You Don't Wear Sweaters in the Desert: Field Guide to Packing
“Yippee!! I’m going to Bonnaroo!!!!” – me before I remembered that traveling comes along with packing, my worst nightmare. It gives me serious anxiety and I always put it off until the last minute and then I’m scrambling and things are flying and tears are streaming down my face. It is just so ugly, y’all.
You might be saying, “Yeah, yeah, T. No one likes packing.” But it really isn’t that simple. I am TERRIBLE at packing. Last week I went to the desert for a quick jaunt and I brought four sweaters. It was 115 degrees every. single. day! Why did I think I would need not one but FOUR sweaters?? Really, Tori?
To top it all off, I’ve never been to a music festival. Sure, I’ve done the bougie concert thing where you have an assigned seat and get your big diet coke and bop your head to Taylor Swift for a few hours. But I have never lived at a festival – I don’t even like to sit in grass. Luckily, my first time around we have awesome digs from #airbnb, otherwise I might have run away.
So what do you do when you really have no idea where you are going or how to pack?
Consult the web and your friends.
I did a quick Google search and got some help from my #Bonnaroo sensei HG co-founder @Molls. You want to be sure to look for blogs about festivals, where the experienced folk can give you the dirty. Then, check the weather for the week before, during and, if you can, after. You want to be sure you can prepare for all of their elements…. within reason.
Buy Your Supplies Ahead of Time
Don’t expect that wherever you are going will have everything you need. From everything I’ve read, all of Tennessee runs out of water the week of Bonnaroo, so you need to come prepared. I’m talking your standard supplies: water bottles, batteries, flashlights, ponchos, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, sunscreen, baby wipes, bug spray, etc.
Plan Out Your Clothing
Clothing is where I needed the major help. The first time I packed my bag, I put in a few pairs of sweatpants, a sweatshirt, 10 pairs of shorts and almost every single t-shirt I own. Notice I said the FIRST time.
After many failed packing attempts, I have learned that it is extremely important to pack twice. You might not notice it when you’re packing, but I’m sure 8/10 you get to your destination and you’re like, “WTH was I thinking?” So, I always pack up my stuff and then go through it two more times. I ask myself, “Do you actually need this?” Then I make a list of everything I need and usually show it to a friend, like, “Did I forget anything?”
This time around, I forgot underwear and deodorant. I definitely think the later is more than NECESSARY for where we are going. After I added that, I realized my bag was overweight so I went through and decided maybe sweatpants weren’t the best idea.
After it all, I ended up with: 4 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of pants, PJs, 4 tanks, 5 Ts, 1 sweatshirt, 2 bathing suits and of course MY BOOBYPACK! (Every girl needs that last one.) Add in your toiletries, a change of sneakers and the personals like undies and socks and you’ve got a full bag.
If that jumble above wasn’t enough of a hint, packing the perfect bag takes TIME. Especially if you are going to a land unknown, give yourself a few days to pack and digest and assess everything you are doing. The last thing you want is to be running around the morning of your flight printing out your boarding passes and forget your digital camera. (I actually did that when I went to the Great Barrier Reef.)
Now that I have crossed the packing hurdle, I can spend the rest of my days being absolutely terrified of festivals. Please be on the lookout for me. I will probably be the dazed and confused in the corner.