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.
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 Haviana 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 find New Look the best for cheap but decent chunky jewels. I a cool tribal one last week for £9.99, something similar in Topshop would be at least twice that.
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. You could also try Very, it’s great value and if you click here you can get voucher codes too. 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.
- Camera – chargers – the Welcome Pack said there were loads of charger points around Coachella and we have the car too.
- Nokia Lumia and iPhone 4 – gotta get some cool pics!
- Activated wristbands
- Sleeping mask – see Sleeping at a Festival
- Driver’s license and paper part
- Warm PJs
- Cosmetics and hair stuff
- Tights – always useful for warming up
- Make up
- Sunscreen – very important!
- Lip balm – one of the tips in the Welcome Pack was that our lips will definitely burn
- Contact lenses
- Face wipes to relieve from the heat
- Rehydration salts
My dad bought me this notepad a few months ago and it’s genuinely one of the best presents ever. There are some random things listed, but in general it keeps me on the packing straight and narrow and I haven’t forgotten anything since these came in my life.
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 kit 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…
Walmart kit list for Coachella
(Prices may be different, this was for 2014 and was the price in the plan. Prices could’ve been different in store.)
- 9 x 9 canopy | $49.97
- Cooler | $55
- 2 7 x 5 tents | $29.97 each
- 4 folding camping chairs | $6.88 each
- 4 sleeping bags | $19.97 each
- 2 double air beds | $15.97
- 2 x 2-pack pillows $16
Debated but didn’t buy…
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!