What to Bring When Camping at a Music Festival

What to Bring to a Camping Music Festival – Tips For Beginners and Pros

Camping at a music festival can be an unforgettable experience if done right. Whether you’re a fan of EDM, bluegrass, hip-hop, indie, or any other genre of music, camping is the perfect way to get in the weeds (sometimes, literally!) and enjoy the complete festival experience. But of course, before jumping in head first, you’re probably wondering what to bring when camping at a music festival.

Choosing to camp allows you to get closer to the music and the atmosphere of the festival. You can get to know other fans and meet new people camped nearby who share your love of music. You will also have plenty of time to explore the festival grounds and take in the sights and sounds of the event. There’s no need to rush to the festival in time for the music to start because you’re practically already there. 

One of the best things about camping at a music festival is that you can save money. Most festivals offer camping passes at a reasonable rate, and you won’t have to worry about finding a place to stay or spending money on expensive hotels. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy the atmosphere all weekend without having to leave the comfort of the festival grounds. 

When camping at a music festival, it’s important to plan ahead and prepare for the event by packing all of the essentials. Make sure you have the necessary supplies, such as tents, sleeping bags and/or air mattresses, and food if you don’t plan to spend a ton of money at the vendors. It’s also important to check the weather before heading to the festival to ensure you have the proper gear to endure whatever conditions lie ahead.

There’s no such thing as being over-prepared for a camping festival. When you’re living out in the wilderness for days, you truly have no idea what kinds of challenges you will face. Based on years of experience camping at music festivals, we’ve compiled a list of what to bring to a camping music festival to ensure you and your friends have the best weekend possible!


One thing you might not be able to survive a camping music festival without is a tent. Unless you’re bringing an RV or planning to sleep in a vehicle, you should bring a tent to shield yourself from the elements while you’re getting your slumber. We recommend an easy pop-up tent like this one from Mobihome. It literally takes less than a minute to put up, and you won’t need any experience pitching tents to figure it out. When it’s time to leave, it’ll be just as easy to fold it up and store it for next time. 

Although not necessary, you should also consider getting a canopy tent like CROWN SHADES 10×10 Pop Up Canopy. When you’re not sleeping in your regular tent and not at one of the stages listening to music, you are your friends will need a shady spot to chill out. Under it, you can put blankets, chairs, and whatever else you like to lounge on. Your canopy tent can also be placed over your sleeping tent while you’re inside to offer extra shade from the hot sun.


Don’t be that person that shows up with no food and is forced to pay for overpriced food at vendors all weekend. Aside from snacking foods, you should bring prepared meals inside a cooler to fuel your body with protein throughout the day. Pack sandwiches, wraps, pasta, or whatever you normally eat that is easy to prep and store. When selecting your meals, you should consider something high in protein to keep you fueled throughout the weekend. And unless you’ve packed a portable grill, you should prepare to eat whatever you’ve brought cold.

You can pack your meals in ziplock bags or reusable food storage containers.


Make sure you bring plenty of water to keep you hydrated over the weekend. We recommend one 24-pack of water bottles per person to be safe. If you go through all of your water, you may be forced to pay insane festival prices for bottles or cases. It’s better to spend a few extra dollars to ensure you have enough! 

Many festivals also encourage the reduction of single-use plastic by placing water refill stations on the grounds. In that case, make sure you bring a reusable bottle (we love this 32 oz insulated one from HydroPeak!) that you can fill up regularly throughout the weekend. It’s not a bad idea to keep some plastic bottles at your camp just in case of emergency.

Aside from water, coconut water and sports drinks like Gatorade are great ways to consume electrolytes and stay hydrated. It’s easy to get dehydrated and not realize it when you’re spending the entire day in the hot sun.

If you drink alcohol, you’ll definitely want to show up with drinks to enjoy at your campsite or bring to the stages if the festival allows it. Purchasing just a few drinks at the festival bars can easily cost you a hundred bucks. Be sure to review the festival’s guidelines ahead of time to see what type of alcohol and how much is allowed inside the campgrounds.

