Festival season is so close I can taste it. This is like Christmas, but instead of going to church, it begins with my pilgrimage back to the promised land of Indio, California, to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Last year, I was so excited to go, I forgot to bring a sleeping bag and pillow, but I was sure to have enough essentials to survive the weekend.
Trust me, when you spend over 300 clams on a ticket, you do not want to miss a set because you ran out of energy. That happened to me in my first year camping at Coachella and I was extremely upset with myself. Here are some things to bring along that first timers might not think of:
1. Toilet paper or baby wipes
There is nothing like getting up in the middle of the night after the second day, only to find that the toilet you chose is out of toilet paper. It happened to me once, and I have never felt so pathetic as I waddled out of the stall trying to find another one that had toilet paper so i could wipe myself.
2. Full tank of gas upon entering the campsite
Even though you won’t be moving your car, the air conditioning is so precious.
3. Power strip adapter
Plug this bad boy into the cigarette lighter in your car and then plug in a power strip to charge multiple phones. There is a tent where you can charge your phone… but then you have to sit there, hungover, with a lot of sweaty strangers, waiting for your phone to charge. Nothing against meeting new people, but sitting there waiting for your phone to charge in that tent is boring as hell. Why not do it at the car while you bullshit with your friends?
4. Canned food
Chef Boyardee was key for us last year. When the morning’s first sunlight hit my face, waking me from my 2 hour slumber, I would open up a can of Ravioli, put it on top of the car’s boiling hot roof, and pass out under the car (for shade) for another hour or so. When it was time for me to start my day, my ravioli was piping hot and so delicious. Bring as much canned food as possible because food at the campground is pricey, and you’re going to want to spend money on way cooler shit.
5. Lots of cheep booze
This is probably a weekend you have been planning for quite some time, so why not have a cool buzz going? Drinks are available at the venue but beers are about 10 bucks a pop. And yes, there is a shuttle to take you to the grocery store, but who wants to waste time with that? Wine bags are also a fun way to rage and meet your neighbors…. SLAP THE BAG!!
6. Rest whenever possible
There will be times when your group is doing their own thing, use that precious time to lounge in the shade and collect every bit of energy you can. 30 minute naps in the car while blasting the AC before I went in the gates was absolutely essential.
7. Large containers of water
We brought in 4 gallon size bottles of water to shower with. The line for the showers starts backing up right at sun rise. So if you aren’t into waiting in an hour long line, just pour a gallon or two of water on yourself and you should be good to go. I have news for you, after 30 minutes of sweating your ass off in the Sahara tent, no one gives a fuck how grimy you look.
8. Sun block (thanks for reminding me Ruben!)
I did not put on enough sun screen on day one last year. I honestly had random strangers come up behind me, gasp, and put their own sun screen on me because they were concerned…. You do not want this to happen.
I hope this helps! Have a fun and safe festival season.