If you’ve gone to Summer Camp (or any festival) before, you know there’s probably the person that’s a little too organized with the planning…. nice to meet you, that’s me. But this year, I didn’t send out my usual spreadsheet of packing reminders and to-do’s to our campsite – which is all boys – and it was both missed and requested! So, from your friendly over-organized CIT, here’s my comprehensive go-to packing list. I didn’t include food, since everyone does that a little differently… plus we have fantastic food vendors, and you should support them. Hope it helps you out!
For the Campsite
- Lawn chairs
- Camping stove
- Sleeping bags
- Flag Pole
- Car A/C Charger
- Cell phone charger
- Condoms (better safe than sorry)
- Rain Jacket or Poncho or Garbage Bag
- Empty water bottle (to fill @ filling stations)
xoxo, CIT Abby
For the uninitiated summer festival go-ers and seasoned veterans alike, one thing is certain once you have your golden tickets in hand. The excitement leading up to a music festival is palpable enough to make even the most “Type-A” dudette or broseph lose their rationale & logic when prepping for the adventure. Fear not my fine fellowed hipster-hippie-groove-loving friends. I gotcha covered on what to remember from the night before you lock the door and gas up the VW, to the time you hit the road that will assist in making your trip and time at your destination as pleasurable as your favorite jam. Read a bit further and all mysteries shall be revealed.
Prior to departure:
1. The night before you leave you need to check the weather and find out the average highs and lows at your arrival destination. It wouldn’t be a choice road trip if you to packed ONLY summer clothing and end up experiencing seasonably cool night time temps, or the freak monsoon that hits Chillicothe once every 100 years. Remember the scouts motto and “Be Prepared”.
2. Pack only the clothes you will need while you are there. Simply put if you don’t need it, don’t bring it. Being prepared doesn’t mean being a “Druish Princess” and packing like Rose on her voyage across the Atlantic. You only need one bag and maybe a backpack tops for the 3-4 days away from home. Wisely you must use that space, young road-i.
3. Take a short stroll to the local $1 store where you can normally find trial samples of different health and beauty items like; shampoo, razors, toothpaste, travel tooth brush, deodorant, and mouthwash. This isn’t Woodstock circa 1969 and deodorant and hygiene exist and are appreciated by your fellow automobile trip inhabitants.
4. One of the most important items, make sure you have Tylenol and Antacids. You never know when headaches or stomach upset might occur. These items along with the sample items from the $1 store will fit nicely in an overnight bag.
5. Before you turn that light out and crawl into bed, make sure you put the bag in your car. It saves time in the morning in the event your alarm clock malfunctions and you run out the door empty handed. Circling back and losing even an hour can dampen the collective spirits and make that person look like a clueless kill-joy.
Preparing the car for the road trip
1. Put together a First Aid Kit. Bandages, scissors, alcohol wipes, tape, gauze, a red colored flag, matches, flashlight and q-tips. Minor nicks and cuts in the wilderness can become infected and you don’t want to be the one person at the fest that caught gange-green from opening a Pringles container at 2am.
2. Check your trunk. No not your caboose. Your car trunk. Be sure to have a spare tire, tire iron, car jack and jumper cables. You never know when you might have a flat tire. When you are rolling into Camp at the magic hours before dawn in a huge caravan you don’t want to hold up the party by running across that random nail in the road. But if you do and have these essentials you’ll be fine (make sure you also know how to change a tire…).
3. Make sure to let your family or a friend know that you are leaving. Then leave a number or tell them where you are going in case of emergency. It’s just common courtesy and all together a smart precautionary move.
4. Have your oil and tire pressure checked before leaving. Check the water in the radiator too. This is a must considering you don’t want that vintage VW wagon to break down on the road.
5. It seems like everyone carries one nowadays but make sure to carry a cell phone and extra charging source. I recommend going to a local outfitting store and grabbing a solar charging option so you can be smart as well as green. You don’t want to be stranded in the middle of nowhere without a way to phone home.
