Written by Rachel Weaver
Getting ready for Roo 2019? Our friends at Friedman’s Army/Navy Outdoor Store helped us put together this list to make sure you’re fully stocked for the coming festival season! Check them out on 21st Avenue, just outside of Hillsboro Village, or on their website. If you haven’t been to Friedman’s before, I highly suggest checking it out, and possibly bringing your dad/father figure/former Boy Scout troop leader, because it is straight out of any outdoors-persons dream! Even as more of a “glamper” (that’s glam-camping), I had an absolute blast looking through everything at Friedman’s, and am sharing some of my favorites with you!
With a range of basics to fun, pro-tip ideas, and items, this list is great for a Bonnaroo baby or seasoned festival veteran!
1. Sleeping Sound
After a long day of dancing and hanging out in the hot summer sun, you’re going to want to have a comfy place to crash! An egg crate camp mat will get the job done but why not #treatyoself, and try out this self-inflating air mattress instead? If you’re looking to camp outside of the box (literally), consider bringing a hammock! Try to scout out a spot with trees, or you can hang one between cars in a pinch, but be sure to snag a mosquito net if you choose to sleep al fresco! Definitely don’t forget your earplugs, you may be setting up camp next door to the late night karaoke lounge.
2. Safety First
It’s best to always be prepared! Instead of making the hike to one of the Safe Havens offered by Bonnaroo to ask for a bandaid, embrace your inner Girl/Boy Scout and bring a basic first aid kit with you. If the shoes you’re packing are more fashionable than functional, consider grabbing a foot care kit too! Bug spray is another must have, try to find one without DEET to keep things green. Don’t like the feel of bug spray? Consider a citronella candle! They ward off pesky mosquitos and give a +10 ambience to any campsite.
3. Keeping Clean
It is going to be hot and you’re going to get sweaty, there’s really no avoiding it! These bath wipes can help get cleaned up after a long day, they’re pretty much heavy duty makeup removing wipes. Showers are available at Bonnaroo, but if you left your shower shoes at home or just want to save the $7 that shower would cost, consider a solar shower. Port-a-potties can get a little scary, so Friedman’s own, Ms. Pat, suggests the go girl for more adventurous festival attendees.
4. Good Gadgets
When the sun goes down, the party doesn’t stop at Bonnaroo! By the time you make it back to your campsite for the night, having a flashlight can be very helpful. Pro-tip is to grab a headlight and make sure you have batteries to go with it. This mini-fan might seem tiny, but any breeze is a blessing, and this thing packs a punch!
5. What to Wear
Accessorize your Bonnaroo outfit with items that can help keep you cool in the 80-90+ degree heat! These cooling bandanas can add a pop of color, and coolness, helping you beat the heat without compromising style. Not bringing a rain jacket to Roo increases the chances of rain (it’s scientifically proven). If you want to cut down on bulk, consider a rain poncho instead. If your Bonnaroo squad includes a friend who has a tendency to wander, pick them up a safety vest so they’re easier to spot in the crowd! It’s for their own good, plus, neon is very on trend this season. Last, grab yourself a wide brim straw hat for added sun protection. I wore this one while I was shopping to really get in the zone.
6. Don’t Dehydrate!
If you haven’t heard yet, it is very hot at Bonnaroo! Having a quality water bottle can be a lifesaver. This one from Nalgene is a classic, plus it comes in so many colors. Pro-tip: snag an easy sipper to prevent spills and keep fellow festival goers out of the splash zone. If you don’t want to worry about carrying a big bottle, try a hydration backpack with removable bladder like these, and go hands free!
7. Meal Time
Everyone knows that plastic straws have been #cancelled, but choosing to bring your own reusable cutlery can help cut down on single use plastics monumentally! Festival veteran, Frank, from Friedman’s, suggests this utility spork from Gerber, which even has a kickstand to keep it off of the ground. Bonnaroo has a crazy collection of food trucks and vendors, with DJ Jayson Chalfant’s pick being the “life-saving spicy pie”. But if you’re not feeling options on The Farm -or you’re trying to save a pretty penny-, why not just throw some MREs in your car to experience fine dining in the comforts of your own tent.
8. Creature Comforts
You have to leave your pets at home when you take the trip to Bonnaroo, but if you’re looking to fill the void of leaving a furry friend behind, get a decoy turkey! Nothing like a long day of Bonnaroo shenanigans then coming back to base camp to cuddle this foam foul. He can be your best friend for a week or even used as a totem, then repurposed into lawn decoration when you get home! Get yours today -just not this one, he’s mine.
So what did I end up getting? I went to Friedman’s to do research but was in awe of all the great options and goofy finds, and I ended up coming back to the office with a new tent! It is perfect for festivals, lightweight but sturdy, and sleeps two people comfortably (or 4+ interns trying to hide from responsibilities).