Thursday, April 30, 2015

festival survival guide

the count down is officially on: only one week left until shaky knees! after going to several festivals over the past few summers, i have learned that while fun, they aren't quite as glamorous as coachella and alessandra ambrosio make them out to be. sure white lace and sandals are great if you're reclining by a poolside bar sponsored by lacoste in the middle of state that has not seen a drop of rain in months...but they're not very practical when you're drenched in sweat or even worse rain. our first year at shaky knees, it poured for three days straight. luckily, we learned to adapt quickly and still had a ton of fun. so here's quick check list for what you should pack to rough all the elements - sun and storms included.

1. sunglasses  / warby parker 
for obvious reasons, you are hoping it will be 70 and sunny during your festival. don't let the glare keep you from seeing your favorite band. bonus, these double as a windshield for your face during summer storms.

2. croakies / vineyard vines
croakies aren't just for frat bros or fishermen. they're practical, and you don't have to worry about setting your sunglasses down and losing them. these "every day should feel this good" croakies are perfect for this occasion, too.

3. backpack / north face
a backpack is a must. store all your tickets, jackets and snacks in one place. plus, unlike a purse, it distributes the weight evenly on your shoulders, so you can carry it around all day. (or, bring one for your entire group and take turns carrying it). i especially like this north face one because it's light weight and has mesh pockets on the outside so you can easily access your water bottle(s).

4. water bottle / camelbak
i cannot stress this point enough: it is so, so important to stay hydrated during a music festival, especially if you are drinking. dancing and running around all day are extremely draining, especially if you are somewhere hot and humid like the deep south. most festivals have stations where you can fill your bottle up for free. you paid a lot of money for those tickets, so don't black out or get sick and miss the show. camelbaks are particularly nice because water doesn't gush all over you when you go to take a drink.

5. power bank / amazon
some festivals have charging stations, some don't. better to err on the side of caution and not be tied down for 30 minutes. if you know you like to instagram, snap chat, etc. pick one of these bad boys up. when you battery gets low, just plug your phone in and drop it in your backpack for a few minutes until it's ready for action again.

6. sunscreen / cetaphil
do not get sunburned on the first day. you will suffer for the rest of the weekend. i love cetaphil moisturizer because it has SPF 15 and you can apply it to your face before you put on your makeup, and it doesn't leave you feeling greasy and gross. also, it doesn't make your skin break out. i've been using this stuff for years and swear by it.

7. closed toed (flat) shoes / converse
gladiator sandals and heeled booties are really cute, but they're not very practical. nothing is more annoying than 1) having someone step on your toes 2) feeling dirt or mud in your shoes while you are sweating and 3) having to sit down because your heels are hurting you. invest in some cute sneakers. when you're running from stage to stage, you'll be glad you did.

8. rain boots / l.l. bean
if it looks like there is even a remote chance of rain, plan for it. and if you can only bring one item ahead of time, make it proper footwear. wet, soggy feet lead to cold, grumpy festival goers, and that's not who you want to be. bean boots look great with cut offs when the weather is questionable, or you can tuck in your jeans or some leggings during a down pour for total coverage. mud washes off the leather easily, and they come with a lifetime guarantee.

9. rain coat / north face
rain coats are a good layer to pack because even when it's not raining, you can throw them on as a light jacket when the sun goes down. once again, north face wins my vote because they make light weight jackets that are easy to carry around or stuff into a bag. also, they have lots of fun colors (mine is bright pink).

10. poncho / walmart
i know, i know. you just packed a rain coat! why do you need a poncho too? i will tell you why: to keep your rain coat from getting totally saturated. if it looks like your festival is going to take place in an all-day downpour, layer up because your jacket can realistically only handle so much. the plastic will keep your core nice and insulated while the rain falls down. from experience, i suggest buying the largest size available (that way you can cover your backpack and arms) and buy a few because those things rip easily. bear grylls is hawking this poncho, so i would obviously buy it.

11. bonus tip / stay someplace with a real bed and shower
camping is fun when that's all you're doing...or if you have a yurt...or if you are a hardcore backpacker. but after a long day of dancing, drinking and sweating, your body/mind really just needs an actual bed and a good, hot shower. check and see if your festival has any partner hotels nearby the grounds with discounted rates. or, rent an air b n b to save some money and still have all the luxuries of home.

anything i missed? let me know because i'd love to hear your tips and experiences!

image via google

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