Here’s your ultimate packing list for Coachella. This Coachella kit list will ensure you don’t forget a thing for your festival experience, trust me…
I’ve spent my Sunday packing for my USA trip, and most importantly, Coachella. It’s actually quite difficult, in the grand scheme of packing. I’m going to San Francisco first (predicted temperature 20C) then Coachella (36C) then New York (14C) and I want to take as little as possible.
All the Coachella survival guides I’ve read say not to bother with fashion and to stay comfy, although all the style guides seem to think the exact opposite. I’m aiming for somewhere in the middle.
What to take to Coachella
1. Your ticket – there is absolutely no way you’ll be allowed in to Coachella without your ticket. This needs to be the absolute number one on your list of Coachella essentials. Also, ID.
2. Money and bank card – if you feel happy enough bringing all the money you need for Coachella in in one, go ahead. I prefer to work in hundreds and just bring my bank card too. There are ATMs all over the site and unlike other festivals, you don’t have to queue ages for one at Coachella.
3. Light and nifty tent – try this light pop up tent from Amazon.
– These tops are one way to keep the Coachella packing list to a minimum. Let it all out!
4. Cosy sleeping bag – this cosy Mummy one is great value at only £10.74 and 4/5 stars from 330 people on Amazon.
5. Bags of wine – they’re the cheapest and lightest way to get your fix in. Saves hundreds. And yes, it’s definitely a Coachella essential.
Read more on The Best Alcohol for Festivals
Essentially you could get by on the above for Coachella, if you really had to. But that’s no fun. Here are a few more things creeping up into the ‘essentials for Coachella’ list.
Coachella festival packing list
6. Summer clothes – check out my cheap festival fashion tips for help. I’ve been at Coachella when it’s been absolutely scorching, and also, rain. Lots and lots of rain. Although, it’s never been cold (touchwood). Not in the day anyway. Make sure to pack some shorts and dresses to deal with the heat.
7. Toothbrush and paste – one of the very few ways to stay fresh, and the easiest. There is a kind of ‘corner shop’ at Coachella, so you can pick up a few essentials, but it’s always best to take them with you, and bring home again.
8. Enamel mug – enamel mugs are great for festivals. You can use them to help clean your teeth, to drink out of, and to eat cereal and soup of too. Definitely stick one of them on your Coachella packing list. Take a look at the many, many enamel mug designs they have on Amazon.
9. Sun cream – standing out in the June sun every day can give you a red face. Pack a little tube of sun cream and take it round with you.
More essentials for Coachella
10. Toilet roll – possibly the most essential item, after your ticket. You will need to carry your own toilet roll at Coachella. Occasionally you’ll be lucky and find some in there but no one wants to take that risk. If you don’t want to carry a big roll around then these little packets of tissues are great. Absolutely essential for your Coachella packing list!
11. Baby wipes – too many reasons, but you definitely need some baby wipes. Great for the toilet, for cleaning your tent, yourself, your face, and just to have around.
12. Hand sanitiser – Coachella = grime – This one is a spray too so you can give the toilets a quick going over before you park your bum.
13. Driving license – if you’re one of those young looking people, or you actually are just young then you will be challenged. Don’t your baby face get in the way of you and your cider!
As long as you have the above on your Coachella kit list, you’re pretty much sorted for a good time. But of course, there’s always more…
Not so essential Coachella packing list
14. Lilo or blow up bed – be prepared with this this single blow up mattress for less than a tenner from Amazon. I can guarantee it will be worth every penny, especially if it rains and the ground is cold and wet.
Definitely a good one for your Coachella packing list.
15. Beer trolley – a beer trolley could be the best money you ever spend. They have loads of designs on Amazon, and you can always give it to your nan afterwards.
These can really help you in getting your stuff into the festival, which can always be a challenge. I am definitely getting one of these this year.
Trolleys and festival wagons are also a great idea if you have kids. You can check out our list of the best festival trolleys on the market here.
16. Torch – believe me, you need to check out those toilet seats before you get your skin anywhere near them. Try and get a head torch for Coachella, perfect for in the tent when you’re rooting around, or just rooting. It’s less than £3 too!
Even less Coachella essentials kit
17. Walkie talkies – excellent for communication when you have no reception or battery.
18. Hat – to cover your skanky hair, for warmth, and to protect from the sun.
19. Flip flops – great for late night / early morning runs to the bathroom.
20. Compact mirror – great for checking for boogers or spots without having to spend a second longer in the skanky Portaloo than you have to. Here’s a a pretty one for £3.02 or here’s the most basic little mirror for just £2.40. Also, essential festival packing for all the glitter you’re going to apply.
21. Reusable plastic cups – can help for alcohol consumption at the tent. These pop up beer cups are also a good idea, so you’re ready at a moment’s notice, and don’t damage the environment.
