Written by Liz Childers
Being ill prepared for a music festival can ruin the experience. To fully enjoy the fun, you need the same gear that you’d bring on a regular camping trip into the woods!

Music festivals allow you to see some of your favorite bands all in one place and for one price. While this can be an incredible experience, it is easily ruined if you’re ill prepared. At many festivals, attendees stay at the music site for the entire time. This means camping on site. While a venue crowded with thousands of dancing music enthusiasts seems a lot different than a secluded campground in the woods, you’ll be surprised at how similar the preparation is.

Pick a good, rainproof tent

Sleeping under the stars seems to fit the mood of music festivals, but there are so many reasons why you’d regret this decision. Sleeping well during a festival is important; otherwise you’ll be cranky and exhausted by the end of the festival. It’s unlikely that you can find two trees close together, so you cannot rely on being able to tie up a tarp. So choose a good tent. With thousands of people sleeping in the same area, you’ll need something to save your sleeping spot; a tent does just that. Additionally, most music festivals are in the spring and summer, which can be rainy months in the U.S. This means a quality rainproof tent is a necessity.

Sleeping pad

A sleeping pad or air mattress is another important item for staying well rested. Remember, you will be driving to the festival in your car, so there’s no reason to skimp on important amenities. Sleeping pads make the ground a much more comfortable resting spot.

Choose your camping spot

Get to the site early and choose a camping spot. Like in the woods, where you pitch your tent can affect the quality of your rest. Festivalgoers who arrive late are often stuck with locations that are too close to the porta-potties, on uneven ground, or near the music. It’s worth it to find a shady spot away from the stages; the hike will be nice in the morning and you’ll enjoy a quieter rest. Plus, if you need a nap during the day, there’s no chance you could get some rest if you’re near the action.

Sun protection

Getting sunburned will make you exhausted and uncomfortable, or even in extreme pain. Bring a good sunscreen to protect your skin, and don’t forget to apply it! A hat will give you welcome shade, while adding some extra protection. Another helpful accessory that is often forgotten is the bandana. The neck is easily burned, so wrap the bandana around it to keep it safe. If you wet the bandana, it can also help to keep you cool.

Water, water, water

Bring as many water bottles to the festival as you can. Remember that you’ll be in the hot sun, not under the shade of trees in the woods. Getting dehydrated during the shows will kill the experience, but it’s likely to happen if you aren’t drinking plenty of water. You can buy water there, but it will be very expensive. It’s best to plan ahead and bring your own.

Food prep gear

Like water, food at festivals is expensive, but necessary. If you’re at the festival for the full time, the cost will add up. Bring your camping stove and some of your favorite camping recipes and you’ll save a lot of money.