Camp Counselor Alex D Lists 15 Items To Bring to Summer Camp

Remember to bring these 15 items to the 15th Annual Summer Camp Music Festival this Memorial Day Weekend so you’re fully prepared for a magical weekend!

1.) A Wagon

052314-dannwunderlich-60 Parking and camping are SEPARATE at Summer Camp. This means that the camping is located inside the festival grounds, which creates an intimate community vibe, but also means you’ll bring your stuff from your car, through the check-in lines, and to your campsite upon arrival at Three Sisters Park. If you bring anything, make sure to bring a wagon and make it easier on yourself and your back!

2. Rain Gear

You have about as good a chance of predicting the weather at Summer Camp each year as you have of predicting which songs moe. and Umphrey’s McGee will kick off their 5 sets of music with. If it rains, you’ll want to be prepared to carry on through the wetness or you’ll risk missing something epic – just ask anyone who stayed tough through Trey’s soggy set on Sunday night at Summer Camp 2013. Simply put, rain boots and a poncho could be the difference between suffering through a miserable storm, and simply dancing in the rain.

3.) A Bandana

05262014-dannwunderlich-102 Even if the rain stays away, three days of camping exposes you to a lot of the great outdoors. When it’s dry and sunny like last year, you’ll be grateful you have a bandana to help fight the dust and dirt of Three Sisters Park.

4. Plenty of Warm Clothes

It’s important to be prepared for any type of weather at Summer Camp, so i’m sticking with the theme here! May in the Midwest can mean anything from 40 to 100 degrees, and sometimes both in one weekend or even day. As my Grandma once said, “It’s better to have something and not need it, than to need it and not have it.” Bring an extra pair of jeans and jacket or sweatshirt, some extra socks or even a hat. Better yet, bring several extras so your friends can be be warm as well!

5. A Large Tarp (Or Two!)

052314-dannwunderlich-22 No matter if Memorial Day Weekend is wet or dry, a tarp can be crucial to keeping your campsite as a sanctuary. I usually bring extras for my crew or to loan out to those around us. Be sure to lay one down before you pitch your tent to prevent the ground under from soaking through and dampening your floor, or use one to block the sun on a warm SCamp afternoon!

6. A Towel

Even if you’re not planning on showering, a towel is great to have in your tent – you can use it to wipe off your feet / sandals / shoes before entering, and to keep your tent as dirt-free as possible.

7. Your Yoga Mat

05262014-dannwunderlich-1 That’s right – The Soulshine Tent has yoga each morning! If you can wake up early enough you can join hundreds of SCampers looking to rejuvenate and connect – but you’ll need to bring your own mat. And even if you can’t get up early enough to participate, a yoga mat can still serve as a makeshift mattress in your tent – it’s better than laying on the lumpy ground!

8. Plenty of Garbage Bags

Our Green Team puts in endless hours behind the scenes to keep Three Sisters Park clean and beautiful, but it’s important that you have a heart and do your part too. Be sure to bring enough garbage bags for the weekend, and keep one readily available at your campsite so you and your crew can dispose of your trash responsibly – that means recycle, too!

9. A Folding Table

052314-dannwunderlich-114 You’ve gotta put your food somewhere! It may not seem like a big deal, but after a couple of days of music and fun in Three Sisters Park, you’ll appreciate having a flat, even, clean surface to come back to when it’s time to make a snack or organize your stuff before heading out for another set of music.

10. Extra Sunscreen

Every year I see too many people who forget to bring sunblock and get burnt. That’s why I suggest you not only bring sunscreen, but bring lots of EXTRA SUNSCREEN. You’ll want to keep yourself protected, sure… but with a big bottle at the ready, you’ll also be the hero your friend or neighbor needs after a hot afternoon in the sun. The higher the SPF the better!

11. A Hammock

attendee camping The perfect accessory for those camping in the woods, a hammock is a wonderful place to enjoy a mid-afternoon nap in the shade.

12. A Water Backpack

Much more convenient than hauling around water bottles, a backpack that carries water can also provide a home for your sunscreen, bandana, wallet and more! It’s also nice that they generally have a pretty large capacity – you won’t need to return to your tent or the spigot to refill as often.

13. A Small Flashlight

A small, portable flashlight won’t burden you during the day, and will be VERY helpful when you’re stumbling your way back to your campsite at 4 AM after a Late Night Show in the Red Barn. Find one with a clip to ensure you don’t drop it during the day, and don’t forget the extra batteries!

14. A Pop Up Canopy

052314-dannwunderlich-123 Without your car to retreat to, a pop up canopy can provide shelter and shade no matter the weather. If you’re in the woods, it can help you and your crew spot your campsite from a distance… and if you’re set up in the field, you will certainly appreciate the cover from that scorching sun.

15. An Open Mind, Heart, and Soul

With a community as strong as Summer Camp’s and a lineup as stacked as this year’s, you can’t possibly get to everything. Even the most organized of SCampers will have schedule conflicts and parts of their weekend seemingly dragging them in every direction. Between the performances, the friends, the activities and vendors and ways to make a difference and more, it’s easy to forget to lose yourself in the moment. That’s why the most important thing you can bring is your open mind, heart and soul – with them, you’ll meet new people, discover new music, and make all you can of the Summer Camp experience.
All photos in this post are credit Jason Kaczorowski Photography, Abby Fox Photo, and Phierce Photography.