To fill your festival duffel bag

Courtesy of Megan Cole/flickr

If you’ve been following the Runner’s music section, you might have read that—though they’re usually a music festival staple—bringing drugs to your next fest could be a potentially bad idea (or good idea, depending on your definition of a Gaye old time). But with Sasquatch! and the Vancouver Folk Fest quickly approaching, you’re probably getting mentally prepared for the social and sonic experience of the year.
Here’s a list of essentials that you won’t want to forget as you’re packing up the ol’ Caravan and heading into the middle of nowhere this summer:

1. Sunscreen: It’s hot in the desert. Real hot. Festivals like Sasquatch!, Coachella, and Burning Man take place over a weekend in the desert and that’s sure to leave you with a few freckles, if not a second-degree sunburn. Load up on the 30 spf or above, kids. A pale-skinned ginger like me certainly knows the pain of a bad burn, and if you don’t want to have to avoid the slightest brush up against your arm-flailing neighbour in the front row, you better make sure your skin is the first thing you protect.

2. Water:
Lots of it, bring lots of it. As previously established, you’ll be wandering around underneath the desert sun for a nearly 12-hour day for the weekend and you’d better make sure to stay hydrated. If you’re planning on being wasted all day, remember, alcohol dehydrates the body, and with the uninterrupted exposure to sun, you’ll be zapped in less than no time. Most festivals will pour out open water bottles upon entry though, so if you bring it in, make sure it’s factory sealed.

3. Zip-Loc bags: Weird, right? No, not really, and here’s why. So the entrance staff at the gates of any concert pour out opened water bottles for fear of bringing in alcohol, maybe because they don’t want to be responsible for your inevitable brush with alcohol poisoning, or maybe because they want you to buy a single Bud Lite Lime for $12. Zip-Loc bags are handy for a few things, and putting alcohol in them is one. Gone are the days of stuffing your bra with water balloons, and here are the days of stuffing your bra with vodka packs. You feel me ladies? Just make sure they’re sealed up tight.

4. Condoms: HEL-LO! Yeah, this one is a given. Even if you don’t plan on getting funky in your tent by the time you leave your house, ecstasy does a lot to the body and the mind. And while sex on E will probably be MDMAzing, do you really want to explain to your child why his/her middle name is “wookie stage”?

5. Lanterns: Unless you’re rolling up to your fest in an RV, it’s gonna be extremely dark at night because there are usually no lights in your campsite. Though there SHOULD be a first aid somewhere near, you won’t want to have to search for it in the dark if you cut your foot open on broken glass. Bring a high powered lantern or flashlight on your trip to gather your campsite around or lead yourself to the nearest port-a-potty. Plus, shining a light under your chin when telling scary stories around the campfire is always fun.

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