The Ultimate Guide to Coachella Camping: Tips, Lists & More

Coachella, the young adult’s playing ground and the millennial’s fountain of youth. This event, which attracts a plethora of festival goers each year, has become one of the largest music festivals in the world. Seeing that the tickets sell out in just hours, this exclusive festival feels nearly impossible to get into. On the event’s release date, individuals wait frantically on multiple desktops to snag one of the lucky colorful wristbands. Those who are lucky enough to get a ticket, walk into the highly anticipated event in mid-to-late April with their glitter, trendy sunglasses, and love for partying. Coachella Camping - Supernova Artwork

Superstars like Beyonce and Eminem graced Coachella 2018 stages with incredible performances – causing chaos, commotion, and frenzy. With Coachella being one of the most hyped and sought out events of the year, you’ll want to arrive prepared, energetic and ready for a good time.

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably procrastinated on packing for Coachella! Don’t panic and certainly don’t lose the positive vibes (you’ll need to save those for the festival). To assist you, I’ve created a simple list to help y’all conquer these festival grounds for years to come.

Coachella Camping Tips

You’ll want to check out the full list of essential items to pack before you head out. Although it may seem like a fuck ton of stuff (which it is), you can coordinate with your squad to ensure that someone in the group is in charge of taking specific items, that is if you don’t have trust issues.

Overpack Camping Gear

If you’re thinking about packing light on camping gear, think again. I suggest packing as many things as possible (within reason of course). What to pack for Coachella camping also depends on the weather, so make sure you’re being proactive and keeping an eye out for it.

Go With Friends

Camping with friends is going to make your experience that much better. Make sure you go with friends who know how to camp more than you do. By doing so, you can benefit from using some of their outdoor knowledge, and hopefully even some of their extra gear. Also, it’s more fun getting wild with friends!

What to Pack for Coachella Camping

In no particular order, you will find a full list of essential items you’ll need to enjoy your Coachella camping experience. Note: You’ll want to ensure that you’re checking Coachella’s website for any updates on prohibited items.

  • Tent & Extra Tent Stakes
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Pillow
  • Blankets
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Grill
  • Power Wall Adapters
  • Phone Charger
  • Alcohol (if 21 or up)
  • Insulated Bags for Food Storage
  • Toilet Paper / Baby Wipes
  • Food
  • Towels
  • Shower Essentials
  • Sturdy Canopy
  • Sun Block / Sun Screen
  • Deodorant
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Camelbak or Hydration pack

What to Pack for Coachella

  • Bandanas
    • The campgrounds and the events are dusty. At first, I always thought the people wearing bandanas around their mouths were high or something – but it turns out that most of these individuals are shielding themselves from a fuck ton of dust. It’s extremely common for people to get sick after the festival because of all the dust. So ensure that you try and cover up as best as possible.
  • Trendy Glasses (Check out the dope and stylish collections at Quay Australia #notanad)
    • It gets sunny, so you’ll want to protect your eyes too. Also, if you’re really drunk and have wandering eyes – they will probably save you from getting clocked in the face.
  • Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
    • You’ll want to turn heads when you go to Coachella, and you’ll want to “do it for the Gram“, so make sure you take breathable clothes that compliment you.

Be Early

Although the Coachella website informed us that the camping grounds wouldn’t open until 9 AM on Thursday, our group, which consisted of 5 cars and about 20-25 people, left San Diego at 2 in the morning. Being a 2.5-hour drive, we arrived around 4:30 AM on Thursday. To our surprise, the camping ground gates were opened early at about 5 AM.

Although we were more than 4 hours early, the driving line to get into the camping grounds was already a nightmare. It took us about 4.5 hours to get into the campground itself! So if you arrive later, it will only be worse.

Note: While you’re driving in line to get into the campground, make sure all the cars in your group are right behind each other. If somehow you get separated, let them cut you. Even though Coachella has a “waiting” section within the campground (which allows you and your friends to meet up before finally setting up camp), you’ll want to have everyone in the same line to save time. 

Avoid Being the Driver

If there’s no way around this, at least have one of your friends drive you on the way back so you can rest. As I mentioned above, we drove from 2 AM to 8:30 AM. A whopping six hours! Make sure to get some rest, too – I made the dumbass mistake of not sleeping the night before which lead to some pretty serious grumpiness.

Inspection and Waiting

Some of the security guards check your car a lot more thoroughly than others, so ensure that you don’t have anything that will get you arrested or kicked out. Because only some of the security guards do their jobs, the inspection lines will move at different paces. Don’t be afraid to move to a line that appears to be traveling faster.

After you and your cars are inspected (yes, guys, the securities do pat you down), they’ll ask you if you are going to wait for other cars in your group. If you followed my directions above you’ll most likely be close to everyone, which will save you LOTS of time. If not, you’ll probably need to wait until you and your friends all find each other in that large, terrible lot.

Once you and your friends find each other and are ready to go, you’ll have to get into a line within the campground that leads to a person in charge of sending you to a specific lot. Ask for lot 8! This lot fills up the quickest (I believe?), so that is why it’s crucial that you arrive early. Lot 8 is the lot that has the silent disco, food and cool shops.

Use Portapotties After Being Cleaned

This is a no-brainer, but I’m going to say it anyway – Take note of when the portable restrooms are cleaned, memorize the schedule and use them right after they are. Coachella has done a decent job cleaning their portable restrooms a few times a day. What you’ll need to do (and I promise, you’ll thank me later) is use the restroom right after they’ve been cleaned – which in my experience, was in the early morning and mid-day.

Note: As you read on my list above, I mentioned taking hand sanitizer, baby wipes and toilet paper. Yup, you’ll probably need these since it can be difficult finding a fully stocked Coachella bathroom. 

Explore the CampgroundsCoachella Camping - Poster Wall

Be friendly, get out of your comfort zone, and talk to other people near your camping sites. Even though you’ll most likely be with your friends, there are so many great people out there trying to have an amazing experience like you. Hey, you never know. Someone even might share some of their alcohol with your drunk ass!

Note: Make sure you don’t go too crazy with the 21-year-old sauce. You don’t want to end up sleeping in a stranger’s car like someone I know…

Drink Water

Finally, it’s going to be hot! You will get sweaty and you will most likely be drunk – which will only make you sweat more. It is imperative that you keep yourself hydrated, safe and alive!

Oh, Coachella. How much I miss it already. I’m excited for next year’s experience. There truly should be a support group for people who feel nostalgic about the event. Sorry, back to this. Ultimately, you’ll have an incredible time jamming out to some of the best performers in the world, seeing quirky art pieces and making an ass out of yourself.

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