Things you might need at Coachella
22. Face cleaning stuff – get that Micellar water packed to get the dust and grime off!
23. A variety of sunglasses – sunglasses cover all kinds of sins so make sure you pack a few different looks to shield your eyes and face from the sun.
24. Glitter – a festival must have in my eyes. There are glitter fairies doing all sorts of creations around Coachella but you will pay quite a bit for it. Best to just take your own glitter and enjoy using it as much as possible.
Make sure to stick to the biodegradable types of glitter though as glitter off of 170,000 people in the grounds and streams of a farm are not good for the animals.
25. Cooking stove – yes, we made filtered coffee when I was there the first year. Deelish. Admittedly we sacked it off for year two, as we didn’t want to carry it from the car. But I will be well back on board the camping stove idea for this, my third year at Coachella.
I’ve found this neat little number that I think I’ll be able to carry easily from the car. Can’t wait to try it out.
26. Moisturiser – shine those pasty legs up for the sun!
27. Lip balm – you’ll be weak and broken by the end and my lips always go dry when this happens. Make sure to pack a good lip balm to keep your lips moist.
28. Vitamins – I like those disposable ones that make water taste like orange juice. I’d definitely recommend packing vitamins for Coachella. It’s a long week and your immune system will be attacked. Stay strong!
29. Paracetamol – obviously.
30. Pillow – a rolled up hoody can have the same effect but depends how much you value your sleep. I’ve done that in the past, and tried camping pillows too, but this year I’ll be taking a proper pillow to ensure the best chance at getting a good sleep as possible.
31. Bed sheet – getting fancy now but this is definitely something I’ll be taking to Coachella this year. I don’t like touching the inflatable bed with my skin, because it’s either hot or cold. I like to bring an elasticated bed sheet to put on top, and maybe, even a blanket in between too. That bed can get cold!
– Yeah, a tent should be pretty high on your Coachella essentials list, tbh.
32. Swimsuit – for showers? I’ve never done this, but might help you to stay clean at Coachella. I haven’t actually used the Coachella showers but by all accounts they’re high up on a hill somewhere. Last year I did wash my hair in a basin which made me feel about a million times better. That was joyful.
33. Portable phone charger – way better to buy this now than have to queue at the big chargers at a festival and waste time waiting to pick it up again. I will actually be taking a few of these, because I love them. And I love my phone.
34. Shitty phone – I bought a little £10 phone as I was so worried about losing my phone. I didn’t, which was great. So the next year I chanced it and now I’m all grown up and think I’ll be ok. Do look after your phone though, there are so many opportunities to lose your phone and not many to find it again.
35. Ear plugs (20 Pairs for £3.26!) and an eye mask – Coachella can get the better of even the wildest of party animals.
Check out 11 Top Tips for Sleeping at Festivals
36. Camping chairs – if you can be bothered to carry these around,camping chairs will make you a lot comfier at Coachella. Or, you can take them and just leave at the campsite. Definitely one of the more luxurious items on your Coachella kit list.
A specially bagged clean set of clothes to go home in – they will feel amazing. So fresh and so clean.
What to pack for Coachella
As long as you have the Coachella essentials and a great attitude to mud, people and exhaustion, you are literally going to have the best week of your life!
Feet at Coachella Festival
Everything that I’ve read says to make sure you’re comfy and that you have something to cover your feet at night. I’m taking my Havaiana flip flops, Volcom sandals from Oz and just my black flat boots. I don’t really have anything else so I hope this is enough. Bit worried that I should have some sort of trainer but I don’t own any and wouldn’t have time to break them in – they wouldn’t be comfy. Recommendation rejected.
Legs at Coachella Festival
Shorts – obviously a necessity, but the official Coachella Welcome Pack says to be careful of chafing, as it’s so hot and to bring some leggings. I’ll definitely add them to the bag, always useful when you’re travelling. As for shorts I bought these daisy beauts from River Island.
I couldn’t resist the Billabong tropical trousers I found for my festival packing list from Zalando so they’re in the bag. I can wear these with boots in San Francisco and then sandals at Coachella. I’m just going to pack a loose-fitting black top to wear with them with and some cool hefty jewellery.
I’m also going to take my leopard skin hareem trousers – so comfy when I was in Oz and great for travelling in. Also, I’d never wear them in London so it’s nice to have some holiday clothes.
Tops for Coachella Festival
When I was in New Zealand I bought this cool bikini top from Quiksilver so I plan to wear that for a flash of bright under my tops. I’ve also got a bright pink bikini I got in the sale at River Island. Even if there’s no chance for a swim at least the bikini top will be cool.
Then I’ve just packed a few cool tees and tops that will do for San Francisco and NYC too.
