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Hot, dirty, and loud: Your music festival survival guide

Whether you go to one of the biggies—like Coachella or Bonnaroo—or to a local event, here are some things to keep you comfortable and safe at your next music fest.

  • Find the right bag. You’ll want to pack light and smart. A backpack is a good option for your bag. (Here’s an exhaustive Bonnaroo survival guide including what to bring and wear while you’re there.)

  • Pack what you’ll really need. Lonely Planet says, “Some good things to carry with you at all times are a small bit of toilet paper or travel-sized pack of Kleenex, since port-a-potties aren’t always reliably stocked, as well as wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Extra towels are convenient, should you drop one in the mud or if the humidity won’t allow a wet towel to air dry. Facial wipes and hand wipes are good ways to wash without easy access to showers.”

  • Use sunscreen. Over the past three decades, more people have gotten skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Bring sun block with a high SPF. Use it. Reapply frequently. (These are all 30 SPF or above and chemical-free in case you’re into that.)

  • Bring food and water. Food trucks and venue vendors can have long lines and hiked up prices. If you can, pack things to eat and drink, like lots of water (dehydration is no fun) and energy bars or dried and canned food that won’t spoil in the heat.

  • Take cash. For food vendors who don’t take credit cards. For emergencies. For whatever. If you need money, you’ll be happy you have some.

  • Lock your car and hide your valuables. If you’re camping at the venue or parking in a hotel lot, keep your goods in the trunk and out of view. Thieves will go after what’s easy. Don’t make it easy for them.

  • Have a realistic schedule. Nobody wants to miss a minute, but you probably can’t do it all. Prioritize and plan it out with your friends.

  • Get some sleep. Even if you feel energized and invincible, eventually you’ll need sleep. Try to get at least a few hours. This is super important if you are a designated driver. (Drowsy driving can be dangerous like drunk driving.)

Think the buddy system is so second grade? Not so. It’s smart to have a plan in case you get separated from your friends. And since cell phones might not work, set a couple daily meet-up times and places (particularly before you start any day drinking). BTW, we recommend watching your cup and declining drinks from strangers.

You’ll also want to make sure you stay on top of your birth control, so plan for that and bring along extra condoms (for you or your friends, because you never know when you’ll want or need extra protection).

See you there,

P.S. It’s good to check in every now and then, review all your options, and make sure that your birth control is meeting your needs.

read more about: how-to, culture, frisky friday

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