    5. Pre-made snacks that dont need to be chilled Before you leave home, make a little bin full of pre-measured snacks. Ideally you want something that wont go bad or melt and is easy and quick to eat! (PS this is a good way to make new friends)



6. Water jug with pump. This is a life saver. Way better than having to deal with those floppy water jug/bag things. And is easier than tipping over water jugs. Plus this can be put anywhere and is very convenient.


7. Foam mats. Remember these from pre school?! They’re the best for lining the floor of your tent, or even outside your tent in your camp. It’s comfortable, makes the ground more stable, cleaner, and makes everything more home-y.


8. Tables… You’ll want one. Whether if it’s for playing cards at, eating at, chillin’ at, or just having a place to put your stuff (speakers, snacks, etc). Tables are great! (don’t forget a table cloth for decoration!)


9. Solar lights. Awesome for finding your camp at night and also good for making sure you (or others) don’t trip on cords, pegs, etc… Plus, they look sweet!


10. Pop up laundry hamper/garbage bin. You can buy these things and they are actually made to be garbage bins for camping or garden waste, etc… but if you’re like me and have a laundry hamper that looks just like this, throw a garbage bag inside and bam = clean camp. (Having this on the last day, during tear-down is awesome and everyone in your camp will be using it!) Oh! and really don’t forget to bring tons of garbage bags. You won’t beleive how much garbage gets produced over the weekend.


11. Air mattresses or cots.  Walking around in the hot sun, being intoxicated all day and dancing all night isn’t exactly great on your body….so having a nice, comfortable place to come back to crash on is something you won’t regret.


12. Tarps/sarongs/tapestry/blankets/sheets. Basically anything that you can hang that will provide shade, privacy, and decoration. If you can find ones with cool designs, even better! (Tip: you can use a reflective, emergency blanket over your tent to reflect the sun/heat. And/or hang a tarp off your canopy and peg it out on an angle and place your tent underneath it. This way you can leave the fly off and can get air flow into your tent.)


13. Flags! More than just decoration! Make a tall, unique camp flag and fly it as high as you can! You will use this as a landmark to find your camp in the giant field of tents! (Helium balloons work too, however the hot sun does not make them last very long)


14. Campsite decor Little banner flags, lights, toys, lanterns, blow up/pool toys, etc. Going to dollar stores or Asian markets is a good place to find cheap, fun and colorful things!


15. Caribiner. These have tons of uses and bringing a bunch won’t be a bad idea, you’re sure to find a use for them so better safe than sorry. But the main reason I say to bring one, is to put a spare car key on it and then attach it to a hidden place on the outside of your vehicle. I have seen lock smiths driving through festival campgrounds before and I would HATE for that to have to happen. If you do lose your key, then at least you will have a spare set hooked onto the underside of your car. (Obviously make sure it is hidden and no one sees where you put it)


(none of the above pictures are mine)

**update: here are some pictures from my Shambhala Camp set up



39 thoughts on “15 must haves for your festival campsite!

    • Shower curtain hooks (the “s”hook type):I used them to hang clothes, pans, bags from the easy up frame.
      Plastic milk crates:toted in supplies and then stacked them face out to use as “cupboards”(used above hooks to hang pans and utensils off the sides)
      Wipe Board: for camp messages and Daily show line ups (you will be the camp hero).
      Bathroom bag: small bookbag w/t.p.,baby and disinfectant wipes


    • Great tips! I am so looking forward to my next music festival! I’d like to add shower shoes! Those public showers can get a little funky. Also there is a “find your car app” that we found extremely helpful on dark nights camped out in a large crowd without reliable landmarks.


  1. Great ideas! Thanks! Any suggestions for those of us that are flying to the concert and camping? I don’t want to have to buy everything there but know we can’t haul it all on the plane! I would love to hear from others in this situation.


    • I often fly from Houston to Burning Man in Nevada every year. I ship my stuff UPS to a campmate who lives in Reno. They bring my things with them when they drive to the Playa. My larger items that I use strictly for Burning Man are stored at the my friend’s warehouse.


    • The #1 item I would suggest you bring is the Ez-up canopy. It would be too large to take on the plane but you can usually buy them at walmart for about $70. Everything else is just luxury items that make your festival expereince a little more cozy, but the canopy shelter is a serious MUST! Especially when you’re camping without trees or any form of shade


  2. This is the best festival camping WITHOUT children prep list on the whole internet.
    I can not express my frustration with trying to find a credible list that didn’t include: Toys for the kids or quite time for the husband.*Eye Roll* I can’t thank you enough.


  3. The very best camping check list of any kind is the on the Burning Man website. It is geared for all kinds of weather, too. BurningMan.org is where you’ll find it.


  4. tie strips of white plastic bag to your guide ropes (tent ropes, etc) so they are visible at night, preventing people from tripping over them.


  5. My absolute must have is a HEAD TORCH. This means you have light wherever and whenever you need it and it’s hands free so you can easily do what you need to without the hassle of holding a torch. It’s also a good idea as you will have portable light for when you’re away from your campsite, in the bathrooms, etc.


    • Yes! I usually just put my headlamp around my neck because it’s less annoying; especially when you’re jumping around dancing. But having a head lamp when you use a port-a-potty, are walking back to your campsite, or are trying to find something in your tent is such a handy thing!


    • I use “C Clamps” for camping! Lifehack i learned at work. They are soooo so strong and you can use them for lots of other things (like clamping a garbage bag to a table for the trash). But C clamps are pretty heavy duty just for tapestries. Maybe try “alligator clamps” instead 🙂


  6. I noticed how everyone puts down a tarp on the ground, which is a really good idea. The festivals we go to around here always have a chance of rain. What happens then. Doesn’t the rain collect on the tarp and puddle under your canopy? Just wondering, Thanx!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s