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Festival Essentials

Festival Essentials

Get your festival prep perfect this summer with our guide for what to pack

Packing the right essentials for your music festival is the difference between having the best weekend of your summer or a wet, miserable experience. Make sure you go with the “best weekend of summer” option with our list of festival essentials.


What to Pack


  • A rain jacket in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Make sure it’s waterproof and light enough to pack like our Mens Ragged Mountain Packable Waterproof Jacket or the Women’s Waterproof Packable Shell Jacket.
  • The right shoes. For ladies, find a sandal with a strong ankle strap so they won’t slip off during gigs, dancing and long walks. We recommend our Sheafe Leather Fisherman Sandals in black, tan, gray and light brown for daytime or the Harborview Leather Ankle Strap Sandal in black or red full-grain for night gigs.
  • For guys, we like these easy, casual shoes the Earthkeeper City Shuffler Slip On Shoes are great for warm weather as well as our Hookset Handcrafted Oxford Shoes. For a sturdier option, opt for our Earthkeepers Glastenbury Oxford Shoes.
  • A small bag that you can wear across your body will carry your essentials and ensure that you don’t lose anything during the fun mayhem. Our Earthkeepers Wingate Small Leather Bag is just the right size for everything you might need.
  • If weather looks bad, make sure you pack a decent pair of waterproof boots (we suggest Timberland Heritage 6-inch Waterproof Boots but we have plenty to choose from).
  • Pillows. Trust us they make all the difference and worth the pay off for carrying them. (Just strap them to your backpack).
  • Spare battery or solar charger for your phone. It’s not that you’ll be making any calls but you’ll want to Instagram, Tweet and capture those festival moments - tag your best ones with #moderntrail.
  • Toilet paper. Yep. Put this at the top of your list. No festival has toilet paper after the gates open (that’s a fact). Stick some in every pocket.
  • Antibacterial hand gel. Following on from the toilet tissues, this stuff is liquid gold at festivals.
  • Dry shampoo. One for the girls. If you can’t face standing in line for an open-air, freezing cold shower, fix your tent-hair with a quick blast of this stuff.
  • Sunscreen. Even if you love the heat, you’ll need some shade (possibly around breakfast time). Don’t let a sunburn ruin your festival experience - slather it on and be sure to reapply.
  • A flag. So your tent is blue. Ok, so are 5,000 other people’s. Take a tall marker, flag or something visible so when you stagger back at 4am you don’t fling yourself into the wrong tent.
  • Earplugs. If you’re trying to catch up on sleep during early morning blasts of electronic music or late night dance parties, these babies are lifesavers.

What not to pack


  • Enough food to feed an army. Of course a stove and endless cans of soup sound like a good idea to your mom, but in reality the only food you’ll eat from home are chips, cookies and cereal bars.
  • Umbrellas. No one likes these in a crowd. Wear a rain jacket (we like this one for men and this one for women) and just brave the weather. It’s part of the experience.
  • Your entire wallet. No need for several forms of ID and a stack of credit cards - just bring one ID, some cash and one card. Better yet, see if you can use Apple Pay at the festival which means you can get away with paying with your iPhone 6 or wearing an Apple Watch.
  • Anything you want to lose. Think expensive jewelry, sentimental bits of clothing or those fancy shoes you had to save up for for six months. If you love it, but it’s not an essential to your festival gear, leave it behind.

Ready? Get thee to Lollapalooza in Chicago or head north to Osheaga in Montreal (Florence + The Machine, Weezer, Kendrick Lamar are in the line-up). We also recommend  Outside Lands in San Francisco (Black Keys, Caribou, Hot Chip among many others) and Made in America in Philadelphia (Beyonce, Modest Mouse and J Cole, anyone?).