Anyone who has gone to Coachella before knows there are some key things you need to bring with you. You can survive without these, but most of them are simple, cheap investments you can make that will really enhance your time at the festival. The point of this article is to go over all the things you should buy, or at least seriously consider, buying before you head off to Coachella.
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This is a lifesaver at Coachella. First, it is really hot at Coachella. It is not atypical for the weather to be hotter than 90 degrees. This means you need to hydrate. Second, they have free water refill stations throughout the Coachella festival grounds, so refilling your Camelbak won’t even cost you anything. So why not bring a water bottle to refill? Capacity my friends! You can bring in a huge Camelbak and not run out. This means more time at the Coachella stages, and less time running to the water refill stations. The lines for the water refills can get annoyingly long too during the warm parts of the day. I cannot implore you enough to invest in a Camelbak. They’re great at Coachella, but they’re also great for other music festivals or really any other outdoor activites. Coachella, as well as most other music festivals, allow hydration packs so I assure you that Coachella will not be the last time you use it.
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Some people bring their nice shades to Coachella, and a lot of those people drunkenly lose or break them. No need to impress, just bring some cheap sunglasses and be worry free if you lose them. I highly recommend bringing a pack of cheap sunglasses in case you or someone in your group at Coachella loses their shades. The set I recommended are cheap and get the job done for music festivals.
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Perhaps you are noticing a theme with the sun and heat. If you forget sunscreen at Coachella you can fully expect to return a lobster. It is almost always hot and it is always sunny in all the years I have attended Coachella. I highly suggest getting some strong sunscreen like the 70 SPF I recommended. There are some tented stages at Coachella (Sahara, Gobi, Mojave, etc) but the Outdoor and Main Stage will have you roasting in the sun. Be sure to bring sunscreen with you.
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If you are the type of person who never gets chapped lips than I envy you good sir. The desert of Coachella is a dry and unforgiving place for those of us who do get chapped lips, bring chapstick with you! Of course, you can buy it at the festival if you like purchasing things for three times the price that they should be.
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Full disclosure I think these are more important if you are the type who gets really close to the stage or if you spend a lot of time in the Sahara (EDM) tent. Most of my friends swear by using earplugs or you will still be hearing the jams when you are trying to fall asleep at night.
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If you have ever been anywhere with a huge crowd, like Coachella, you will know your cell phone service is going to struggle. As your iPhone struggles to find that one precious bar at Coachella the battery is getting drained quickly. Bring a portable phone charger to Coachella so you are good at the end of the night when your phone is dying. This is critical, especially if you need to call an Uber to get home or call your friends to meet back up at the end of the night. It’s very likely your phone will be dead at the end of Coachella, save yourself from a precarious situation by investing in a reasonably priced phone charger.
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Same logic as the portable phone charger, just a different approach to the same Coachella problem. The nice part with the case is you can more easily carry it with you.
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Have you ever been to a Coachella bathroom in the evening or later hours? If you haven’t just know that what has been seen cannot be unseen. Even as a male who is not easily grossed out I can unequivocally tell you they can be filthy. Furthermore, there is about an 87% chance the soap dispenser ran out of soap 3 hours ago so you have no way to get clean. Bring some small bottles of hand sanitizer with you to Coachella. They won’t solve your Coachella bathroom woes completely, but they will make you feel at least 3% better!
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Full disclosure: I haven’t brought one of these to Coachella yet, but I am always envious of the other people who do have them. As I’ve said, it is not abnormal at all for Coachella to get over 100 degrees, and it’s almost always in the upper-80s at least. If you have one of these little guys it is sure to help, especially in the 2-5 p.m. time frame when the sun is just absolutely brutal at Coachella.
I don’t have a specific recommendation as this is far too personal, but I cannot stress the importance enough of having comfortable shoes for Coachella. Coachella days are tough, even for someone who unequivocally loves Coachella. It’s hot, you’re on your feet all day, you walk 11.7 miles running between Sahara tent and the Coachella Main Stage, etc. You want to do all of this in comfortable shoes. Do not go to Coachella in a new pair of shoes unless you are a fan of blisters. If that is the case by all means wear your new shoes. I would also note there is a solid chance your shoes come back in rough shape after Coachella, so be ok with whatever you wear being ruined.
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You don’t need anything fancy for Coachella, but it is nice to have a backpack. You can put sunglasses in there at night, carry a hoodie for after the sun goes does and gets cold, carry your water bottles, etc. I really recommend bringing a bag just so you can bring in all your other essentials. Like most things at Coachella you should expect it to get trashed and be pleasantly surprised if it survives. This is why I recommend just a cheap, solid backpack to carry your stuff.
Pretty much everything takes card at this point at Coachella, but it’s still nice to have cash sometimes. It’s quicker, and a lot of times you will be rushing to get back to the stage. It’s also just nice to have a few bucks to buy the $2 water quickly versus having to wait for the card to go through. I always recommend bringing at least around $40 to Coachella for small purchases here and there.
There you have it, all the things you need to bring with you to Coachella to enhance your experience. I know it’s a lot of stuff, but most of it is really cheap and does make Coachella a better experience overall. You can get by without it, but you will have a better time at Coachella if you keep all of these things in mind!