Gear Up for the Outdoor Music Festival Season

Our list of 10 must-have items for a debauchery-filled summer


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Along with the trickle of snowmelt comes the whomping sound of bass. Every year, spring signals the start of the outdoor music festival season. The months following Coachella, which kicked off Friday, will bring tent cities, giant crowds, strobe lights, and the thrill of seeing a favorite band live. Just grab a ticket and a few select pieces of gear. 

Adventure Medical Wound Medic

Best for: Sasquatch Music Festival

Cuts and bruises are a part of any good party. Maybe it was the mosh pit at Cage the Elephant or a crowdsurfing mishap at the main stage. Either way, if there’s one thing that’s not cool at music festivals, it’s bleeding all over yourself. That’s where the Wound Medic comes in handy. Adventure Medical also makes pocket-sized blister kits for sore feet.

Kelty Basecamp Kitchen

Best for: Firefly Music Festival

Unless you plan on migrating back and forth to pricey and sometimes questionable food trucks, a kitchen setup is an absolute music-festival must. No matter what or how you plan on cooking, Kelty’s Basecamp Kitchen will keep things orderly— think of it as the eye of the storm.

Stanley Shot Glass Set

Best for: Hangout Music Festival

There are too many things to toast at a good show to not have shot glasses ready. The stainless steel set of 2-ounce ponies comes with its own carrying case and makes the perfect companion to any flask. Now, to just sneak it by security…

MSR Backcountry Barn

Best for: High Sierra Music Festival

Tents provide a sanctuary in the chaos of a three-day rock and roll tsunami. For this reason, it’s important to choose your shelter carefully. The heavy-duty Backcountry Barn is tall enough to stand up straight in, big enough for a secluded dance party, and it has a removable floor, which may come in handy when drinks are being tossed around.

Patagonia Activist Canvas

Best for: Outside Lands Music and Art Festival

A good pair of shoes may be the most critical item to bring to a music festival. Though they aren’t made specifically for dancing and they don’t have sparkling unicorns on them, Patagonia’s Activist series is a sturdy line of footwear that won’t leave you sitting down in the front row.

Eureka Camping Cot XL

Best for: Wakarusa Music Festival

When you’re finally ready for bed, don’t pass out on the ground. Waking up in a cot will preserve a tiny bit of your dignity, even if most of it was lost during the sleepless night before. Eureka’s XL is the California King of Cots, big enough to let you wallow in dreams of great sets gone by.

Goal Zero Guide 10

Best for: Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival

Selfie with the revitalized Elton John? Of course. But if you don’t have battery, it’s not happening. For keeping in touch with wayward pals, shooting photos, and figuring out who’s playing next, some sort of remote power is a must. Goal Zero is one of the most reliable charging systems out there—unless it rains.

Nemo Equipment Helio Pressure Shower

Best for: Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival

For many music-festival goers, it’s a breeze to go a few days without showering. While that ethos is wholly understandable, there is another option—and it’s not wet wipes. Nemo’s 2.7-gallon pressure shower is handy for doing the dishes, keeping cool, or sudsing off a night of debauchery.

GSI Vortex Blender

Best for: Electric Forest Festival

Typically, ice is plentiful at most camping music festivals. Whatever else you choose to add is your own prerogative. Morning smoothies. Perhaps a midday blended coffee. And, of course, hail ye who invented the fresh fruit daiquiri. GSI’s Vortex will add the cherry to the top of your (perfectly blended) milkshake of a festival weekend.

Yeti Tundra 105

Best for: Telluride Bluegrass Festival

A cooler and its contents are a statement of character. Yeti’s line of coolers represents the utmost preparedness. Built of roto-molded plastic like the material used in whitewater kayaks, the Tundra will keep your most valuable possessions (beer) really cold and extremely safe. The ultra-insulated box can handle dry ice and there’s a padlock port, just in case

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