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Tips From a Music Festival Expert

Tips From a Music Festival Expert

Music festivals are a time of dancing to great music, free-range partying, laughing with friends, and immersing yourself into a wild, raucous crowd. Although it doesn’t sound very rock n’ roll, the key to enjoying this experience is...being prepared!

Which stage-side is rage-side? Find out for yourself with the following gear tips from a music festival expert.

1. Water Bottle

“I’ll just buy water there,” said every rookie ever. All music festivals should provide free water stations. Make sure your water bottle isn’t too big and heavy to carry, but not too small either, as you’ll want to avoid the water lines as much as possible. If the bottle is insulated, your drink will stay cooler, longer.

2. Swimsuit
Substitute a swimsuit for your regular undergarments. Not only are they festive and vibe well with the summer sun, but Women’s and Men’s swimsuits also specialize in wicking moisture, either by rain or sweat, and therefore keep you comfortable longer than any cotton undies or technical sports bras can.

3. Water Reservoir
An alternative to the water bottle, storing water in a big pouch that you can toss in your backpack frees up your hands for high-fives and other hand-y activities. Keeping it shaded in your pack keeps it cool, and with multi-liter carrying capacity, reservoirs also reduce your trips to the water station.

4. Sneaky Flask
Let’s face it, rules were meant to be broken. Save money, time, and energy by bringing your own beverage. Some of these fake flasks come with seals, too, for extra stealth points in the security line.

5. Fanny Pack / Backpack
Before choosing, verify the festival's requirements on backpack dimensions. Some events are very strict with this! Then, check out our selection of daypacks. Most have secret stash pockets, some are weather-resistant, and others cater to water reservoirs. Whether you tie it around your waist or throw it over your shoulder, knowing you have all your necessities in one place is crucial once the night starts gettin' weird.

6. Thin Wallet
Get rid of extra weight by bringing only the essentials. Carry your ticket, license, cash, and credit card in one centralized place without the bulk. Find the perfect size for your transactional travels in our collection of wallets for him and her.

7. Hand Sanitizer
Given the context, it doesn't seem terrible to skip washing your hands after leaving the portable restrooms. But once you grab that taco with both hands and flashbacks of fifth-grade science mix with all these wooks walking around, you suddenly feel forever unclean. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on your person and never feel icky again. (The alcohol it contains also works great on bug bites and minor cuts, in case you forget your bug spray or bandages!)

8. Portable Phone Charger
Communicate with your friends, capture moments in music history, and take hilarious videos of strangers without worrying if you'll have enough juice to call an Uber at the end of the night (or use your alarm at the campsite so you don't miss Bob Dylan's early-afternoon set on the fourth day of the fest. (Bitter? Me? Never...). Use one of these pocket USB chargers to get 2 or 3 complete charges while you're away from civilization. It's not that you're "tethered" to your phone, but it's nice to have the option when there's so much going on around you.

9. Koozie
Your expensive adult beverage will go from icy to lukewarm faster than you can say “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.” Grab a koozie or two to prevent such a disaster.

10. Sunscreen
Duh, just use it! Not to be confused with the sunscreen flask above, real sunscreen keeps your skin healthy long after your hangover wears off.

11. Hat
Protect your skin, scalp, and eyes from heat and rain with a technical hat. With it, you can also block that big ball of fire if it happens to hang out right.behind.the.stage. (Pro tip : don’t block everyone’s view with a big, floppy sunhat! The smaller size that still gives good coverage, the better.)

12. Polarized Sunglasses
If you’re not using polarized lenses, you’re doing it wrong. Treat yourself to the vivid colors and eye protection technology that unpolarized sunglasses simply can’t provide.

13. Rain Jacket
Move over, big bulky jackets and nerd-alert ponchos -- we’ve got an ultra-lightweight, weather-resistant, and cute-as-heck rain jacket that stuffs and transforms into its own fanny pack! Clip The North Face's Fanorak around your waist or to your bag for reassurance during cloudy weather.

14. Water Shoes
Who do you belong to -- Chaco or Teva? Muddy toes are better than sweaty or rain-drenched shoes and socks. Leave your nice pair of shoes at home, because they will get ruined. Instead, pick up a perfect pair of water shoes and get ready for that strap tan! (It’s a badge of honor.)

15. Dry Sack
Keep your money and phone dry during the downpour while everyone else freaks out. These ultra-lightweight, watertight bags keep phones, wallets, and other essentials safe from water damage. If you see a cute guy or gal, offer up some space in your dry sack, and “forget” to give their phone back until you meet up later for the afterparty.

16. Waterproof Blanket
Sitting on the dirty, wet ground is for peasants. So is sitting on a soggy cloth blanket. Create a comfy personal space by laying down a small, all-weather blanket, so you yourself can lie down, dance barefoot, and create a marker in the crowd for other members of your tribe coming back from the restrooms -- or wherever it is they wandered off to -- without having to haul a muddy heap back to the campsite.

Not into the whole brevity thing? Check out our entire category dedicated to music festivals for other amazing apparel and accessories!

Written by Lindsay McDuffie

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