Your Outdoor Festival Camping Checklist

Going to a festival this season?

Wondering what the hell you should pack? No worries, DF5K has the ultimate outdoor festival camping checklist for you!

This list is comprehensive, which means this is all the stuff that you might need, though you probably won’t need it all. While you don’t want to skimp on necessities like warm clothing and alcohol, bring only those things that you will really use. And please note- this list is not suited for Burning Man, which is a whole ‘nother alligator altogether!

Your Outdoor Festival Camping Checklist:

ESSENTIALS – Lock all this in your car except for some of your cash.

  • PHONE + wall & car charger
  • ID + backup ID
  • Keys + backup car key kept in different place
  • CASH – more than you think you will need
  • Credit card/Debit card – shopping or emergencies
  • Proof of health insurance/AAA card
  • Tickets or printed email confirmation
  • Map or directions to venue!


  • Condoms- get you some
  • Sunblock
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses + backup pair
  • Prescription meds
  • Chapstick – can also be used to lube your tent zipper. That is not a metaphor.
  • Bandannas- lots
  • Watch- I NEVER wear a watch, except at festies, to keep track of time slots
  • Mirror
  • Flask filled with cognac
  • Hat for the sun
  • Lotion/Moisturizer
  • Deodorant- please
  • First aid kit w/Ibuprofen, Immodium AD, bandaids for blisters, allergy meds, etc.
  • Tissues  & Toilet Paper – don’t count on the Port-O-Potties staying stocked!
  • Baby Wipes – lots. Package some individually in Ziplocs for trips to the john
  • Glasses + Contacts + Extra contacts
  • Business cards
  • Flyers for your next party
  • Toothbrush & toothpaste
  • Grocery bags + large and small Ziploc bags – these items take up almost no weight  or space and have 8 zillion uses, from dirty clothes to trash.
  • Beach towel for chillin’
  • Ear plugs
  • Small container (like prescription bottle) for cigarette butts
  • Head lamp or flashlight
  • Cup – large (for drinkin’)
  • Water bottle
  • Frisbee – can play with it and use it as your plate
  • Fork & spoon or just SPORK IT
  • Pocket knife
  • Socks & underwear + a few extras
  • Hat + wool socks + gloves + warm jacket (even in Cali, even in the summer. Nothing ruins a festival quicker than not being able to get warm)
  • Flip flops or sandals
  • Comfortable closed-toe shoes. Two pair if you are clumsy and tend to fall into mud or puddles of water.
  • Clothes – layers are always best.
  • Costumes if you would like
  • Rain gear – I never bring rain gear


  • Tent
  • Hammer/Mallet for tent
  • Air mattress + pump or foam pad
  • Warm sleeping bag
  • Pillow + extra blanket(s) for tent – if you have extra room
  • Tarp(s)- for shade and/or to put under your tent for less moisture wicking
  • Shade structure/gazebo for shade & creating camp space
  • Ground blankets – that you don’t mind ruining
  • Duct tape & superglue
  • Camp chairs, pillows etc. for sitting
  • Camp table
  • Camp stove + pots/pans/cooking utensils if cooking
  • Camp shower if you are ritzy + biodegradable soap
  • Wall hangings, bright sarongs, etc to hang from trees – camp decor, get creative!
  • Black metal binder clips to hang stuff
  • Flag or camp marker
  • Lantern or other nighttime light source
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Paper towels
  • Ice chests + ice
  • Plastic bin(s) to hold all of this
  • Eco-friendly soap
  • Water for cooking, cleaning up and splash baths
  • Pot for boiling water


  • Sandwich for the first day – make one yourself or grab a 12” from a local deli, you can eat half for lunch, half when you get hungry later, and not have to think about food the whole first day
  • Liquor – vodka mixes with everything FYI even root beer for breakfast
  • Beer – more than you will think you need
  • Water – stash an extra gallon or so in your car for the ride home
  • Mixers – extra for plain drinking
  • Gatorade “It’s Got Electrolytes!” Or packets of powdered energy drink to mix in your water bottle or with vodka
  • Orange juice + sparkling wine for mimosa o’clock
  • Emergen-see and multivitamins – STAY HEALTHY SO YOU CAN PARTY MORE
  • Granola Bars or Trail Mix
  • Starbucks Espresso One Shots – one for each morning
  • Candy, chocolate & gum
  • Group foods are fun! Think pitz chips + hummus & cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, olives, pepperoncinis, red onion slices, tabouleh, etc.
  • Instant foods are good too: garlic rice noodles or cinnamon oatmeal
  • If you are doing heavy cooking, you will need many more cooking and meal supplies than I have listed. However if you are doing heavy cooking, I assume you know what the hell you are doing and can figure this out on your own.

FOR FUN – Give back to your creative community!

