Coachella Camping Packing List: 48 Essentials For The Ultimate Experience

Heading to Coachella this year? If you’re attending the music festival and camping, congratulations–you’re in for an unforgettable experience in Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area!

Now that you’ve started planning your desert weekend experience, it’s time to get serious about your Coachella packing list. Before you can begin having fun, it’s important to think through the logistics of camping at Coachella.

If you’re wondering what you should pack for Coachella, this post is for you. If it’s your first time camping at a festival and confused about where to start? We’ve got you, too.

Here’s your essential Coachella camping packing list to grant you the most fun and comfort from your 3-day experience!

This post may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running/pumping out useful and free content. Thanks a lot!


When it comes to camping at Coachella, there are a few different types of camping you can do: Car Camping, Preferred Car Camping, and Tent Camping.

These types of camping are NOT allowed: RV/Motorhome camping, motorcycles, RVs, trailers, motorhomes, buses or U-Haul trucks, and vehicles with running water/toilets. 


What Is Car Camping? The OG (and most popular) overnight option lets you park a vehicle on your campsite and build your home away from home for you and your crew.

You can also level up with a reserved “Preferred” campsite located in lot 8, which is much closer to the festival grounds than other lots (less walking back and forth from festival to campsite).

  • Sites are 30’x10′.
  • One vehicle per site allowed/required.
  • Unlimited friends/tents per site – also, all Coachella attendees may enter the camping area, even if they are not staying the night
  • Sites assigned in order of arrival.
  • Vehicles searched on check-in.
  • No ins/outs with your car.
  • There’s usually a no exit timeframe (like Fri-Sun 9pm-2am, but check the site for the latest times) – if you need to leave early, make sure you plan to do it outside of this time window.
  • Passenger cars, trucks or vans only.
  • Additional vehicles must purchase Camping Companion Parking – this is usually about half the price of a regular camping pass.
  • Campers 21+ may bring one case of beer cans or box of wine.
  • There is free WiFi in the Connected Lounge as well as USB and AC charging stations throughout the camp.
  • If you need to buy something that you forgot to bring or need to buy more food to cook, you can head to the General Store. They sell ice, food, toiletries, camping supplies and more.


What is Tent Camping? Tent camping means no car, just tent. With this camping type, you’ll just pitch your tent on a field of grass. This option is good for international travelers, campers without cars, or folks who want a vehicle-free environment.

  • All tent camping sites are 15’x10′
  • Unlimited friends/tents per site, if they fit!
  • Sites assigned in order of arrival, separate from car camping.
  • Includes one (1) overnight parking space in an adjacent lot to leave a car for the weekend. Additional vehicles must purchase Camping Companion Parking.
  • Short walk to visit your friends in Car Camping!
  • Review all camping info & rules below!

There’s also the Lake Eldorado option, which is super bougie because you just show up (no tent needed!) to one of the following:

  • 2-Person Lodge: Ready to go 8’ x 12’ x 8’ wood lodge. Comes with two cots, sleeping bags and pillows, a lockable door, wood floor, 3 windows for added ventilation, indoor/outdoor lighting and storage cubbies. Includes 2 GA or 2 VIP passes.
  • 4-Person Tent: Ready to go 12’x14′, fully pitched with four cots, sleeping bags and pillows, as well as chairs and a cooler. Includes 4 GA or 4 VIP passes.

Other even more bougie glamping/residence options exist, but you can head to the Coachella site to learn more about those.

Camping Costs:

  • Car Camping: $145 + Fees
  • Preferred Car Camping: $375 + Fees
  • Tent Camping: $145 + Fees
  • Camping Companion Parking: $199 + Fees


Coachella is located at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Being so deep in the desert, you’re in for a very, very warm camping trip–yes, even in the month of April. Sorry, I’m not even going to sugarcoat it for you. I’m telling you this early on so you can mentally prepare yourself for it!

Aside from the warm weather, there are a few other things you can expect while camping at Coachella. 

Keep reading to find out more about the camping rules and what to expect within a typical day at the campground.


Upon waking up to the dramatic warmth from the sun, you’ll begin to see other festival-goers and campers heading toward the shower facilities.

There are the free showers and then there are Super Duper showers which cost ~$10. The paid shower area is a tad bit nicer (with actual shower doors instead of curtains separating the shower from the changing area), mirrors, and an outdoor vanity area with blowdryers.

No matter which shower you choose, the best time to shower is early in the morning. And by early, I mean before 8am (if you can manage to wake up by then). Any time after that and you’ll have to wait in long, long lines. 

Getting to the showers around 7am usually means no wait at all!

PRO TIP: We usually pick our shower type based on the length of the lines. Game time decision! Though the line for the free showers is usually MUCH longer than the line for Super Duper showers, there are more free shower stalls, so the lines actually move faster than expected.


