6 Must Haves for a Camping Festival

6 Must Haves for a Camping Festival

The 2017 ARISE music festival in Colorado was my first music festival experience & Flow Arts Institute’s Kinetic Fire was my very first Flow Arts festival. If It was not for having a wonderful, festival experienced partner & helpful friends, I would have been a little lost when it came to packing what I truly needed for the event. I think I was pretty caught up on what clothes I was going to bring when my partner asked, do you have a water bottle or camelback? What about sunscreen and bug spray

1. Water & Easy to Carry Water Bottle

Water at festivals
Decorate your Nalgene with all your fest stickers! Image from @nalgene_adventures
This is an absolute must have! Come prepared with plenty of water and a water bottle or camelbak that is easy to walk around with. I enjoyed having a camelbak for music festivals because you can tuck small items and schedules away in the bag without worry and your water is right there, hands free! At Flow Festivals, my Nalgene or my Hydro Flask water bottle is my BFF! You can even personalize your water bottle with your festival stickers, store stickers, and festival bands. It wouldn’t always be practical to wear a Camelbak while I am attending workshops, especially since I am pretty aerial arts focused. I just bring my water bottle along and set it next to me during classes. Back at base camp, my partner and I keep a 7- Gallon Aqua-Tainer full of our R.O.D.I. water from home (I admit, we might be water snobs). After we finish a workshop, we head back to camp to fill our water bottles back up, chat about what we learned, and then head to the next workshop! Some Festivals can really heat up! Protect yourself from dehydration and drink tons of water during your festival stay! I can be such a camp counselor when it comes to ensuring my friends are getting their necessary water. #sorrynotsorryiloveyou

2. Baby Wipes & Makeup Remover Wipes

For real, Get yourself plenty of baby wipes! You will be immensely thankful later on. Most festivals DO NOT have showers & if they do, be prepared to pay for that fresh clean feeling. I really enjoy the night time makeup remover wipes for my face because I love wearing makeup at fests & don’t want to wake up with eyeliner smeared all over.

I mentioned before that festivals can be a hot experience, and that’s before dancing or flowing! You will want to wipe off before passing out from spending the whole night in the fire circle or dancing to a DJ. Wipies are also great for wiping feet off before entering your tent because, there is always mud at a festival. (Bring your rain boots if you don’t like getting your feet muddy). Baby wipes can be used for SO MANY things like keeping your props clean, your base camp clean, etc etc. As a mom, I use them outside of fests alllllll the time! (Bonus points for Biodegradable wipes!) Also, you could use them in the porta potties for a cleaner experience (If you are using a Diva Cup, you will need these) but you CANNOT put them in the porta potty. Tuck a plastic bag/water safe bag into your pack and live by the ‘you pack it in, you pack it out‘ rule.

If you are a fire artist, these should already be in your fire box, so make sure you have enough in supply before you head to the festival!

It is possible to bring a stand up shower that you can set up next to your tent. We brought one along with us to Playthink 2018 and ended up never using it because we spent 50% of our time playing in the creeks or getting hosed down with citronella water by the local fire department!

3. Sun Protection, of every type!

OKC Doula Oklahoma Doula
Bare Republic Sells these awesome, environment safe, neon sunscreen sticks for only $9 for one or $19 for a pack of three!! Go full color while you stay protected from those sunny rays!

Sun glasses, Sprayable sunscreen for your scalp, face sunscreen, regular sunscreen, ALL OF THE SUNSCREEN! I am not over exaggerating. If you want to really enjoy your festival experience, it will help to not be absolutely fried your first day in. Don’t forget to re-apply your sunscreen often as well!

If you want to get extra with your sun protection, check out Bare Republic’s Neon Sunscreen sticks!

Make sure to buy Oxybenzone-Free Sunscreen. The chemical Oxybenzone, is the suspected culprit for our beautiful coral reefs being bleached. Even if you are going to a festival in the mountains, those chemicals will wash down a creek or river, and eventually into our oceans to wreak havoc. Plus, if it can bleach a coral reef, what could it be doing to your sensitive cells?

4. Dollar Bills

money at festivals

Dollar Dollar bills, Y’all! This is something I almost always forget because we don’t really use cash a lot these days. Most festivals are going to be in the middle of nowhere, without cell phone reception. This means that a lot of vendors will not be able to process your debit/credit cards. If you want that years festival shirt/hoodie, food truck goodies, or new props & clothes, BRING CASH.

5. A Timekeeper

Whether you have a watch, phone, or sundial, make sure you have something that can tell you what time it is (also it’s charger & battery pack if necessary). It is respectful to show up to workshops on time and in order to do this, you will rely on your timepiece. You do not want to lose track of the time and miss out on a class you were looking forward to, or show up late and disrupt the other students learning. Some instructors are not particular about this, some are. It is better to be make a good impression by being respectful & getting there on time. Also, if you miss out on your Fire Safety class, You will not be burning in the fire circle that night.

6. A Power Bank/Portable Charger

There will most likely not be anywhere for you to charge your phone up. Also, there will probably not be service either, but if you want to take photos and videos of your experience, be sure to pack a charged power bank. They vary in price and charges, pick one based off of how often you think you will use up your phones battery.



For ideas on great portable chargers, Check out PCMag’s list here!



There you go!! There are my 6 Must haves for a camping festival! If you have any recommendations or there is something I missed that you couldn’t live without, be sure to leave a comment!

Jenni Jenkins Sekine Student Midwife

Jenni Jenkins – Sekine is an Oklahoma Student Midwife, Midwives Assistant, Birth & Postpartum Doula, and Child Birth Educator who serves her Central Oklahoma  community. She began her journey as a student midwife in 2022 at the Midwives College of Utah.

To learn more about Jenni, please click here.

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