It’s that time of year when we bust out the body paint and non-culturally appropriative adornments! As a seasoned festival goer I know that there are so many things that need to be considered BEFORE you even get to the venue. These are of course, things I wish I would have known the first time around. But after a few Coachellas you start to get the hang of it. Here are 11 of my best tips for surviving three days in the desert.
Get Yourself A Fanny Pack
Purses can snag or break, backpacks will drench your backside in sweat, fanny packs are the way to go. Not only are you going to have everything you need right on your hip, but you’ll be significantly less likely to lose your valuables that way.
Get A Bottle Sling
It’s hard to make that ass jump when you’ve got a water bottle in your hand. It’s also really easy to lose your water if you set it down and the absolute worst is when you have to leave your group in the middle of a set because you’re so thirsty. They come in lanyards but there are also more elaborate versions you can purchase here.
Wear Sunscreen (Duh)
I’m brown so I don’t turn lobster red but if you’re one of those, I suggest applying a high SPF before you leave home and again halfway through the day. Even if you’re not one of those, you should still protect your skin because the desert sun is unbearable, shade is hard to come by, and anyone can get skin cancer regardless of their skin tone.
Bring A Reusable Water Bottle Or Camel-Pack
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Staying hydrated in the desert is hard especially when it’s hot, crowded, and you’re dancing. You can expect to go through at LEAST 6 water bottles a day depending on your level of exertion. You won’t be able to bring beverages in, but you can still bring in an empty water bottle or camel-pack. Filling stations usually have long lines BUT it will save you money! I like soft bottles because you can roll them up and put them in your pocket when you’re done.
Grab The Hand Sanitizer
This seems like a no brainer but sometimes it’s a detail that goes over looked. Your access to water will be limited. Sweaty, dirty hands are not a good look.
Don’t Forget The Moist Wipes
When I started packing wipes it became a game changer. I use them mostly to wipe dirt and grime off my face and hands, but also use them to wipe my arms because I’m a germaphobe and standing shoulder to shoulder with thousands of strangers means getting their sweat all over you. Baby wipes work just fine, I usually do Pacifica’s make up removing wipes though because they smell good. Obviously, don’t take the whole pack with you, just pack 10 sheets in a ziplock and you’re good to go.
Leave Your Pricey Sunglasses At Home
I know your instinct is to bring your cutest glasses, but don’t. There is a high probability they will get damaged or lost. Every year I go to Urban Outfitters or Forever 21 and pick out a cute cheap pair. Just make sure they have UV lenses and you’re set. Also, pack a spear just in case.
Don’t Forget Your Chapstick
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This is pretty self explanatory. It’s hot, you’ll be sweating and having chapped lips sucks! Any kind will do, I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees.
Bring A Shawl/Scarf/Pashmina (Whatever You Call It)
Seeing as you can only wear your sweater at night, it’s really lame to carry it around all day. But it’s even lamer when the cold sets in and you go from burning hot to freezing cold. I used to tie my shawl around my fanny pack and it would be totally out of the way. I also used it for shade and as something to sit on if the patch of ground I claimed was particularly trampled.
Download Google’s Coachooser app
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Google just came out with a dope new app for Coachella goers. The highlights are: It has a discovery function to help users find out more about artists they aren’t familiar with, you can create your set list schedule once the set times are announced, it gives you behind the scenes footage, Festival trivia, and has FAQs. You can download the app here.
Skip The Sandals
Take it from someone who always gets their toes stomped on, light open-toe shoes are a clutch. My go-to shoes for Coachella have always been Toms because they’re light enough that your feet won’t get too hot. They also offer enough cushion and arch support to get you from the Sahara to the Main Stage and the endless trek back to your car at night.