Before the festival, you can expect people to be lounging around, playing music, cooking breakfast or grabbing breakfast at the Camping Hub area.

This is a good time to fuel up, get ready for the day (get dressed, put on your makeup), refill the ice in your coolers, pack your bags for the festival, and start hydrating for all the daytime drinking to come!

If you’re up for it, head to the main village area to get in a free instructor-led morning yoga class or a game of dodgeball where you can win actual prizes!


What To Expect Coachella Camping - TravelsWithElle

A lot of people tend to skip the first portion of the day either because it’s so hot out there or because there are no artists performing that interests them. Expect a lot of partying, grilling, eating, and drinking at the campsites!

You’ll find people socializing, playing games, drinking, throwing around footballs, inviting other groups to party with them, and more. From about 11am to 4pm is the most lively time at the campsites!

PRO TIP: Need to go #2? If you need to go poop and can’t fathom the idea of going in a steaming hot porta-potty once the sun is at full force, head into the festival grounds. There are real flushable toilets in there. It’s pretty breezeless in the bathrooms still, so bring a neck fan or a paper fan to decrease your mental struggles.


What To Expect Coachella Camping - TravelsWithElle

Though the festival’s scheduled sets have ended, that doesn’t mean the party has to stop! You can expect random people DJing at their campsite and even dance parties that sprout up from the music played throughout the campsites.

There is often even an official silent disco after the festival sets end for the night.

PRO TIP: Plan to sleep right when the festival ends? You NEED earplugs. Don’t forget your eyemask either.

So now that you have a good idea of what to expect when camping at Coachella, let’s dive more into the details of how to get into the campgrounds when you first arrive.


Festival campers will start lining up to get into the campground as early as early Thursday morning. Lining up early means getting the best campsites–the ones closest to the music festival grounds. Camping is open Thu 9am-Mon 10am. This means you’re in for a 4-night stay.

If you plan to camp with your friends who have other car camping passes, you will need to coordinate with them to drive in together.

NOTE: Whichever cars are in front/behind yours will be the people you’re camping next to. If you have a group with two or more vehicles, you’re going to want to meet up and drive into the line together.

Read More: 35 Awesome Things To Do On Your Palm Springs Road Trip


Hopefully, you’ve practiced setting up your tent before arriving at Coachella. If you are driving into the campground at night, be sure to pack some headlamps so you can see while you’re setting up camp!

But don’t just set up a tent, canopy, and chairs. Spice it up a little–make it your own little oasis! Campsites become an expression of creativity and free speech at Coachella! Expect to see everything from flags and posters to colorful tapestries, all serving as a marker of where your campsite is.

And definitely don’t forget a canopy! It’s the California desert in late April. That means it gets HOT.

Each day once the sun rises, it’s unlikely you’ll be getting much sleep inside your tent. You can do your best to escape the heat with a combination of tents, tapestries, outdoor seating areas, camping fans, and more.


Our packing list below contains things you should definitely bring for Coachella camping. For a full list of things you CANNOT bring, check out Coachella’s car camping page here.

1. Car camping pass

Seriously, don’t forget this. I have heard a lot of horror stories where groups have driven hours to get to Coachella only to remember that they forgot to pack their festival wristbands and car camping passes. Big, catastrophic uh-oh.

2. Camping chairs

You’ll want somewhere to sit when you’re not in your tent. Camping chairs are perfect and simple, but make sure they have cup holders for your drinks!

Alternatively, you can bring tufted floor pillows if sitting on the ground is more your thing.

Another option for seating is to get an inflatable couch. In fact, you might want to bring both for yourself just so you have multiple seating options. These things provide even more relaxation because you’ll feel like you’re resting in a hammock (as opposed to sitting up straight in a camping chair).

The Chillbo Shwaggins Inflatable Couch comes with elastic anchor loops to allow you to stake down your portable hammock when it’s windy. It also has large side pockets to hold books, glasses, snacks and an ice cold beer! Plus, they come in a lot of fun, unique colors.

If you plan on sitting on the ground at any point, consider picking up an extra waterproof camping tarp to place on the floor so that the grass doesn’t poke your butt/make your legs itchy! You can then place extra rugs/blankets on top of the tarp to make things more comfortable.

Pro Tip: With a larger group, there’s a high possibility that not everything will fit under your canopies. Your tents, coolers, picnic table, and edible items should fit, but huddling all the camping chairs under there may not work (unless you’ve purchased 2+ campsites next to each other!). I’d recommend bringing camping chairs with built-in shade or picking up an adjustable shade umbrella that can clamp to anything you want! 

Versa-Brella Adjustable Shade:


Sport-Brella Shaded Camping Chair:


That way, you can place your camping chairs outside of the canopied area and not feel so cramped at the campsite. 