A quality cooler

Emphasis on quality. To store all of your food and beverage throughout the weekend, you’re going to want to bring a cooler. A cheap styrofoam cooler will do the job but we recommend a Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler for the best camping experience. However, you can also opt for a cheaper cooler like the Coleman Chiller Series. Having a decent cooler means your ice melts slower and your food stays cool longer. Ice purchased on festivals can be very expensive–be prepared to pay around $20 for a 10 lbs bag. It’s more cost-effective to invest in a good-quality speaker that will keep your ice frozen for many festivals to come, than to deal with the cost and hassle of constantly refilling your ice supply.

A portable speaker

Bringing a speaker to a music festival sounds silly, right? Think again. You will have a ton of time to kill at a camping festival in between the artists’ sets. A portable speaker like JBL’s Flip 4 is a great way to bring your favorite music to your campsite during the day. Not only can elevate the vibes at your campsite, but you might attract new friends to come hang out, too.

Electrolyte packets

Electrolytes are essential for healthy body function. They help regulate the balance of fluids in the body, support the transportation of nutrients and oxygen to cells, and help with muscle and nerve function. Electrolytes also help to maintain a normal blood pH, regulate blood pressure and prevent dehydration. Without electrolytes, the body would be unable to perform its normal daily functions.

Consuming electrolytes is one of the best ways to ensure your body is in the best shape to endure the conditions of a camping festival. The easiest way to get extra electrolytes is with Liquid IV or a similar brand.

Liquid IV is a hydration multiplier that helps to restore the body’s electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals. It contains three times the electrolytes of traditional sports drinks, and its formula is designed to help the body absorb water faster and more effectively than drinking water alone. The formula also contains Vitamin C and B-Complex vitamins, which help support a healthy immune system and provide energy to the body–all essential to surviving a camping festival!

First aid & medications

Camping festivals should have medical staff and designated medical areas on-site. However, it’s a good idea to have first aid supplies handy at your campsite for minor injuries. Keep a first aid kit like this one equipped with band-aids, alcohol swabs, and other essentials handy and your friends might thank you later.

It’s also wise to pack Advil/Tylenol, Tums, Benadryl, and other common over-the-counter medications. Again, you can probably get these items from medical staff but it’s easier to keep them handy. Just keep in mind that some festivals require any over-the-counter medications to be sealed when brought through security. 

Portable chargers

When considering what to bring to a camping music festival, a portable charger is one of the most important things! Your portable chargers will be your lifeline all weekend, especially if you don’t have a car to plug your phone into. Investing in a good portable charger like this one from RETMSR can charge your phone up to 8 times, allowing you to keep your phone juiced up all weekend. However, it’s always a good idea to bring more than one, just in case you’re charging more than expected, or if your friend asks to borrow it. 

Walking shoes

Be sure to pack shoes that are designed for walking long distances–not just ones that look good. You could be walking anywhere between 25-50 miles throughout the weekend. Think about it–your walk to the bathroom, food vendors, friends’ campsites, and of course, all of the stages will add up quickly. Don’t let back, foot or neck pain ruin your weekend. You can always go back to your campsite to change your shoes whenever you’d like, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Portable shower

Skip to camping fest elite status by showing up with a portable shower bag, like this one from Ridgewood. The communal showers can be dirty, have long lines, and cost you anywhere between $10-$20 per shower. Use your portable shower bag right in the comfort of your own campsite, and save it to pack for all of your next festivals. You can even set up a portable changing tent like GigaTent’s Pop Up Privacy Tent for maximum privacy.

We hope this guide answered your questions about what to bring when camping at a music festival! To make it easy, we’ve compiled all of the products mentioned in this article below (plus some more!):

Check out the 10 best camping festivals in the US next.

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what to bring when camping at a music festival
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