Photos courtesy of Ever After Facebook
Written by: Rebecca Hollman
Ever After Fest is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about what you’re going to bring! Ever After is a camping festival, so packing the right gear and equipment is essential for a good time. Check out the list below to get inspiration and ideas for what to pack for Ever After this year.
1. Tent + Rain Cover + Stakes
Don’t be the person who forgets a rain fly or stakes for your tent and renders it essentially useless. Check to make sure that everything you need is in the bag with the tent before you toss it in the car.
2. Air Mattress (+Pump) or Sleeping Pad
Choosing between an air mattress or sleeping pad depends on how fancy you are feeling. If you want a little more luxury, bring a fold up air mattress (but don’t forget the pump or you’ll be spending a long time blowing it up by mouth). If you want to save space or don’t want to buy an air mattress- bring a sleeping pad. I would highly suggest bringing one or the other because sleeping on the ground will really get to you by the third day- especially after days of dancing and headbanging.
3. Sleeping Bag or Blankets
Like a sleeping pad, a sleeping bag is essential for comfort after a long day of dancing at Ever After. Being in Ontario, it will get a bit chilly at night. Even if it is mid-June, Canada can have cold nights. Bringing a sleeping bag will keep you insulated, warm, and comfortable. I would suggest a sleeping bag AND an additional blanket.
4. Plastic Tarp for Underneath Tent
Seldom remembered, this little trick saves lives when it rains. Even if it doesn’t rain, it protects your tent from getting dirty and also blocks ground-crawling insects from getting in as easily. But really, if it rains, having a tarp underneath your tent will keep water from getting in through your tent and keep everything you have dry. There is nothing worse than having a damp tent and damp clothes for the rest of the weekend.
5. Cooler (+Ice)
Even if you just bring snacks that don’t need to be refrigerated and don’t plan on cooking- having a cooler to hold your food is beneficial. It keeps your food out of the sun and/or rain (so keeps it from going bad earlier) and also keeps it away from bugs or animals that might somehow find it. If you do bring food that needs to be kept cold, don’t forget to bring enough ice. Normally you can buy ice somewhere within the festival grounds but it’s not a bad idea to stock up at a grocery store or gas station on your way into the festival – it’s cheaper that way!
Having your own chair makes chilling at your campsite so much better. In between sets? Came back for a quick snack? Hanging out with friends after music is done for the day? No matter what the reason is that you are at your campsite, being able to sit down (not on the ground) will feel so good after standing and dancing all day. These chairs fold up neatly to fit in your car and are about $5 from Walmart.
7. EZ Up Canopy for Group
The most essential item for group camping – the canopy. Providing that much sought after shade during the heat of summer festivals. Having a canopy in the middle of your camping setup is the perfect hang out spot for your group. Throw a table and all of your fold out chairs underneath and have a shady setup for hanging out during the day. If you’re going solo or with just a small group, a canopy may not be necessary, depending on how much room you have in your car.
8. Fold Up Table for Group
For a shared group setup, having a table under the canopy is great. Having a surface for cooking, getting ready, keeping your stuff on, eating off of, etc. is so much better than trying to keep everything in your car/tent or just throwing it on the ground. Having a legitimate “room” set-up under your canopy with chairs and a table will make the three days of roughing it much more relaxing.
9. Tapestries for Sides of Canopy for Shade
I always bring four tapestries to hang on each side of my canopy. Not only does it protect you from the sun and sitting in sweltering heat that you can’t escape, but it also gives you and your group privacy and keeps your stuff out of sight from random people that may be walking by.
10. Tarp for Under Canopy
Not essential, but a great item to complete your group camping setup – having a tarp (or rug if you’re feeling fancy) to place under your chair(s) and table(s) will block your setup from getting wet if it rains and also just separates your setup from the elements (grass/dirt/bugs) so you can really feel comfortable in your space.
