Items to Add to Your Coachella Packing List

Coachella 2011

I recently returned from Coachella, and my good time was definitely enhanced by the fact that I remembered to bring along the following five items. If you’re planning to attend next year (or planning any sort of trip to a large music festival), I highly encourage packing these things:

  1. Earplugs: Yes, the sound system is bumpin’ at all of the Coachella stages, but three solid days of ear abuse can lead to permanent hearing damage. My hot pink earplugs were a lifesaver, and the music still sounded really darn good.
  2. Sun hat: The midday rays at the Empire Polo Club are unforgiving on your noggin. I know that a goofy straw sun hat isn’t the most high fashion-y accessory, but it’s a small price to pay in order to avoid a scorched, burned scalp (of course, your sun hat must work in concert with a good slathering of high-SPF sunscreen).
  3. Pocket pack of tissues: When you gotta use the restroom, the air-conditioned VIP bathrooms are obviously the best option, but if you’re at the Outdoor or Gobi stage and don’t feel like making the long ass trek to VIP, you’ll have to make use of the port-a-potties. TP and seat protectors are sometimes scarce, so a pocket pack of Kleenex is especially handy in this situation.
  4. Small snacks: Technically Coachella doesn’t allow you to bring in outside food, but I was able to stash a couple tiny snacks in my bag (stuff like fruit leathers and nut bars). It was great to be able to munch on something without having to give up a sweet spot I’d staked out by the main stage.
  5. Wet wipes: These are super handy for any number of scenarios–you’re wearing sandals and your feet get all dusty/sticky from someone spilling drinks on you, you need to wipe your hands after eating a greasy slice of pizza, your ice cream cone drips onto your shirt, etc. etc.

Keep in mind: I know everyone wants to look all cute at Coachella, but for the love of goodness, please wear comfortable walking shoes! There’s a lot of walking and standing involved–the hike to/from the parking lots, the substantial distance between stages, standing throughout set after set of music–you get the idea.

Bonus tip(s): In the VIP area, there’s a little “girls only” powder room tent tucked away that has a bunch of free toiletries and other necessities available. When I cut my foot on a pebble, this is where I scored a band-aid. They also have a few couches and full length mirrors in here (a rarity!).

Photo via flickr.com/paigekparsons.

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