Cover photo by Don Idio @divisuals
Ladies, it’s no secret that we need a list of items to help us be “Extra” at festivals. What I love about our community is the creativity it manifests in all different mediums, from incredible art installations to intricate stage/set production and the elaborate outfits worn by festival-goers. Festivaling for me is a radical form of self-expression and that doesn’t need to change just because I am camping. Fancy outfits and costumes are, of course, not required but there’s no denying that festival Fashion has picked up momentum in the last few years. Whether you design elaborate outfits or just come as you are, there’s no right or wrong way to dance with your friends to your favorite music.
A few years ago I had a few festivals under my belt and learned a few lessons along the way when a good friend of mine was getting ready to go to her first camping festival. I sent her my Festival Addendum and she said it really made packing easier and less stressful, especially since she had no idea what to expect. Of course there are festival staples we all need/use like a tent, air mattress etc., but that doesn’t cover how to expertly apply glitter in the woods. I want to ensure you are prepared for your first festival or your fiftieth with some of these Femme Festival hacks.
As I mentioned earlier, I tend to fit in the “Extra” category at festivals but lots of these items are just really useful, even if your vibe is more laid back. This list isn’t meant to take the place of your Official Festival Packing list, which we will post soon-stay tuned!
Karen’s Must Haves
- Cat ears
- Body/Face Glitter (biodegradeable/MOOP Free)
- Glitter Primer/Hair Gel
- Temporary metallic tattoos (great to share!)
- Mini lights for your hair
- Gel eye shadow
- Eye mask (sleeping)
- Spare cat suit
- Fluffy pink coat
- Doc Marten’s boots
- LED hand jewels
- Pixel Whip (flow toys)
These are the fun items I never festival without because you never know when you will need cat ears! Having glitter already in a gel form saves having a separate glitter primer. By using hair gel with loose glitter it’s an easy trick to get that perfect glitter part or get glitter to stay in your hair. I always carry a travel size container in my Glitter Bag. I like to add little lights to my hair at night, which are super fun, but also are a huge help for your group to find you in a crowd. Having gel or liquid eye shadow also eliminates the need for a separate primer/setting spray to keep it looking fresh throughout your adventures.
Not to be dramatic, but FANS. SAVE. LIVES.Now you know.
Clip one on to your belt and you’ll be set no matter how hot it gets. Fun Fact: you can still head bang and fan yourself (I’ve mastered this skill). I also like to bring a spare catsuit that is really comfortable (but still looks cute) for chilly nights. Pair that with a fluffy coat and you can’t go wrong.
- Festival belt/fanny pack
- Nipple covers/pasties
- Fashion tape
- Safety pins
- Scarf/light pullover/leggings for chilly nights
- Extra socks
- Swimsuit for showering
Depending on the size of the festival and how far away you could be camping from the stages, I’ve found it really helpful to rent a locker for the weekend to stash warmer clothes or charge phones. My group at Forest last year split the charge between us and it came to about $5 per person. Having this locker saved us from missing music to walk back to the campsite. I also always carry an “Emergency” hair tie, bobby pins, lipstick, safety pins, chapstick and band-aids in my festival belt. They’ve also come in handy for others!
I also have learned that my tolerance for more difficult/high-maintenance outfits tends to wane as the festival goes on. I usually wear my most ambitious outfit on day 1. I’m taking pointers on how not to be Extra, but it’s been an difficult process…
- Nice ear plugs (music)
- Sleeping ear plugs (turnt neighbors)
- Mini-hand sanitizer (porta potties do run out)
- Clean bra/clothes for the ride home
- Dry shampoo (life saver)
- Hair spray
- Extra bobby pins, hair ties and clear elastics
- Feminine hygiene products
- Hand held mirror (makeup/hair)
- Warm, dry clothes for sleeping
- Slip on camp sandals
- At least 2 pairs of boots/shoes to alternate days
- Sole inserts/orthotics
- Makeup removing wipes
- Unscented lotion
- Extra bodysuit/top
- Camp clothes
For ladies who spray tan, be sure to choose the “alcohol free” baby wipes; regular ones will remove your tan. If you do wear makeup please, please, please make sure to take it off before bed! There’s so much sweating/dust at festivals and it’s crucial to clean your face every night. I know it’s the last thing we want to do after a long day of raging, but I keep mine right next to my air mattress so they’re handy (usually I’m already in bed when I use them).
An extra bodysuit/top can also save the day if you aren’t feeling how something is fitting or looking. I typically throw in a favorite that I know will make me look and feel amazing.