Summer is almost here and festival season is officially upon us! From good music and beautiful scenery, to new friends and great memories- festivals really do offer it all.
Last week we packed our bags and headed to the desert to experience FORM, a creative retreat & music festival held in the desert eco-center of Arcosanti, AZ. With an ongoing mission to inspire progress through creative and inclusive community experiences, it was the perfect backdrop to kick back and enjoy some music while sipping on a kombucha cocktail.
Being a frequent festival-goer made me realize there are certain things you just have to pack in order to stay both comfortable and sane. Some of these are optional, while others I find to be a necessity. Below are my 7 essentials for a festival in the desert:
Reusable Water Bottle: One of the most important things to bring with you to a festival, or really anytime you’re traveling, is a reusable water bottle. Not only does a reusable water bottle end up saving you money in the long run, it helps save plastic and reduce unnecessary waste from plastic bottles. Not to mention, it’s extremely important to stay hydrated and having a water bottle with you at all times is the best way to remember to drink H2O. I love Corkcicle and Healthy Human, both of which are eco-friendly and keep my beverage cold for up to 12 hours!
Sunscreen: SPF is important any day of the week, but it’s especially important when you’re at a fest and in the sun for most of the day. I recommend Coola, which is made from natural & organic ingredients so you can feel good knowing your covering up with an eco-conscious, pure sunscreen!
Bandana: Yep, an old-school bandana is key! Not only can a bandana be used to cover up from the sun, but it can also be used in case a dust-storm rolls in. Case in point, at Form Festival the weather ended up being unseasonably windy and with the wind came swarms of dust. After 4 days in the desert, my allergies thanked me for being prepared with a few bandanas (which I gladly wore from sunup to sundown).
Supportive shoes: Sure, many of us want to look our festival-best and dress up for the occasion but one thing I can say without a doubt: comfort is key! Do yourself a favor- skip the boots and sandals. Instead, pack a few pairs of supportive sneakers. Chances are you’ll be walking around or standing for the majority of the day (and night!). The last thing you want is to get blisters after the first night. I love Vans, which can be dressed up or down, and provide a ton of support to dance the night away!
Kombucha: I might be biased, but kombucha always helps me get through a festival weekend. The bubbly goodness is refreshing and exactly what I want when I wake up, in place of a hot coffee. One thing to keep in mind: kombucha must remain cold, so be sure to bring a small cooler to store your booch. I love Ginger-Lemon, which is the perfect reset after a long night of dancing.
Camera: I always find myself so in the moment that I end up not capturing as many memories as I would have liked. While it’s great to be present and really in the moment, it’s also fun to have memories of the fun times had. I love the Instax mini, which prints out little polaroids on the spot. It’s so fun to have tangible memories, and I’ve created a little collage at my desk. It’s nice to have those fun memories right there!
Layers: One thing I learned the hard way? Layers are important! Form was held in Arcosanti, Arizona- just an hour outside of Phoenix. When I checked the weather, I saw the average in Phoenix was about ~102 during the day. Naturally, my thought process was to pack for the heat… flowy dresses, shorts and tank tops. After the sunset on the first down, I quickly realized my error- we were in the desert and the evenings got chilly! Luckily I had packed a light jacket for the plane ride, and was able to throw that on over my outfits. All that to say, lesson learned… always, always pack layers! You never know what Mother Nature has in store.
I’d love to hear any of your festival essentials or tips + tricks. Let me know in the comments below!