3. Foldable table

A large foldable table is a must-have for Coachella camping. This is where you will place all your food and drinks.

If your group plans on playing games, it’s best to have a table to do it on so you’re not all straining your backs playing on the floor.

4. E-Z Up Canopy

You cannot think of camping at Coachella without one or even two canopy shades. The canopy will essentially serve as the centerpiece of your campsite–it’s where everyone will come together during the day to shield themselves from the beating sun and heat.

What you’ll find is that most campsites will pair their E-Z UP canopies with tarps or tapestries hung up on the sides. This will allow for some privacy as well as some much-needed shade, but it will also allow for breezes to enter the area. Don’t forget to pack some clips to help hang these up!

Canopy Shade - Coachella Camping Packing List -TravelsWithElle

5. Tapestries or tarps

As I mentioned above, bring tapestries, extra tarps, or light blankets to hang up for shade.

Tarps, bedsheets, and blankets from home will be your most affordable option, while colorful tapestries can be an affordable and really fun way to spice up the aesthetic of your campsite!

Consider some of these unique patterns/designs, or explore the expansive tapestry options here:

Pro Tip: If you’re looking to expand your campsite’s shaded area, you can create more shade between your car and your canopy. You’ll just need to bring extra sheets for this.

6. String lights

Spice up your campsite with some fun battery-powered string lights! Not only will string lights provide you with extra lighting at night, but they are so festive and will make your campsite easier to find in the dark.

String lights come in so many fun decorative shapes and sizes, so have fun with it! Here are a few that will help your campsite stand out from others:

7. Lanterns / headlamps

While it is usually really sunny and bright at Coachella during the day, it gets pretty dark at night. If you need nighttime lighting for your campsite, bring something like this battery-powered LED camping lantern.

Bring a personal headlamp too in case you need to build your campsite late at night, look for something in your campsite at night, or if you need to use the bathroom at night. Being hands-free while doing these activities is crucial!

8. Tent

Some people swear by sleeping out in the open, but we recommend sleeping in a tent for privacy and protection against the elements (dust, dirt, etc.).

If you don’t already have one, we recommend getting something that is both affordable and easy to set up and take down. The Coleman Cabin Tent was designed with a super cool feature in mind– instant setup within 60 seconds! If you want to share a tent with your friends, the 6-person tent offers enough room for two queen size air beds.

Having said that, it is important to note that the tents will become virtually useless by 8am. Due to the intense warmth during the day, what you’ll find is that a tent will block most breezes that come by. It will essentially turn into a sweatbox by each morning until nightfall.

We recommend getting out of there as soon as you feel hot because it’s only going to get hotter as time passes! That means if you need to change for the day, get it done early in the morning so you won’t need to crawl back in there until it’s cool again.

9. Air mattress / inflatable sleeping pad

For maximum comfort, go with an inflatable air mattress paired with a blanket or two. This is a good choice if you are not going to be camping with that many people and have more room for a larger tent.

For a more compact (yet still very comfortable) option, bring your sleeping bag paired with an ultra-thick self-inflatable sleeping pad. We like this one because it comes with a built-in “pillow”!



Whichever option you choose, these will be good investments as you can often use them in your own home, on future camping trips or even backpacking trips.

10. Sleeping bag

Because it’s so warm in Indio, California, you can get away with any type of sleeping bag in terms of warmth factor. Nothing fancy is needed.

Here are a few affordable options on the market:

I would also recommend bringing a thin blanket in case it gets too hot at night to be inside your sleeping bag.

11. Eye Mask

Absolutely necessary to shield your sleeping eyes from the bright sunrises of Indio, CA! An eye mask is also great if you are rooming with others and you like your privacy when you sleep.

12. Earplugs

Very, very necessary. Do you know how many people you’ll be camping with? Thousands! There will be so much noise all throughout the night (due to late-night partiers) and in the morning (hello, early risers). A good set of earplugs will grant you a decent if not a good night’s sleep!

These earplugs by Mack’s are my absolute favorite.

Pro Tip: Earplugs are also good to bring into the actual festival because the music can be LOUD. Wearing earplugs is better for your ears.

13. Reusable Water Bottle

There will be lots of water refill stations inside the campsite and festival.

For something more durable that keeps your water cold for hours upon hours, Hydroflasks are my favorite for everyday use. These will probably be your best option because you will most definitely crave ice-cold water!

14. Battery-powered fan

If I had to bring just five top essentials to Coachella camping, this would hands-down be at the top of the list.

As a matter of fact, bring 2-3 of these battery-powered fans, because everyone will want to plop themselves down in front of a fan during the day. One is never enough! (Especially if you are with a group of individuals who need to apply a lot of makeup for the festival!)

15. Floor mirror

Speaking of applying makeup, don’t forget to bring a floor mirror! This will come in handy when the girls need to do their makeup or when everyone is getting dressed for the festival.

