14 Things You Need to Survive Coachella

I went to Coachella in 2010 and it was UH-MAZING, but also sweaty and kind of overwhelming. No matter what, you’re either dying because it’s over 100 degrees and you haven’t stopped rubbing up against other strange, sweaty people, or you’re dying because it’s freezing out and now your sweat-soaked t-shirt is making you shiver. But if you’re going to Coachella, you best be ready to embody Coachella. That means camping out in a car for two nights, doing your business in Port-A-Potties, and zooming from stage to stage. Coachella is intense.

If you’re going to Coachella, you need to do it right! Here are some essentials to make sure your Coachella experience is out of this world. But safe. And bearable.

1. Dry shampoo

You are not showering at Coachella. Sorry. Your hair will look disgusting by day three, but so will everyone else’s. However, you can mitigate the situation by bringing some dry shampoo along. It’s not a long-term fix, but it will do the trick. My go-to is Dove, and you can get it at Target for under five bucks.

2. Tanks and shorts

Indio is a desert, so naturally it is excruciatingly hot. Be prepared with some light clothes. Oh, and don’t wear black. Black attracts heat, so bring on the bright florals and neons!

3. But also leggings and hoodies

I didn’t bring anything warm because I was like, “It’s a desert! It won’t get cold! Bring it on, desert!” And then after the sun went down, I spent the entire time clutching my knees while Thom Yorke beautifully wailed into the microphone. Bring warm clothes, too. It gets chilly at night, and after a day of sweating and splashing around in the fountains (yes, there are fountains), you will want a cozy hoodie. Trust me.

4. Sunscreen

You will be in the sun all day. A lot of the stages don’t have tents. Bring sunscreen with at least 45 SPF. Be nice to your skin.

5. Camera

Your time at Coachella will go by faster than you know it. Bring a camera and take as many pictures as you can so you can relive the experience when you come home.

6. A Walkie Talky

So, the thing about phones at Coachella, is that they won’t really work. Since there are thousands of people in one place, cell phone reception is virtually non-existent. If you plan on splitting up with your friends (which I honestly don’t recommend, anyway), at least agree upon a meeting spot.

7. Water bottle with a shoulder strap

Buy a reusable water bottle that you don’t have to hold. You will probably see really intense versions of these, like sacks of water that people attach to their bodies, but all you really need is something useful and not annoying to carry around.

8. Comfy shoes

Don’t wear heels to Coachella. Your feet will hate you after like, five minutes of walking around in the hot grass and dirt. Boots are always a versatile choice, but they can get kind of hot and stuffy after awhile. Your best bet is a pair of sandals that are durable and cute, or a pair of classic Vans.

9. Sun hat

A sun hat is the perfect Coachella accessory, because a) it protects your head from the scorching sun, and b) it covers up your not-so-fresh hair. Bring a hat. 

10. Waterproof mascara

I wouldn’t recommend wearing a ton of makeup, because you’re going to sweat it or cry it off anyway. But if you cannot go without, invest in some long-lasting mascara and eyeliner.

11. Lip balm with SPF

Because your lips need some loving too!

12. Fun jewelry 

Don’t bring anything super valuable with you, like your great-great-grandmother’s vintage locket -but totally feel free to accessorize your outfit with beaded necklaces and statement pieces.

13. Sunglasses

Most definitely. 

14. A schedule

Maybe it’s because I’m a total Type A person when it comes to these things, but I really like to know who is playing and when. If you get irresponsible about your show times and locations, you’ll end up missing bands that you really wanted to see. And Coachella shows no mercy. I know you really want to see Broken Bells AND Girl Talk, but you’re going to have to either split your time between the two, or pick one or the other. OH, and make sure the sets are near each other so you can physically make the show.

Coachella takes planning, but it’s totally worth it! The most important part is to stay hydrated, have fun, and try to spot Beyoncé, because she’s totally going to be there.

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