Ahhh festival season, the magical time when your weekends are spent camping, discovering new bands, and enjoying cold brews. Our team is stoked to be kicking off festival season this weekend at LEAF (our sister store, Frugal Backpacker, will be running a pop-up shop, so stop by and say “hi”). As experienced festival goers, we’ve learned that preparation makes all the difference in whether a festival is an awesome experience, or memorable for all the wrong reasons.Over the years, we’ve compiled a list of the things that we don’t hit festivals without, here are a few of our favs.


A Durable Beverage Holder

Love warm beer? We thought not. On a warm day, drinking a beer out of a disposable plastic cup is pointless (not to mention, terrible for the environment). That’s why we always bring our own cups. One of our favorites is the Sili Pint (shown). This packable silicone pint glass is inexpensive, indestructible, provides just the right amount of insulation, and comes in fun colors. If you want something a little fancier, we’re also huge fans of the Hydroflask True Pint. This double wall stainless cup will keep your beverage frosty and sweat free for hours.


A Comfy Place to Perch

When you’re in it for the long haul, having a place to chill is essential. We love the ENO Islander Blanket (shown). It’s super lightweight and features a hidden pocket, perfect for keeping keys and cash out of sight. If a real chair is more your style, the Helinox Chair One can’t be beat. This super compact and lightweight chair is easy to set up and take down for easy portability.


Good Footwear

If you like to get down, you need to keep your feet happy. Supportive (but still breathable) footwear is a must have. While we love Chacos (they are, after all, a festival staple), this season we’ve fallen in love with Keen Uneeks (shown). These funky sandals are super comfortable thanks to their sock-like fit and contoured arch. We dig the fun colors they’re available in and that they offer toe protection.



Nothing can rain on your parade quite like, well, rain on your festival. Don’t let soggy surroundings ruin your festival experience; it’s so easy to be prepared. A reusable poncho makes for a lightweight and compact emergency cover (we always keep a couple on hand for unprepared friends), but for regular use, we prefer a lightweight rain shell. If you overheat easily or participate in a lot of outdoor activities, you might want to consider a higher end model, like the Arc’teryx Beta LT, but for most users, we think that a classic no-frills version like the Marmot Precip Jacket (shown) works perfectly.

Need inspiration on great festivals to hit in the Blue Ridge? Pick up a copy of this month’s Blue Ridge Outdoors or check out their festival directory here.