Any cheap, college student floor mirror from Target or IKEA will do!

16. Propane Stove or Camping Griddle

Cooking your own food is part of the camaraderie and fun of Coachella camping! It’s always a good idea to cook at least 2 or 3 meals during your Coachella camping experience. Planning the menu with your friends can be really fun, not to mention it’ll help the group save a ton of money collectively.

For a simple 2 burner option, go with the Coleman Triton Gas Camping Stove.

If your group is serious about meal-making, go with something more standalone such as the Camp Chef Explorer that comes with detachable steel legs and a 3-sided windscreen.

Along with your propane stove, you’ll also need to bring along any pots and pans you plan on using.

Don’t feel like cooking? You can always head to the food stands in the common campground area. Here, you’ll find lots of really great food options such as burritos, pizza, sandwiches, gyros, and even vegetarian options. But be forewarned, it won’t be cheap!

Coachella Food Vendors - Coachella Packing List

17. Cooler

For Coachella, you’ll really want something with the power to really keep things cool. For us, this is the YETI Tundra 35 Cooler.

This cooler is an item that many outdoor enthusiasts yearn for in their lives, but not many pull the trigger on due to its heftier price tag. Bue one thing is for sure, with this cooler, your drinks and food will stay cold for days no matter where you are. It will most definitely hold up in the Coachella heat and save you money on having to replace the ice.

How expensive can ice be, you might think. Think $10 per bag expensive! A Yeti Cooler might be expensive, but they are so worth the investment. Plus, given their durability and high-quality build, you’ll be able to use them in your everyday life for many years to come.

The best things to stock your cooler with are as follows:

  • Fruits – pre-cut watermelon, tangerines, frozen grapes
  • Pasta salads
  • Vietnamese sandwiches – our personal go-to lunch meals
  • Coconut water
  • Vitamin water
  • Frozen water bottles – to keep cooler cold for longer
  • Water
  • Form of caffeine – pre-brewed cold brew served on ice in the morning is amazing (and saves you from having to spend $5-6 on coffee each morning!)
  • Beers / Hard seltzers – make sure it’s all in plastic containers, no glass is allowed at the campgrounds
  • Any perishable foods you plan on cooking up (butter, eggs, meat, etc)
Coachella Camping Packing List
Taking a cup of fruit with us to-go…

18. Snacks

Aside from the food you’re planning on cooking, don’t forget to pack some snacks for midday munching! Some of the best snacks to bring to Coachella are chips, cookies, crackers, trail mix, King’s Hawaiian rolls, Rice Krispies bars, etc.

Basically, anything that won’t melt from the warmth of the sun. Not the healthiest, but it sure will be nice when you’re drinking and relaxing during the day!

19. Things to eat with

Utensils, paper towels, napkins, cups, etc.

Most people go with plastic and disposable-everything, but if you’re really looking to make a difference in the world, you can bring reusable utensils to lessen your plastic waste and carbon footprint!

Alternatively, you can go with a compostable meal kit as it’s better than all the plasticky options out there.

20. Portable speakers

You will want to bring a high-quality pair of portable speakers. Everyone else will be playing music, so you’ll want something that will be loud enough so other campsites’ music doesn’t drown your music out.

We like the JBL Charge 5. Its long lasting battery delivers up to 20 hours of playtime and the built-in power bank lets you charge your devices without taking a break!

Pro Tip: If you do plan on listening to music at night after the festival ends, do remember to lower the volume to respect your neighbors. Not everyone likes to stay up until 3am, so turn the music down and allow others to get a good night’s rest.

21. Power strip

It can be a really good idea to bring a power strip so that you can charge multiple devices at the campground charging station instead of having to wait for a bunch of them to open up.

Don’t want to walk that far for charging ports? A solar-powered generator like Jackery’s Solar Generator 300 can be a REALLY good investment, allowing you to charge right at your campsite. It comes with a Jackery SolarSaga 100 (solar panel), so you can recharge your power station with nothing but the sun! And Coachella’s got nothin’ BUT sun.

22. Solar shower

If you are camping at Coachella with a large group and the majority of the group has decided that showering every day is a must, it may be worth it to invest in a solar shower. With a personal camping shower, all of you can skip the crazy lines at the shower facilities and ultimately shower any time, any day!

The Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower is an affordable option that has a large 5-gallon capacity and is designed to heat water fast in the warm sun. You can even fill up the shower with the melted water from your cooler for an extra refreshing shower!

For something that provides a bit more privacy, invest in the Green Elephant Camping Shower Tent to pair with your solar shower. Your group can even use this when not showering for changing purposes! While this is not a Coachella camping essential, it does provide added privacy and comfort.

23. Baby wipes / body wipes

Baby wipes will come in handy for a lot of reasons. First, they are great for wiping excess dust off your body at the end of each festival night. Secondly, they can also be used for post-poop purposes!