6. Most of all make sure that all your things are in the car, put the keys close to the door, and pick out something comfortable to wear on your trip. Nothing is worse than driving 8-9 hours in pain because you think upon arrival you’ll be selected to the next cover of Rolling Stone by wearing uber cool, but uncomfortable threads.
Also key to remember. You need to make sure you get plenty of sleep the night before, because chances are you won’t be getting much shut eye for the next few days of sun drenched fun.
In 8 days, the Summer Camp Pre-Party will be in full effect! And that means, it’s time to get in gear and start packing. While we put our personal lists together, here are some essential items you shouldn’t leave home without.
1. Your ticket. If you haven’t grabbed yours yet, get one now!
2. A tent, sleeping bag, and pillow for when you need a little R and R.
3. A headlamp or flashlight for finding your way around after dark.
4. Warm clothes. It can get cold at night, and it’s best to be prepared.
5. Rain boots and a rain jacket or umbrella. Fingers crossed we have amazing weather this year, but you never know.
6. Your reusable water bottle. We will have water stations throughout the grounds to fill up all weekend long. (Remember to stay hydrated!!)
7. Sunscreen, bugspray, wet wipes, baby powder, and plenty of hand sanitizer and toilet paper….because we’re camping, and using porta-potties.
8. A towel, flip flops, soap, and other shower stuff (trust us, it’s a good idea).
9. A backpack or bag large enough to carry your daily essentials to the main stage areas. 10. A wagon to help get all of your stuff from your car to your camp site.
11. Ear plugs. So you can still enjoy Summer Camp (and other amazing music) 20 years from now.
12. Glow sticks, totems, glitter, costumes, decorations, and other pieces of flare. They make everything more fun.
Can’t wait to party with you all soon!
Your Summer Camp Director
Every year, it seems like Summer Camp is so far away, and then these last few weeks fly by in no time. Can you smell it? It’s almost here! Here are a few things I’m super excited for…
- The entire Campfire Stage line-up. It is sick. Chicago Farmer, Greensky Bluegrass, and then Hot Buttered Rum in the wee hours of the morning? I just saw them at the Vic with Cornmeal on 4/20 and I truly fell in love with this band. They are not to be missed. For what is thought of as a smaller side stage, the Campfire Stage is pulling some pretty serious weight this year.
- Weir, Robinson, and Greene Acoustic Trio. I am beyond excited to hear these guys collaborate, and I can’t wait to hear what kind of set they put together. Late afternoon on the Sunshine Stage is the perfect slot for this set. Also, if you don’t know Jackie Greene, click here and check him out – he’s (in my opinion) one of the best lyricists around right now.
- Morning yoga at the Soulshine Stage. Confession: I’ve planned to do this every year and have never actually gone. I’ve even brought my yoga mat and everything… but let’s admit it, 10am is a tough time to be up and moving at a festival. Everyone that goes says it changes your day – gives you energy, and re-centers you for another day of raging and music. So this year, I will make it happen. (Probably.)
If this is your first time at Summer Camp, or a festival in general, here are some tips:
- Don’t forget your ticket. Really. Every year I see sad people in line realizing they forgot it and are 3 hours from home. Triple check it, people.
- Bring baby wipes. Showers are available, but baby wipes will save your life.
- Print out the schedule! Yes, they give you one at the gates, but every year by Friday afternoon there are 10,000 people asking to see a schedule. I don’t know how thousands of them get lost every year, but they do – print out a backup, and you will be everyone’s best friend.
- Forget about a map. You’ll figure out where you’re going in no time, and there will always be a friendly face to point you towards the next stage. Just let go, and you’ll figure it out.
- You cannot pack enough of the following items: bottled water, glowsticks, hair rubber bands (for girls or long-haired boys), sunscreen, an extra pair of party pants (in case you dance yours into oblivion), and smiles.
- If you forget any of the items mentioned above, there is a grocery store right down the block from Three Sisters Park. If you’re traveling from afar, I’d suggest stopping there for your ice & perishable food right before you head in to the greatest weekend of the year.
That’s all! So start packing and get pumped, because I have a feeling this might be the most epic Summer Camp yet…
Abby Mager, CIT 2012