For many of us, Coachella is a once-in-a-lifetime festival opportunity. So, if you’ve managed to snag tickets to the event, congrats! It’s sure to be a weekend to remember.
Now that you’ve started planning your desert music weekend, it’s time to get serious about your Coachella packing list.
But, if you’re wondering what you should pack for Coachella, you’re not alone. Packing for Coachella can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time at the festival.
Thankfully, you’re in the right place.
In this Coachella festival checklist, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know before you start packing for your trip. Up next, we’ll discuss all of the essential items you ought to bring with you to Coachella to ensure your festival weekend is as magical as possible.
1. Water bottles
First up on our list? Water bottles.
Coachella takes place in the hot Mojave Desert, just outside of stunning Joshua Tree National Park. If there’s one thing that can be said about this rugged landscape it’s that it’s hot and dry. That means that dehydration is a real and very dangerous possibility for everyone at Coachella.
So, come prepared. Pack plenty of water bottles to help you stay hydrated during your weekend at the festival. There are water fountains located throughout the festival grounds where you can fill up your bottles, free of charge.
Just be sure that you don’t bring any glass or aluminum bottles, even if they’re for water. Glass, aluminum, and other metal bottles aren’t allowed at music venues, so it’s best to stick to plastic water bottles whenever possible.
Read More : How Much Water Should You Bring to Camping?
2. Hiking backpack
When you leave your campsite, it’s important that you have all of the gear you need to have an enjoyable day at the festival. To carry all this gear, you’ll need a hiking backpack.
The ideal Coachella backpack is relatively small and inconspicuous. Although we hope you don’t have to experience this, theft does happen at festivals, and Coachella is no exception. So, packing a small backpack that’s low-key and not very flashy can go a long way.
Inside your pack, you should bring all the gear you need for the day. This includes your water bottles, sunscreen, sunglasses, blankets, and a spare jacket for when it gets a bit chilly in the evenings.
Also, be sure to have a small amount of cash in your pack at all times. You’ll need a small amount of money to be able to buy snacks and drinks at the venue. But you don’t want to carry around too much, just in case your pack gets lost or stolen.
Read More : How to Pack Light for Your Next Camping Trip
3. Summer sleeping bag
The Coachella Valley can be a scorching hot place during the middle of the day, but come nighttime, the desert can get surprisingly cold.
So, if you want to get a good night’s sleep while at Coachella (and trust us, you’ll need it), packing a quality summer sleeping bag is key. If you’re the type of person who tends to get cold at night, we’d also recommend a sleeping bag liner for some extra warmth.
No sleeping bag? No problem!
Pack a bunch of blankets, instead. Oh, and don’t forget your pillow!
Read More : Sleeping Bag Temperature Ratings Explained
4. Camp tarp
While rain likely isn’t in the forecast for your Coachella weekend, sunny days almost certainly are. Since shade can be difficult to find in the Mojave Desert, bringing a camp tarp is of the utmost importance.
While you won’t be able to bring a tarp with you into the actual music venue, you’re welcome to set up as many camp tarps as you’d like at your car camping or tent camping site.
As a general rule, we’d recommend bringing at least 1 tarp to Coachella so you can set up a shaded place at your campsite for post-concert relaxing and napping in the midday heat.
5. Camping chairs
Unless you particularly like sitting around in the dirt and the dust, a set of camping chairs is a must for any Coachella weekend.
You won’t have picnic tables or any other amenities at your campsite, so having chairs on hand is important. Of course, there are places to sit and eat by all of the food trucks and vendors.
But, if you’d rather relax at camp while you chow down on some gourmet grub, there’s nothing better than a set of camping chairs.
6. Body wipes
Staying fresh and hygienic while at Coachella isn’t always easy. Sure, there are showers available at the camping areas, but lines for the shower facilities tend to be very long.
So, instead of relying solely on the showers, consider bringing a set of body wipes, too. You can use these wipes to freshen up each day without losing out on precious festival time.
Of course, if you have a chance to shower, it’s well worth doing so (don’t forget your towel!). But, body wipes can be a great supplement to your daily showers if the facilities aren’t available.
Read More : 11 Backpacking Hygiene Tips to Stay Clean
7. Portable battery packs
Keeping your devices charged and ready to go while at Coachella can be a challenge. Sure, there are charging stations at the festival, but with up to 80,000 other concert-goers vying for those same outlets, your chances of actually using one are fairly slim.
That means that packing your own personal portable battery pack could be the difference between a fully charged phone and a device that’s out of juice.
Do keep in mind, however, that generators aren’t allowed at Coachella in either the car camping or tent camping locations. You’re also generally not allowed to bring large solar panels, so packing plenty of smaller battery packs is usually the best option.
Although you’re not allowed to bring lights of any sort to the concert venue, having a headlamp at your campsite is an absolute must. When the sun goes down and the starry desert sky comes out in full force, you’ll need to have a headlamp on hand to be able to wander around your campsite at night.
Of course, you could use your phone, but doing so is a surefire way to drain its battery. So, pack a headlamp to ensure that your journey to the restrooms at night doesn’t turn into a major epic.
9. Air mattress
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that sleeping on the hard desert ground isn’t fun. So, packing a quality air mattress for catching some Zzs at night is essential for a successful Coachella adventure.
If you’re looking to keep things simple, a sleeping pad can also do the trick in a pinch. But when it comes to your comfort after a long day at the festival, it’s hard to beat an air mattress.
Read More : Camping Cots vs Air Mattresses – Which is Better?
As a general rule at Coachella, open flames, such as fires and grills aren’t allowed. Therefore, if you want to cook while at your car camping site, you’ll need a quality gas-powered stove to cook up some tasty camping meals.
Do keep in mind, though, that stoves aren’t allowed at the tent camping area. So, if you’re tent camping, you’ll need to venture over to the food trucks for each meal to sustain you throughout a weekend of partying.
That being said, there is usually a free shuttle to the local grocery store, which can be a nice way to save money on snacks and supplies.
Read More : Camping Stove Safety Precautions and Tips
No good desert music festival is complete without a cooler in tow. Having the right cooler on hand can be the difference between lukewarm drinks and ice-cold beverages, so you won’t want to overlook this essential part of your Coachella festival checklist.
With that in mind, there are two important things to note about coolers at Coachella.
First and foremost, coolers aren’t allowed at the music venue. So, you’ll need to leave your coolers at the campground before you head over to a concert.
Additionally, while ice is available at the general store, it can be quite pricey. Ice also tends to sell out quickly, so it’s not a great thing to rely on at the festival.
Instead, we’d recommend bringing some high-quality ice packs for your cooler so you can keep your drinks as cold as possible throughout the weekend.
Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.