If you want a body wipe that’s actually meant to replace a shower, we highly recommend Goodwipes Really Big Body Wipes. While obviously, it won’t completely replace a real shower, I always feel way cleaner after using these. Plus, unlike baby wipes, you won’t smell like a baby’s bottom after using them!

For the body and butt, DUDE Wipes Flushable Wipes are great for both guys and gals.

Ladies specifically should consider bringing ‘feminine’ wipes! In hot destinations where I know I’ll be sweating a lot, I’ll always carry around a few sheets of feminine wipes. I love Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths because they do provide that little oomph of freshness whenever I use them.

24. Shower supplies

If you plan on showering at Coachella (yes, some people can go days without showering, only relying on body wipe showers), bring along some travel-size toiletries.

Don’t forget to pack them in a waterproof bag or container so that it’s able to get wet in the shower (there is often no dry rack to put your stuff inside the shower).

25. Shower slippers / casual slides

Bringing a pair of waterproof slides or sandals is smart because you’ll be able to wear them around the campsite when you want to skip the shoes as well as get them wet in case you plan to shower.

The Birkenstock Arizona EVA Sandals are our favorite because they’re stylish enough to wear in your everyday life too.

26. Other Toiletries

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, makeup, deodorant, dry shampoo, hair ties, etc. Don’t forget to pack deodorant if you tend to smell when sweating! Because you WILL sweat at Coachella!

Here are some not-so-ordinary toiletries that can help you make your Coachella camping experience more tolerable:

  • Aloe Vera GelSoothes that sunburnt skin; always good to lather on after a day of constant sun exposure!
  • Evian Facial Spray Cool your face off pre-festival; use before moisturizer for an extra boost of hydration or use throughout the day to refresh and revive makeup.
  • Drybar Detox Dry ShampooAbsorbs oils and adds lift at the roots. Works great as a pick-me-up when the sun’s been beating down on your scalp all day!
  • boscia Blotting LinensStay photo-ready by keeping the face oils at bay with some oil blotting linens.
  • Neutrogena Makeup Remover Towelette SinglesRemember, Coachella can be dusty. These are great even for guys who don’t wear makeup because they’re great for removing dirt! And because they’re individually wrapped; you can leave them in a communal area to share among all your campmates.

Some fun things you can consider getting to spice up your Coachella look:

  • Face and hair glitter – spice up that look with some shimmery glitter (don’t worry, it stays on all day but comes off easily when you want it to.)
  • Face gems – another way to spice up your look under the California sun!

27. Hand sanitizer

At the Coachella campgrounds, it’s nearly impossible to find a sink with clean running water. Even at the portapotties, there are bottles of hand sanitizers in place of portable sinks.

Bring one large bottle of hand sanitizer for the group to share. This can be left on the communal table so that everyone has access to it at all times.

Since you’ll be using hand sanitizer so much, it’s best to get a non-drying natural hand sanitizer to prevent flaky, dried-up hands. We love Sun Bum’s Hand Sanitizer because it actually moisturizes too.

28. First aid kit

Always necessary for any type of traveling or camping! You can either make your own or buy one that’s premade.

Either way, you’ll for sure want to have a variation of these things:

  • ibuprofen – for hangovers or other mishaps
  • bandaids
  • alcohol wipes
  • allergy pills – Coachella can get really really windy depending on the year, lots of dust can fill the air
  • Immodiumif you get diarrhea
  • Pepto-Bismol chewsif you get an upset stomach 
  • AZO for the ladies – due to the lowered hygienic conditions, UTI’s are not all uncommon at Coachella… sadly
  • eye drops – remember, there is usually dry air and lots of dust
  • lip balm
  • a sharpie
  • tape
  • extra contact lenses 

Think about the ailments you typically suffer from and have to deal with on a regular basis and adjust the contents of the bag as needed!

29. Rolls of toilet paper

The #1 rule of Coachella camping–never assume there will be toilet paper in your portapotty. Always bring some with you when you go! You don’t want to be that guy who realizes there is no toilet paper when it’s already way too late.

30. Trash bags

You will generate trash, so be sure to bring something to hold it all.

31. Quick-drying towel

Travel towels are probably one of the best inventions for efficient travelers and campers. They are light, super packable, and quick-drying. Definitely very useful if you plan on showering and don’t have the space to pack a real bath towel!

This one is a great option if you need to buy one.

32. Electrolyte Packets

Emergen-C packets or Liquid I.V. Hydration Packets are a must for Coachella camping. These are a great way to support your immune system and overall health on a trip. They are light, take up no space, and are very easy to pack!

Adding Pedialyte or Liquid I.V. powder packets to a water bottle will keep you hydrated and replace your body with electrolytes.

