Hitting the grounds at some of the biggest music festivals requires some serious planning and packing to ensure that you, the ultimate fan, make the most of your experience. Whether you’re a day-tripper or staying all three nights, we’ve rounded up some of the best accessories—from a breathable folding chair and a summer-friendly sleeping bag to the very necessary portable cellphone charger—needed to maximize your festival potential. Sure, some things may be obvious (while some may be flashy), but let’s not have a repeat of last year when you forgot that one essential item. So, why worry about moisturizer when you should be worried about getting to the front of the stage of your favorite band. Let Rolling Stone do that for you—but just don’t forget to pack extra underwear!
While festivals often provide some sort of shade, having your own shade shelter will help extend your camping space and offer a reprieve from the baking sun. REI and other sporting goods stores offer plenty of options to match the footprint of your tent and desired personal space.
At the end of the day, you’ll want a place to sit that’s not the (potentially muddy) festival grounds. While there are plenty of bulkier options, equipped with cup holders and room for your iPad, we prefer a sleeker design with a deep, comfortable seat lined with breathable mesh, like the REI Co-op Flex Lite Chair.
If you need a backpack, then go with one, like the RiutBag, designed to prevent unwanted festival goers from rummaging through your stuff with zippers along the back instead of the outside.
There are plenty of sleeping bags to choose from but the Marmot Atom 40F Down Sleeping Bag – designed for a rise in temperatures and summer adventures – is a lightweight option that comes with improved ventilation and a water-resistant nylon shell.
With so many tent options to fit the needs of your festival (and your group), it can be hard to choose. But we like the sophisticated glamping vibe of this yurt-like tent that comes with two doors and plenty of space for you and your friends.
Many festivals don’t allow cans or glassware onto festival grounds, so Yeti’s line of reusable drinkware is the best option for water, coffee or whatever you’re imbibing.
Shades are essential, but don’t bring your $200 designer sunglasses. Grab a pair (or two) of Aviators at the checkout line of your favorite H&M or American Eagle Outfitters and don’t be upset if they’re lost or broken by the end of the weekend.
If you want to avoid that ringing in your ears but still enjoy the music you came to hear, splurge on some earplugs, like these from Alpine, which are designed for audiophiles.
While sunscreen should be automatic, it’s easy to forget to pack moisturizer, which will help protect the skin from several days of elements and prevent cracked skin.
Come prepared to handle the most basic of cuts, scratches or minor injuries with a travel-sized kit that will easily fit into a fanny pack or small bag.
These portable cleansers will help when there’s no running water and soap handy. There are now wipes designed specifically for men and women – or you can go with reliable basics from Johnson’s or Nathan.
While wipes will help with most of the body, dry shampoo will allow you to clean your hair without water. It’s as simple as spraying it on and then combing it out.
Sometimes, there’s no escaping the heat (or the stench of the crowd). So, why not come armed with a personal cooling device when there’s no escaping the crowd in front of the stage?
Any serious traveler knows that an extended battery life goes a long way – especially at a festival where charging stations are going to be few and far between. These battery cases are some of the best and most reliable out there.
When it comes to holding all the smaller essentials, go with a belted bag over a bulky backpack – and avoid that back sweat.