"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing." Helen Keller

Outdoor Festival Camping Checklist

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Going to a festival this season?

Wondering what the hell you should pack? No worries, DF5K has the ultimate outdoor festival camping checklist for you!

This list is comprehensive, which means this is all the stuff that you might need, though you probably won’t need it all. While you don’t want to skimp on necessities like warm clothing and alcohol, bring only those things that you will really use. And please note- this list is not suited for Burning Man, which is a whole ‘nother alligator altogether!

Your Outdoor Festival Camping Checklist:

ESSENTIALS – Lock all this in your car except for some of your cash.

  • PHONE + wall & car charger
  • ID + backup ID
  • Keys + backup car key kept in different place
  • CASH – more than you think you will need
  • Credit card/Debit card – shopping or emergencies
  • Proof of health insurance/AAA card
  • Tickets or printed email confirmation
  • Map or directions to venue!


  • Condoms- get you some
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses + backup pair
  • Prescription meds
  • Chapstick – can also be used to lube your tent zipper. That is not a metaphor.
  • Bandannas- lots
  • Watch- I NEVER wear a watch, except at festies, to keep track of time slots
  • Mirror
  • Flask filled with cognac
  • Hat for the sun
  • Lotion/Moisturizer
  • Deodorant- please
  • First aid kit w/Ibuprofen, Immodium AD, bandaids for blisters, allergy meds, etc.
  • Tissues  & Toilet Paper – don’t count on the Port-O-Potties staying stocked!
  • Baby Wipes – lots. Package some individually in Ziplocs for trips to the john
  • Glasses + Contacts + Extra contacts
  • Business cards
  • Flyers for your next party
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Grocery bags + large and small Ziploc bags – these items take up almost no weight  or space and have 8 zillion uses, from dirty clothes to trash.
  • Beach towel for chillin’
  • Ear plugs
  • Small container (like prescription bottle) for cigarette butts
  • Head lamp or flashlight
  • Cup – large (for drinkin’)
  • Water bottle
  • Frisbee – can play with it and use it as your plate
  • Fork & spoon or just SPORK IT
  • Pocket knife
  • Socks & underwear + a few extras
  • Hat + wool socks + gloves + warm jacket (even in Cali, even in the summer. Nothing ruins a festival quicker than not being able to get warm)
  • Flip flops or sandals
  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes. Two pair if you are clumsy and tend to fall into mud or puddles of water.
  • Clothes – layers are always best.
  • Costumes if you would like
  • Rain gear – I never bring rain gear


  • Tent
  • Hammer/Mallet for tent
  • Air mattress + pump or foam pad
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Pillow + extra blanket(s) for tent – if you have extra room
  • Tarp(s)- for shade and/or to put under your tent for less moisture wicking
  • Shade structure/gazebo for shade & creating camp space
  • Ground blankets – that you don’t mind ruining
  • Duct tape & superglue
  • Camp chairs, pillows etc. for sitting
  • Camp table
  • Camp stove + pots/pans/cooking utensils if cooking
  • Camp shower if you are ritzy + biodegradable soap
  • Wall hangings, bright sarongs, etc to hang from trees – camp decor, get creative!
  • Black metal binder clips to hang stuff
  • Flag or camp marker
  • Lantern or other nighttime light source
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Ice chests + ice
  • Plastic bin(s) to hold all of this
  • Eco-friendly soap
  • Water for cooking, cleaning up and splash baths
  • Pot for boiling water


  • Sandwich for the first day – make one yourself or grab a 12” from a local deli, you can eat half for lunch, half when you get hungry later, and not have to think about food the whole first day
  • Liquor – vodka mixes with everything FYI even root beer for breakfast
  • Beer – more than you will think you need
  • Water – stash an extra gallon or so in your car for the ride home
  • Mixers – extra for plain drinking
  • Gatorade “It’s Got Electrolytes!” Or packets of powdered energy drink to mix in your water bottle or with vodka
  • Orange juice + sparkling wine for mimosa o’clock
  • Emergen-see and multivitamins – STAY HEALTHY SO YOU CAN PARTY MORE
  • Granola Bars or Trail Mix
  • Starbucks Espresso One Shots – one for each morning
  • Candy, chocolate & gum
  • Group foods are fun! Think pitz chips + hummus & cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, olives, pepperoncinis, red onion slices, tabouleh, etc.
  • Instant foods are good too: garlic rice noodles or cinnamon oatmeal
  • If you are doing heavy cooking, you will need many more cooking and meal supplies than I have listed. However if you are doing heavy cooking, I assume you know what the hell you are doing and can figure this out on your own.

FOR FUN – Give back to your creative community!

  • Camera + extra battery or video camera!
  • Day bag for carrying all this around
  • Hoola Hoops
  • Twirling staff/Poi
  • Mullet wig
  • Water wings
  • LED toys
  • Journal + pen + Sharpee marker
  • Fingerpaints, markers or crayons + note pads
  • Drum, guitar or zither
  • Hammock
  • Feathers
  • Face paint
  • Parasol for the sun

LADIES – get a special section:

  • Makeup – fun stuff like glitter & neon blue mascara
  • Makeup remover sheets
  • Face soap + Frisbee + Water = morning face wash
  • Small personal towel
  • Tweezers/Nail clippers
  • Hair brush + clips/rubber bands
  • Smell good stuff- water mixed with a few drops of coconut or peppermint oil in a sprayer works well
  • Sarongs – can be hung as décor, worn several ways and also used as ground cloth
  • Tampons etc.
  • Bikini- because you never know

Author: worldromper

I write, wrestle wiener dogs, win big at skee-ball and wander at large on a world-size scale.

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