33. Powdered Greens

I’ve gone to enough Coachellas in my life to tell you that you probably won’t be eating too many greens at Coachella. Don’t let that stop you from getting the proper nutrients!

I’d recommend bringing Amazing Grass’ Greens Superfood Blend or Amen Veggies (which combines over 10 vegetables, herbal, and mushroom extracts) to make sure you get the nutrition you need while camping and partying.

34. Massage ball

A massage ball is a Coachella camping packing list essential if you know your body gets tired or achy from prolonged standing or walking.

They are great for rolling your feet, legs, or back on after a long day of dancing! If you’re serious about getting that tension relief, you can even consider bringing a travel-sized foam roller!

Trust us, these are clutch items to have at your campsite. Even if you don’t end up using it, someone in your group will!

35. Board games

You’ll have a lot of time to kill while camping, which is half the fun of it! Bring board games to keep yourselves entertained. We recommend the following:

If you have more space in your cars, you can even bring things like:


Coachella Festival Packing List - TravelsWithElle

36. Coachella tickets / wristbands

Coachella Packing List - TravelsWithElle

Just like the car camping passes, DO NOT forget these before you leave the house for Coachella.

You do not want to have to backtrack with hours of driving just to grab your tickets from home!

37. Hydration Pack

A dedicated hydration pack can actually save you a ton of money inside the festival. There will be water stations all throughout the festival, meaning you can refill your water for free all night long. CamelBak backpacks are our favorite–these backpacks usually will have secure zippered pockets too, perfect for keys, phone, or other essentials.

Alternatively, you can also buy water at many food and alcohol stands. The drawback of this: not only will you have to wait in line, but you’ll also have to spend money on water, of all things!

38. Sunscreen + after-sun lotion

100+ degree weather and the hot desert sun? Sunburns are most definitely calling your name. Protect your skin with both body sunscreen and face sunscreen.

For the face, we are absolutely obsessed with the magical Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen. No white-cast, no greasy film! Seriously, it goes on matte!

And after every night of the festival (or every shower), please replenish your skin and show it some love! Bring along something like B.TAN’s after-sun lotion, the perfect way to maintain that summer glow while also repairing dry sunburned skin. I like this brand over others as it’s sustainably created in Australia. 


39. Fanny Packs

I love using fanny packs at music festivals because of how hands-free they are. They won’t weigh you down at all and because you wear them in the front, it’s a lot harder for thieves to get to. These fanny packs by Vibe Festival Gear were literally made for music festivals–they come in a bunch of unique patterns so find the one that fits your style the best.

If fanny packs are not your thing, good alternatives to the fanny pack are:

Fanny Pack - Coachella Packing List

40. Neck pouch / wallet

If you’re a savvy festival goer, then you already know that music festivals are a pickpocketer’s wonderland. Hundreds if not thousands of people get their stuff stolen all the time at festivals. You don’t want to be that person.

If you think any of the above bags are too risky to keep your important possessions in (money, ID, credit cards), get yourself a neck pouch. These can be easily tucked and concealed under your shirt so even if your main bag gets stolen for any reason, you’ll still have your most important items with you.

We recommend Zero Grid’s Travel Neck Wallet because it also has RFID blocking which is crucial to protect against unwanted credit card scans and personal information theft.

41. Portable phone charger

Three to four days of camping at Coachella means your phone will inevitably run out of battery at some point. While the campsite’s communal areas do have charging stations where you can re-up your phone on battery life, these charging stations can be crowded.

Plus, they’re a lot harder to find within the actual festival grounds themselves.

You don’t want to get lost and/or deal with a dead phone while trying to find your friends, so consider a portable phone charger an absolute essential and bring one along with you!

Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many campers, festival-goers, and travelers alike! This one’s made for newer phones and can charge the iPhone 12 five times (or more than 4 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10).

42. Sunhat / Sun Visor

If sunglasses are more your thing, too bad, we still recommend wearing a hat! Sunglasses won’t protect your skin from UV rays, but hats will.

For the ladies who want to show off their elaborate hairstyles, we’ve got you covered. Go with a straw sun visor or a roll-up sun hat (what I’m wearing below).

Coachella Packing List - TravelsWithElle

Want your whole squad to match while protecting your faces from the harsh sun? Check out this multi-pack of colorful visors–they come in a lot of other unique colors too!

43. Cooling towels

Cooling towels are amazing because they can be used in so many ways–as a neck cooler, as a cooling bandana, or a chilled headband. Once, I’ve even had to put it over my head and eyes because the heat was too much for my eyeballs while walking into the festival!

They work so well because the towel regulates the water inside to ensure water retention, acting almost like an air-conditioner. And just like sweat on your skin, when water evaporates, it cools. It’s one of the best things you can bring with you to Coachella if you can’t tolerate heat as well as others.

