Camping is fun. Especially when you’re camping with 50,000 other people. In your focused state of planning out the perfect schedule, you might have left a few things out of your backpack. With seven years of being a Bonnaroo junkie under my belt, here are 21 items that have made my experience more enjoyable.
1. Rain boots: Because there will be mud. And other stuff that looks like mud, but trust me, it isn’t.
2. Mini umbrella: Sit high and dry during a rainy set and snicker at everyone else who was unprepared. You’re kind of a jerk, you know that?
3. Tarps: For putting under your tent. Or talk your neighbors into making a tarp fort.
4. Rain poncho: These are super cheap. Or make a homemade one of a trash bag.
5. Beer bong: I met some fellows at Summer Camp who hollowed out a wiffle ball bat and called it the Louisville Chugger.
6. Brownies: Because they’re delicious and nutritious. Well, maybe not so much nutritious.
7. Folding chairs: To kick back and rest. Or pass out. The choice is up to you.
8. Journal: Have all the cool people sign it like a school yearbook. Be forewarned: Everything that is written in it at Bonnaroo will seem “amazing” and “profound.” Reread when you get home and sober up.
9. Booze: It will break your bank to buy all your brew inside. Bring some cases and hide your goods under some blankets. The worst case scenario if you’re caught is that the security staff might keep to drink later. Remember cans only in Bonnaroo. Whiskey tastes good. Whiskey in a plastic container? Now you’re getting it.
10. Thrift store camping gear: Raid some thrift stores for budget gear. There’s more hiding there than you think!
11. Costumes: The silent disco is much better in costume! And then you can join the parade. What parade? You’ll see.
12. Cooler: For ice and beer and sitting on and using as a makeshift card table and standing on top of singing loudly at two in the morning.
13. Food: You’ll have to take a loan out if you plan on paying Bonnaroo prices all weekend for food. Stock up on nuts, granola, cereal bars, oranges, etc.
14. Water, water, water: However many jugs you have…double it.
15. Toilet paper: You will need this. I promise.
16. Hand sanitizer: See number #15.
17. Sunscreen: Because the only thing more reliable than rain showers at Bonnaroo is an awesome sunburn.
18. Sunglasses: Bring something cheap because you’re going to lose them.
19. Bug repellent: Have you ever been to Tennessee in June?
20. Fake mustaches: Just in case you need to quickly disguise your identity.
21. A positive attitude: We’re here to build each other up, not tear each other down — unless of course you get too high on yourself and we band together to tear you back down to our level.
Bonnaroo to me means good people, good music, and good times. Be safe and make it memorable!