They seem friendly, and they probably are, but be sure to also let them know about cultural appropriation! BUT at least they know how to find each other in the swarms of crowds?? Uhhh. Yeah.

They seem friendly, and they probably are, but be sure to also let them know about cultural appropriation! BUT at least they know how to find each other in the swarms of crowds?? Uhhh. Yeah.

It’s that time of the year again, festival season is upon us and Coachella is knocking on our door. Hell, it’s this weekend (and following)! Everyone I know who annually attends this fest has been frantically searching for get rich quick schemes, crash dieting and juicing for 3 weeks, giving up these diets 2 days in, and artfully pulling outfits together that do nothing to hide the beer belly they were trying to shed in the first place and that will undoubtedly get trashed in possible dust storms. Well, at least we are all in this together, right? But for every seasoned Coachella goer, there is a newbie or lost soul who forgets to bring all the necessary items needed to survive the desert. So I have decided to make a survival guide… a checklist of sorts. It kind of helps me to remember what I need, but it’s also meant to help you – especially if you’re on a budget and don’t plan on spending your money on all the extra amenities Coachella has to offer this year (what’s up with this private dinner shit? Sounds awesome tho). So here, I’ve split it into the basics and not so basics that will probably help you in the grand scheme of things.

FOR EVERYONE THE BASICS:

1) WATER: Keep it at your camp site or your hotel room. You’re going to need lots of it and there are refill stations. If you’ve got a Brita pitcher to take with you, you’ve pretty much got the Rolls Royce of water.

2) Sunscreen and Aloe: These will be your best friends next to water. I know you want to tan, I know you want to glow – but at some point you’ll need to lather up – and you’re going to sweat off the sunscreen, I promise you. So if you don’t want to look like beef jerky or a lobster, bring these two items. I’ll let you pick out your own SPF, just remember that peeling is no joke. And if you’re feeling fancy, get the sunscreen balm for your lips too. One year, I came back looking like I had a bad lip job done. Angelina Jolie I was not.

3) At least $200-400 in cash: You can do it in less, but trust me, you’ll want a buffer. You think you’re not going to spend any money on fruit or frozen lemonade, but you will. You’ll probably want a churro too. There are ATMs, and some places do take card, but having cash beforehand is just easier. Avoid fees and lines my friends, because you’ve already used up enough of your money. Note: this does not include the money you’re going to spend outside the festival (cabs, breakfasts at random spots between your hotel room and the festival, etc etc etc – dammit just budget wisely)!

4) Comfortable shoes and something to carry them in should you feel inclined to walk in your hippie ways: The shoes are for when you walk on dirt and if you choose to head into the pits… or Sahara tent. Getting stomped on = no bueno. Other than that, you don’t really need shoes. Unless it rains, which it might.

5) Beach Towels from WalMart/Target/WalGreens/Anyplace that these are on sale for mad cheap cause they always are around this time of year: I suggest bringing 2, one for shower times, one for sittin’ times.

6) A hoodie and leggings: It gets cold at night. Keep it light so you can roll it up easily into your bag. Also, one year, it was RAINING at Coachella… you should probably be prepared for that in case it happens. If you don’t want to bring any of these items, use one of your towels to wrap around yourself as a blanket.

7) Your phone charger: I don’t care if you have a Mophie or battery pack. A charger will be mighty handy and there will be places to charge. Your phone WILL DIE due to shit reception and long hours. You’ll still want your phone though cause phone calls do go through. Just don’t count on being able to Instagram in real time… unless you’re at the festival at like 10am.

8) A Bandana and sunglasses: People kick up dirt and Sundays are prone to dust storms. Cover yo face. Them shades just aren’t for good looks. Sun and dust makes a crust.

9) Your basic toiletries: You should already know what these are. You’ll find it in the travel section of your local WalMart/Target.

10) Clothing and underwear is self-explanatory.

FOR THE CAUTIOUS:

1) Band Aids: The only time I buy band aids is during Coachella, I use them for when I get stomped on or gain blisters from the uncomfortable shoes I stupidly decided to bring (I work in fashion, STFU). You’ll probably only need a few, but you can use the rest throughout the year. Should you opt not to bring Band Aids, you can go to the First Aid station and ask for one. You’ll just have to sign a waiver and all that.

2) Neti Pot and Distilled Water: Even if you choose to cover up your face w/a bandana, you’ll still be prone to dust boogers – and if you have allergies, you’re going to feel super nasty in the morning. Trust that the Neti Pot will help you sleep at night if you clean your nasal cavities before bed. Please used distilled water, don’t be dumb and give yourself an infection.

3) Vitamins and Allergy Meds: Don’t die. I suggest B and C to help the immunities. Allegra is my go to, what’s yours?

4) Energy Drinks: These will dehydrate you, but I assume many other things will dehydrate you. Energy drinks will help you for the drives or bike rides back to wherever you are staying.

5) Banig/Bamboo Mat: It’s good to have if you don’t want to sit on a towel or wet grass. Yeah, the grass will be wet from something at some point. But ye know what? We all lay on it so who cares?

TIPS:

REMEMBER TO EAT AND STAY HYDRATED! It’s actually pretty easy to forget. I’m not going to explain how, just trust.

* Stake out a meeting place beforehand because you will get separated. Make it easy enough to find each other, but try not to make it a major landmark, otherwise you’ll be stuck in the swarm. Pick a good time to meet, and if you know someone who wants to leave earlier or later – make sure to 1) Not get butt-hurt over it and 2) Have alternative ways to get home.

* If you’re going to try to hit up the pool parties AND the festival, it’s going to be mighty difficult. Plan out which parties you MUST go to and which artists you are dead set on seeing. Most of the parties are out in Palm Springs, 30 minutes away from the festival. Keep in mind that there will be road closures and you still have to go through different security checks. The best way to do the parties and the festival is to go to the parties on Weekend 1, and the festival on Weekend 2.

* Make use of shuttles (I have no clue if they’re sold out, but you can find some on Craigslist) and UBER. THANK GOD Uber is out there this year. Palm Springs only recently received the luxury of Uber X at the end of last year, but this month they’ve upgraded and have this whole Coachella plan. I’m kinda peeved that this is only happening now… but better late then never. Do you know what it’s like to pay for cabs that have no flat rate? Them desert cabs sucker you in man. (Speaks from experience – yelling at my phone “WHY ISNT UBER OR LYFT HERE?!”)

BONUS:Besides providing rides throughout the Palm Springs area, Uber said users can request flat-rate rides to Coachella Valley all the way from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego.” – http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-uber-coachella-music-festival-palm-springs-20140402,0,4172939.story#ixzz2y5EF4Aga

DRUGS. You know it’s around, the security knows it’s around, the police force knows it’s around. Some get away with it, some are made an example of (i.e. public displays of wristband cutting). Be wise about it. But most importantly BE SAFE. I don’t want to have to mother you more than I already have. Kinda want to see people alive. But that dude trying to put on his flip flop that one year was pretty funny.

This guide is definitely skewed in the view of a non-camper. I have no real tips for you regarding camping other than make sure you can spot out your vehicle well because in a sea of campers – all cars look the same. Also, if you’ve never been to the camping area, it’s worth checking out. They’ve got movies playing, late night parties w/DJs, and swings and shit.

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