While I love the ChillPal because of how affordable it is, I recently discovered the Mission Cooling Hoodie Towel which is even more awesome as it acts as a cooling towel and as some sun protection (UPF 50, much needed at Coachella). What I love about this is that you can tuck the edges into your shirt and make it look like just a hood!

If you don’t want to invest in an actual cooling towel, you can always bring a regular towel and soak it with cold water to get that cool towel effect (though it won’t stay cool as long as an actual cooling towel).

Cooling Towel - Coachella Camping Packing List -TravelsWithElle

44. Personal neck fan

These things have saved my life at multiple Coachellas throughout the year. Trust me when I tell you–there are times where Coachella is as breezeless as can be. If you are not one that copes well with stifling heat like me, pack a battery-powered portable neck fan!

The O2Cool necklace fan works well, but another good option is the bladeless neck fan.

travel essentials for hot climates -
Portable neck fan saving me in 90 degree weather as I eat a hot bowl of ramen…

45. Face mask, bandana or Buff

What To Pack For Coachella - TravelsWithElle

For the inevitable dust. Not only is the Coachella Valley prone to high winds and dust storms on occasion, but there will also be thousands of people trampling over grass all weekend long. This paired with the extremely dry weather means that a lot of dust will form.

Expect your legs and even your face to be covered in dust particles. You’ll definitely want to wipe yourself down with body wipes and face wipes by the end of the night!

A face mask can help alleviate some of the dustiness and prevent you from breathing it all in. (Yes, you can expect dark boogers by the end of the night.) We like bringing our Buffs because they can be used for so many things other than as a face mask. Definitely a good investment.

Mask for Dust - Coachella Camping Packing List -TravelsWithElle

46. Light long sleeve shirt / sweater

If you’re the type to run colder, you should consider bringing along a long sleeve, sweater, or flannel that can easily be tied around your waist. Coachella may be stifling hot during the day, but it can get pretty chilly at night. I will almost always bring an extra layer into the festival with me just in case.

Coachella Camping Packing List
Gotta pack that extra layer for when the sun sets!

47. Thigh Society bike shorts

Thigh Society - Hot Weather Essentials

Let me be the first to tell you about my newest discovery on how to keep my legs from becoming a huge sweaty mess… I love Thigh Society’s shorties for hot weather! 

There are two different options I like depending on what look I’m going for. If I want to wear an above-the-knee dress on a hot day, I go with The Cooling 5″ option. It’s so thin, meaning “sweaty butt” won’t be an issue.

And it’s especially useful if it happens to be a windy day. These lil’ shorties make me feel so much more comfortable knowing that I have an extra layer of protection and coverage should the wind decide to do me dirty and lift my dress in one swoop. Or if I’m walking by a ton of people that are sitting down — can’t look up MY skirt!

The other pair that I have is The Original, which has become a staple in my hot weather arsenal too. They’re super-versatile because these guys are very opaque, meaning they can be worn alone or layered under clothes. I wear them while grocery shopping, working out, on airplanes, on road trips, and to music festivals when it calls for bike short vibes. Love ’em!

48. Comfortable shoes

Comfortable shoes are a must–I cannot stress this enough. You can expect to be on your feet all day, walking miles upon miles getting between stages. Because of this, you’ll want to do it all in comfortable shoes.

I made the mistake one year of wearing cute sandals that I had not tested out before, and by the second hour of constantly walking in them (forming some blisters along the way), I had to head back to the campsite to change out of them!

If you need to pick up a new pair, some tried and true options include:

  • On Cloud Running Shoes (men and women)
  • ECCO Soft 7 Sneaker (men and women)
  • adidas Ultraboost 22 Running Shoe (men and women)

A few weeks before the festival, you should start going on long walks, or at the very least, do some cardio to get used to standing/walking for prolonged periods of time. This helps your legs get used to movement, so they don’t get completely fatigued after the first day of the festival.

If you plan on bringing some new shoes to Coachella, walking in them ahead of time will help to break them in if they aren’t already.

FYI: If you like going into the crowds during music sets, there is a good chance your shoes will get stepped on or have been spilled on them. Bringing shoes that are either washable or that you don’t care too much about is best.