I saved up to splash out before the festival and ended up getting a few beauts in the River Island sale. Or you could try boohoo.com for some pretty cool clothes, nice and cheap too. I like the whole idea of buying vintage and second hand, but in reality when I order off the internet I like to be able to send it back no bother. And when I buy things like this they never fit properly anyway.
The Nevada desert, where Coachella is, gets very cold at night. I’m going to take my wooly hat and a zip up hoody. I’ll already have my leather jacket to brave the cold of New York so I think with these, and my boots, I’ll be warm enough. Please tell me if you think otherwise though. I hate being cold. Maybe I’ll take my orange animal print scarf too, they’re always pretty useful.
I bought this tye-dye dress ages ago from Urban Outfitters and have never worn it, so I’ll be cracking that out for the night, hopefully.
There are showers at Coachella and it sounds like with the heat people actually use them so I’ll make sure to buy a towel in our big Walmart shop for that. We’ve located the biggest Walmart in LA and we’re going to hit it up for all our camping supplies before we go.
I’ve splashed out on some new prescription sunglasses – I was sick of the sight of my old cheapy ones and a ‘friend’ told me I looked like his mum out of the 80s, so looking forward to sporting them.
One of the best things about Coachella is that you camp next to your car so you can leave some stuff in there. In fact, that’s where we can put our backpacks in the day. That way there’s no worry of anything getting stolen.
I decided to take a suitcase rather than my backpack as I just got a bit sick of not being able to find anything on my recent trip to Australia and New Zealand. I also want things to stay relatively uncrumpled and to quickly just be able to grab what I want out at Coachella.
But, totally up to you my friend…
Walmart packing for Coachella
When it came to packing for Coachella, my three friends and I decided we’d buy all the food we needed while we were there. This meant that we wouldn’t have to take anything on the plane, or try to manage it in San Francisco the week before.
We found the nearest Walmart to Palm Springs where we were staying and after a long day of driving from San Simeon we went on the ultimate Walmart shopping spree to buy everything we needed for Coachella.
I’ve listed everything we bought in Walmart below. It was our first time at Coachella and in hindsight, after the festival, we decided we were Coachella kit list champions. We’d managed to get 99% of everything we needed for the festival. The only things we missed out on was some tarpaulin to connect the boot lid with the canopy for more shade – but borrowing one from our neighbour meant we had a new friend – and another tub of margarita mix. We got through the first one in a day.
Remember that everything you buy has to fit in your allotted space at Coachella, and in your car. After making a pit stop to the off licence in Palm Springs on the Thursday morning for ice and spirits our car was absolutely rammed. Couldn’t think of anywhere I’d rather be than squashed up to my as-of-three-days-before ex boyfriend in the middle of the backseat surrounded by Walmart camping products!
*Check out my Coachella Drinking Guide*
Along with our suitcases we had just enough space for this little lot…
Kit list for Coachella
We decided not to bother with cooking anything at the campsite. None of us could be bothered even thinking about it, and we would’ve needed more equipment. People were doing this though and if you have any special dietary requirements it might be a good idea.
Food from Walmart
- Packs of meat – great idea because we had the huge cooler
- Sliced cheese
- Huge bag of bread rolls – these lasted for ages and made for a good breakfast
- Mocha milkshake – so refreshing after putting the tents up
- Reese’s Pieces – bought a huge bag and absolutely annihilated them on the first day
- Bananas – bit of fruit
- Beers, wine, margarita mix, few spirits – remember to decant before going into the festival
More good ideas for the best food to take to festivals
I was planning on pre ordering our kitlist for Coachella so we could just pick it up on arrival, but some stuff was out of stock, others would take a few days, and some wasn’t available for pre order – it just became too messy. In the end I printed off the wishlist I’d made on the Walmart website and we went round the store with it. It really helped to have the Walmart kit list for Coachella because we were all totally hyper, over excited and over tired going round the shop and we would’ve been in there forever, and forgotten stuff, without it.
How to get rid of it
On the Monday we asked our kindly neighbour if he wanted it all, seeing as he had a big truck, and he couldn’t get it in there fast enough. The car felt empty as we drove away, Vegas bound!
Quicklist of what to take to Coachella
- Bank card
- Sleeping bag
- Bags of wine / booze
- Summer clothes
- Winter clothes
- Comfy wellies / hiking boots
- Toothbrush and paste
- Enamel mug
- Sun cream
- Rain mac
- Toilet roll
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitiser
- Driving license
- Lilo or blow up bed
- Beer trolley
- Spare carrier bags
- Walkie talkies
- Flip flops
- Compact mirror
- Reusable plastic cups
- Make up
- Face cleaning stuff
- Solar powered shower
- Cooking stove
- Lip balm
- Bed sheet / blanket
- Portable phone charger
- Shitty phone
- Ear plugs and eye mask
- Camping chairs
- Separate bag of clothes to go home in