  • Camera + extra battery or video camera!
  • Day bag for carrying all this around
  • Hoola Hoops
  • Twirling staff/Poi
  • Mullet wig
  • Water wings
  • LED toys
  • Journal + pen + Sharpee marker
  • Fingerpaints, markers or crayons + note pads
  • Drum, guitar or zither
  • Hammock
  • Feathers
  • Face paint
  • Parasol for the sun

LADIES – get a special section:

  • Makeup – fun stuff like glitter & neon blue mascara
  • Makeup remover sheets
  • Face soap + Frisbee + Water = morning face wash
  • Small personal towel
  • Tweezers/Nail clippers
  • Hair brush + clips/rubber bands
  • Smell good stuff- water mixed with a few drops of coconut or peppermint oil in a sprayer works well
  • Sarongs – can be hung as décor, worn several ways and also used as ground cloth
  • Tampons etc.
  • Bikini- because you never know

32 Responses to “Your Outdoor Festival Camping Checklist”

  1. Nice work Shilo! See you at LIB!

  2. Hi!

    Thank you for this great list! One question: ice for sale onsite??? Being a burner and not so much of a festival person I am trying to figure out how much to get.

    blessings and see you there!

  3. dancefever5000 Says:

    Yes there will be ice for sale! Just got the confirmation text.

  4. Any word on what to do with gray water?



  5. Shilo – you freaking ROCK! You just made our life soooo much easier!

  6. Cute, yet way too girly for Roskilde Festival 😉

  7. Thanku! found really useful!:L hah!

  8. sara newton Says:

    THANK YO SO MUCH! there is so much i forgot about!

  9. thanks, almost forgot about the tampons!

  10. Heather Marsch Says:

    cards, dice, hacky sacks, frisbee, paper towels, extra towels, empty grocery bags, ziploc bags, batteries, flashlights, car inverter, glow sticks, tiki torches, rope, coolers, grill, lighter fluid, charcoal, can opener, grill/food untensils, tin foil, TP, first aid, hand sanitizer, wet wipes, sun screen, contact solution, tweezers, sm mirror, anti/ itch, lanterns, duct tape, tarps, rope, chairs, table, scissors/knife, matches, bandanna, hat, sunglasses, sharpies, gum, water coolers, shelter of some sort, squirt guns?, music source, simple tools, sewing kit, mouthwash, arts and crafts stuff, clothes hanger to unlock a car if necessary, plastic cups, ear plugs, lotion, chapstick, nail clippers, clothespins, light up LED things, superglue, alarm/watch, jumper cables for car, musical instruments if wanted, garbage bags, bottle opener, cork screw, and food

    • This is probably the best, most comprehensive list I’ve ever seen. I’m a seasoned festival camper, but I always like to double-check my list against another one to make sure I didn’t forget something obvious, and usually, I never do. However, this list has some stuff on it I never would’ve thought of! I love the frisbee face wash! I will totally be doing that this weekend!

  11. Lindsey Hendermen Says:

    best list ive seen yet. love thepicture to go along with it. brings me back!

  12. awesome! this is gonna be so useful! Thanks for putting it together!

  13. […] to google, I found an extensive outdoor festival camping checklist. The list is complete with a beach towel for relaxing, a watch to check for set times, and hula […]

  14. This is an awesome list! Things that I wouldnt even think of to bring. Thank you!

  15. Good day! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent information
    you have got right here on this post. I’ll be coming back to your web site for more soon.

  16. You have my lion king blanket!! That blanket is the shit.

  17. Yer brilliant. ^.^

  18. Great, really comprehensive checklist. Hope you don’t mind if I add a few of these suggestions to the printable festival camping checklist on my website.

  19. Thank you! best list ever so useful

  20. Omg I have the same Lion King blanket I’ve had it for like 15 years it’s one of my most favorite things ever

  21. Wow, awesome and very helpful list!

  22. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway,
    just wanted to say great blog!

  23. Never delete this! I refer back to it every time I’m about to leave for a festival. Great checklist!

  24. […] a bonus, we got you a packing guide and a playlist as you journey to the […]

  25. Fatiron666 Says:

    Forgot to add condoms to that. Dont wanna make that mistake again

  26. emmibuck Says:

    Great list, I loved sarongs for ladies – they are truly so multi-functional and useful! I also wanted to add to this list a camping festival MUST have: Organic Brushing Rinse! Essential Oxygen Organic Brushing Rinse beats toothpaste by a mile because 1) you don’t need water, and 2) spitting it out on the ground wouldn’t be toxic, but actually cleans the ground and feeds the plants. Yup! It’s a biodegradable liquid you swish with, no water needed, and can beneficially soak right into mother nature! It has saved my mouth so many times at Lightning in a Bottle, Burning Man, etc!

    Check it out here:

  27. Great list! I’ve also created an updated list for 2016 😉

  28. Pretty awesome list!

  29. I am continuously browsing online for ideas that can help me.

    Thank you!

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