  1. Get there on Thursday morning for your best chance to be near the front by the festival gates. If you enter too late at night, you may have to walk a lifetime to get to the festival gates (I know this well from experience).
  2. Put your wristband in your fanny pack or wallet before you leave. That way, you know you won’t forget it at home.
  3. Become friends with your neighbors–you’re going to be living next to each other for the next few days, might as well get friendly and party together!
  4. To extend the life of your ice, get dry ice. From there, wrap it in a towel, cover it with some regular ice, ice packs, or frozen water bottles. This will help keep your perishables and drinks cold all weekend! And save you some money on those exorbitantly expensive bags of ice the campground sells.
  5. Bring and drink plenty of water. For an extra boost in hydration, bring hydration packets or even bottles of coconut water (it’s such a refreshing taste when hot).
  6. Buy water in large bottles. Don’t just buy a ton of the smaller 12oz bottles of water. You can save money and reduce waste by buying large gallon jugs and some smaller bottles as well.
  7. Keep your ice chest (and snacks) in the shade. Why try to melt your ice faster than it needs to?
  8. Put your makeup (and anything else you don’t want to be melted/hot) in an extra cooler. Alternatively, you can keep this stuff in an area of your campsite that always has shade. During the day, things tend to get really hot inside the tents, so I’d avoid keeping anything other than clothes and sleeping stuff in there.
  9. Create a little pantry system with a cardboard box. The pantry is where you can keep all your non-perishable food stuff that doesn’t need to go in the cooler. This includes stuff like bread, peanut butter, granola bars, chips, cookies, etc. This will keep your campsite clean, and you’ll know exactly where to find the food.
  10. Bring at least one set of warm clothes. Remember you’re in a desert so it can get pretty cold at night. Always bring something warm for the nighttime. At the very least, bring one hoody and a pair of sweats or leggings.
  11. Know what your camping spot address is, especially if you don’t have a campsite that stands out. It will be dark at night, meaning it will be harder to find your friends and your campsite. There are “street” numbers to help you, but taking a picture of your surroundings never hurts.
  12. For sleeping, have one of the following: an air mattress, a camping pad, or an inflatable pool raft. You will sleep much better than lying directly on the hard floor.
  13. If you have to go #2, try to go in the morning as soon as possible after the portapotties have been cleaned, re-stocked with toilet paper, and haven’t turned into a complete hotbox under the sun.
  14. Don’t forget your portable charger! You don’t want to be one of those people stuck in front of the scarce charging stations for hours at a time.
  15. Bring cash! Not just to buy things inside the festival, but also to save your poor legs after the festival ends. If you have cash on you and really can’t want anymore, you can pay for one of the pedicabs and get back to your camping spot in no time.
  16. Prepare a music playlist for the campsite jams a few days ahead. Then at the campsite, you can have this list on autoplay–no need for someone to play ‘DJ’ and pick songs as they come on.
  17. Be aware of the threat of wind! Campsites can easily be destroyed if not set up and monitored correctly.
    • Tip #1: Take down any tarps and lower your E-Z UP canopies before heading into the festival. If the wind happens to pick up, it’ll sweep underneath any tarps and shoot any canopies up in the sky. Seriously, I’ve seen full-on built canopies flying around in the sky (where it landed, not entirely sure, but I wouldn’t be happy at all if it landed on my car).
    • Tip #2: Stake everything down, and then make sure it’s staked down correctly.
  18. To beat the crazy, crazy traffic leaving Coachella/Indio, CA on Monday, either leave Sunday night after the festival ends or before the sun comes up on Monday morning. We’ve done both and have gotten back to Los Angeles in under 2 to 3 hours.

What To Expect Coachella Camping - TravelsWithElle






And that wraps up our Coachella camping packing list. We hope this has better prepared you for your ultimate music festival camping experience!

Ultimately, you’re going to want to pack things that you normally would for any car camping trip. The thing you’ll need to keep in mind the most is this–be prepared for sun and heat during the day, chillier weather during the night, dustiness, and even potential windiness during your 3-day Coachella experience.

Most of all, stay cool, drink lots of water, make memories, and have an experience of a lifetime! Oh yeah, and don’t forget your wristbands and camping passes!

Want more Southern California travel tips? Read More:

21 EDM Festivals In California For Your Next Music-Filled Weekend

35 Things To Do In The Palm Springs Area For The Perfect California Desert Trip

Los Angeles To Las Vegas Road Trip: 25+ Awesome Stops (ROUTE 66)

24 Best Stops on a Los Angeles to San Francisco Road Trip

2 Days In Los Angeles: Itinerary Ideas For The Perfect Trip

30+ Travel Essentials for Hot Weather and Tropical Climates

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Elle Leung

My name is Elle and I'm a travel blogger and adventurer based in California. I love helping people plan trips and create unique itineraries based on their interests and their budgets. I'm a huge fan of outdoor adventures and doing off-the-beaten-path things in my state (and all around the world too)!

4 thoughts on “Coachella Camping Packing List: 48 Essentials For The Ultimate Experience”

  1. AMAZING article! First time festival goer here and am stressed about camping (I do NOT camp). I am a master organizer and am always over prepared and of all the research I have done for coachella, nothing compares to this list and thorough descriptions. thank you thank you thank you!!

    • Juliana! <3 Your words mean so much to me! I just want to help everyone have the best time possible (by avoiding all the mistakes I made during my last 4 or 5 Coachella camping trips). Have a WONDERFUL Coachella experience this year!


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