The Ultimate Coachella Packing Guide, For Everyone From Newcomers To Veterans

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Festival season 2019 is upon us with a vengeance, and with the recent addition of Ariana Grande to the “possible acts that can headline a fest” spreadsheet all my superfans keep meticulously updated, more stans than ever will be out in full force at weekend music events this year.

For instance, I’m an industry veteran who’s worked in music for the past eight years, but this will be my first time attending Coachella since 2007. Yes, I crowd-surfed to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, yes I cried and sang along to then-rising indie band Arcade Fire. I digress, this is about the future of festivals, and my hunch that a lot of newbies will be showing out at this year’s Coachella.

One of the first rules of a successful festival experience? Do not come empty-handed! My inbox has been full of people suggesting things to bring to Coachella all month for a reason — being well-equipped for massive crowds and incredible heat while looking good and maintaining endurance until that headliner slot does not come naturally! It takes a village, so to speak, and if you’re not sure what to bring along for your own personal survival kit, let me make some suggestions based on what I’ll be bringing. (Note: As an Amazon Associate, Uproxx may earn commission on qualifying purchases.)

Stock up on preventative vitamins

How do Instagram models keep their skin looking so fresh? VITAMINS. A massive multi-vitamin like Wellness Formula by Source Naturals is chock full of everything you need to boost your immune system — Echinacea, ginger root, garlic, Vitamin C — while also keeping you up to date on other necessary nutrients. Warding off sickness is a major concern at events with huge crowds, unhealthy habits, and lots of late nights, so shoring up your immune system ahead of time and during the fest is a good idea. Other suggestions from the experts include taking Theracurmin (basically the most intensive version of Turmeric) for anti-inflammatory benefits (read: swollen feet) and the aforementioned glowing skin. If you’re a late packer like I am, you can send some to an Amazon locker on-site and start stocking up during the early sets. Technology!

Something to keep your anxiety in check

While it’s not technically a vitamin, packing along some CBD to ease anxiety for those particularly crowded, rowdy sets is a no-brainer. It’s legal in California, it doesn’t get you high, and with technology like pens and vapes, it won’t even damage your lungs. It’s a win-win item for anyone with social anxiety (hi!) or just for those stressed out on day three of an intensive fest. Check out CBD vape offerings from Beboe, one of my personal favorite LA weed brands. They also offers Sativa and Indica pens with chill, crowd-friendly highs for out-of-town stoners looking to stock up for the fest. And though weed maybe legal in California, but you still technically can’t bring it into most festivals, so make sure to partake pre-festival or risk getting it confiscated.

A dash of strechty, comfy, on-trend neon

Via Year Of Ours

Yes, cutoffs are the staple wardrobe item for festival season, particularly fests like Coachella that take place in desert climates. But, between chafing (more on preventing that later) and the lack of sweat-wicking fabric that jean tends to offer, a pair of leggings is a perfect option for at least one of the days you’ll be walking miles back and forth across the polo fields. Everyone is going to be showing midriff anyway, why not just go full sports bra? Check out Year Of Ours for a female-founded company with accessible sizing and cute tie-front leggings that are hitting the summer neon trend hard in a new collection.

Black tennis shoes for dusty weather climates

My go-to festival shoe has been a low-rise tennis shoe for a long time, and a worn-in pair of Reebok Classics are a personal favorite. But those pure white babes won’t last a day in the dust of Chella, so a friend suggested I add a black pair to my collection, and that seems like the move. I know many festival-goers prefer sandals, but I have high arches and need the structure of a sneaker to last all the way to the headliner’s late night set. Odds are if you’re a festival newbie, you do too. Grab a pair here.

A maybe miracle hangover cure?

If you’re not into swallowing vitamin capsules whole, then this might be the hangover tool for you. The “Rally Patch” was formulated by entertainment industry veterans who were sick of suffering from work-related hangovers and looking for a miracle cure. Though I’ve yet to try it, the patch is apparently full of vitamins that battle the “defeating effects associated with hangovers” and is recommended as most effective to apply while drinking. At a very affordable price point of $5 or less, it’s an easy investment for a potentially high payoff. Order some here.

Protection for your ears at all costs

I probably attended two or three thousand concerts in my twenties, and how many was I wearing earplugs at? None. That all changed about a year ago when I realized I couldn’t hear Netflix shows without straining, and now have to consume all my TV with subtitles on. While I’d like to blame the cheap speakers in Mac laptops, I also realized that protecting my hearing was an important part of being in the music industry. Now, I wear these comfortable, moderately high-tech earplugs from Vibes whenever I’m going to be at a super loud show. It’s a tiny step that can make a huge difference in the long run. Get a pair here.

Sunscreen. This is not a drill.

As I mentioned above, taking care of yourself is something I didn’t learn until after my 20s were over. That doesn’t have to happen to you! Now that I’ve progressed to the ripe old age of 31, I’ve begun to take sunscreen seriously. If you’re gonna be in the sun for hours on end, make sure your face — at the very least — is completely covered. I used to shy away from the stuff because it left greasy residue that I found uncomfortable, but Super Goop makes a super light and fluffy sunscreen that doubles as a moisturizer, which you’re also going to need in the desert. Get some of that full SPF 40 here.

A super convenient water bottle to stay hydrated all the way until Ariana Grande’s closing set

The other day I forgot to bring water to a yoga class, and a friend lent me her bottle. After 60 minutes in the heated room, my plastic water bottle usually yields lukewarm water, at best — but this bottle kept the contents freezing cold until the end. Plus it came with a bendable straw in the lid, which made grabbing a quick drink super easy. Even better: The lid has a loop that can easily clip onto backpacks, purses, etc for easy carrying. I was hooked and went to get a Hydro Flask off Amazon that day. I will be brining this reusable bottle to the grounds this weekend, to help avoid creating more plastic waste, and to make sure the sunny daytime hours don’t get the best of me. I need to be hydrated and well-rested when Ariana takes the stage. If that’s your goal too, pick up a water bottle here.

Some swag to honor a legend at the biggest fest in music

Courtesy of Vans

After a couple of serious items, let’s end this guide with a return to festival fashion. Coachella means a gathering of some of the biggest music fans in California, but also the most fashionable. Vans new limited series honoring the many phases and faces of David Bowie is an ideal way to represent both. From checkered high tops emblazoned with the infamous Bowie lightning bolt logo to unisex tees honoring his Off The Wall era, this brand new collection dropped just last week and would certainly make an impression out in the desert. Hey, you can even pair it with some of the neon leggings up above! Check out the full collection here.

Source Naturals and Rally Patch supplied Uproxx with samples included here for us to review. As an Amazon Associate, Uproxx may earn commission on qualifying purchases.