Featured photo by Alive Coverage.
We’re two weeks out from the most wonderful time of the year. It’s almost time for Bonnaroo! I’ve already started my packing list, but I’ll almost definitely forget something important and wind up making a last-minute stop at the Manchester Walmart. Hopefully this list helps others to avoid making the same mistake – check out my picks of the most-needed items for a successful Bonnaroo:
E-Z UP and Tapestries
If you’re a festival pro, this is a no-brainer. If it’s your first time spending four days under the hot Tennessee sun (or pouring Tennessee rain, depending on your luck), this may not even be on your radar. Take it from me – you’ll regret it if you go to Bonnaroo without an E-Z UP canopy.
You might think that you’ll want to spend all your free/non-show time in Centeroo, but there’s a decent chance you’ll end up wanting to relax at your campsite for at least a little bit…and camp chairs aren’t enough, unless you want an instant sunburn. An E-Z Up (paired with some tapestries clamped on the sides) is a lifesaver and will make your campsite feel like home.
AmazonBasics Pop-Up Canopy Tent (make sure to bring weights or tent stakes to keep it in the ground when it’s windy)
Speaking of weather, Manchester in June can be pretty unpredictable. Some years it hasn’t rained at all, other years it’s rained every day. I actually enjoy the rain since it helps cool everything off, but if it happens on Thursday or Friday you’ll be stuck with mud everywhere the rest of the weekend. Make sure to bring a poncho (gamechanger if you’re planning to wait in the pit all day for a headliner) and some boots that you don’t mind getting muddy – I use my hiking boots, but rain boots work too. Don’t forget the rain fly for your tent, too!
Grab this five-pack of ponchos for the whole squad: Clear Harbour Emergency Disposable Rain Poncho Pack
Thigh chafe was something I never experienced until my first Bonnaroo but GOOD LORD did it make me miserable – I wouldn’t wish that pain on my worst enemy, and it’s so hard to avoid when you’re spending four days outside sweating and moving around. Gold Bond will be your best friend for this. Throw it in your Centeroo bag and keep it on all day; you’ll need it.
Portable Phone Charger
Another item that can be kept in your bag all the time and is truly a lifesaver-, a portable phone charger can make it so you’re not searching for an outlet all the time or walking around with a dead phone when you want to be taking pictures or meeting up with friends. A quality portable phone charger can be charged on your way into Bonnaroo, then will recharge your phone multiple times without needing to be recharged itself.
Note – I’ve also tried solar chargers, but haven’t had much luck (they seemed to keep my phone at the same percentage rather than increasing it, so they’re better than nothing but don’t work as well).
I use this Anker PowerCore.
It can be a little intimidating, but dry ice makes keeping your food and drinks cold so much easier. Sure, you can rely on regular ice (and spend all your cash buying it at the plazas every day after it melts), but when paired with regular ice, dry ice can keep your coolers cold all weekend. It’s sold at most grocery stores (just call ahead to make sure they’re not sold out along the Bonnaroo route), and the employees will show you how to handle it – just wrap it in a towel and place it in the bottom of your cooler.
Pro tip: Bring two coolers. Fill one with dry ice, multiple bags of regular ice, and frozen water bottles – you won’t open this one very often. Fill the second cooler with dry ice, one bag of regular ice, and your food/drinks. Since you’ll be opening this one regularly, the ice will melt faster, but you’ll be able to replenish it with ice from the first.
See you at Bonnaroo this June 13th-16th, 2019!