This one all depends on whether you want to cook at the festival. Personally, I never bring cooking gear because I prefer to bring non-perishable foods like sandwiches and granola bars. But, I know tons of people who would rather bring their own ingredients and cooking gear so they can still get hot cooked meals without paying festie prices. Just keep in mind that camping stoves can be pretty big and will also get dirty while cooking at the festival. Also, don’t forget to bring propane for your stove.
To me, this is the most important item to have when traveling and is also super nice to have when at festivals. Just a classic versatile item, a towel can be used for pretty much anything. Colder than you thought? Extra blanket. Oh shit, now it’s raining? Use it to get yourself and your stuff dry. Wow, that’s a nice patch of grass that I want to go lay on. Towel blanket. You catch my drift.
13. Baby Wipes
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CAMPING FESTIVAL ITEM. 3 words that every person who ever goes to camping festival knows- baby wipe shower. You’re going to be dancing and sweating at Ever After all day and then come back to your campsite ready for bed and there will be no shower in sight. So what do you do? Baby wipe shower! At least try to stay clean somehow.
14. Gallons of Water
Ok, maybe this is the most important item to have because staying hydrated is super important at music festivals (especially during the summer). Having some extra jugs of water at your campsite will help you stay hydrated. Fill your water bottle before going into the festival so you don’t have to spend as much money on water at the stages. Also, having water at your campsite is helpful when you want to brush your teeth and/or wash your face and/or keep yourself clean.
15. Totem to Mark Your Campground Spot
Having a totem to mark your location is super helpful. Pick a flag or sign that you like and stick it on top of your canopy/tent/car. Having a landmark to find your campsite at night (or even during the day) will be a lifesaver. Another festival tip is to walk to the festival grounds and back from your campsite before music starts and in the daylight to figure out how to get to and from your campsite. Looking for landmarks as you walk will help you remember your way back. So many times at festivals I have just run straight into the music without paying attention to how I got there, and then when I tried to find my way back later in the night I had no idea where I was.
16. Jackets or Blankets for Night (Canada gets cold)
Always bring an extra layer! This is just a good rule for anything in life. You never know when the weather is going to change. Plus, this is Canada and once the sun goes down it’s going to get chilly. Bring a jacket with you into the festival for when it gets dark and for sleeping in your tent. I would also suggest bringing a blanket for sleeping because it will get cold in your tent at night.
This is super helpful for once it gets dark and you’re trying to find a way around your campsite/go to your car/go to the bathroom/etc. I always have a headlamp for when I’m camping to find stuff in my tent easier. You can always use your phone flashlight but then you have to hold your phone when you’re trying to search for stuff or go to the bathroom.
18. Lantern to Hang in Campsite
This would be a light source for the group camp vs. just for yourself. I always bring a camping lantern or two and hang them from underneath the canopy (on the metal frame of the canopy). This way you can have your little camping setup lit up when it’s dark so you can all still chill out at your campsite at night time. Lifehack for if you don’t want to buy a camping lantern/forget one- put a phone flashlight or a headlamp up to a jug of water and it will illuminate just like a lantern or a lamp.
19. Camelbak / Water Bladder
Save yourself and the environment by bringing a refillable water bladder (or big refillable water bottle). Having a water bladder will let you stay hydrated during the festival and will let you stay at sets longer without having to leave your spot to go get more water. Plus, refilling your CamelBak or water bladder will save a good amount of plastic water bottles from being purchased. Seriously, having enough water during a festival is extremely important so please make sure you have a good source of water every day.
20. portable battery charger
Last but not least, consider having a portable battery charger. Recording videos on your phone, trying to text your friends, etc. is going to drain your battery and if you are camping at Ever After, then you have no external source to charge your devices. Portable battery chargers can charge your phone again for you for the duration of the weekend and are pretty cheap to purchase. They also make mini solar panels that you can put on your backpack or keep at your campsite absorbing sunlight during the day that can charge all your electronics as well. Or do it the old-fashioned way and go phoneless for the weekend! Sometimes that’s liberating as well.
Learn more about Ever After Music Fest here.
What items do you think are most essential for bringing to camping festivals like Ever After? Leave a comment below with your favorite camping essentials or festival tips!