As Backwoods at Mulberry Mountain 2019 gets closer with each day, our excitement grows. Details are released and plans officialized, making the event more real every day! And, while camping festivals are some of the most fun when it comes to festing, they also take a little bit more preparations before making the trek. As you ready yourself for the beginning of the beloved festival season, we made a little last minute packing list full of Freak tips to ensure that you are ready for Backwoods (and beyond)!
1. First things first…
With mere days before we begin traveling, I am going to assume that you already have tickets locked down. The second step to buying tickets is to actually pack them. I have seen way too many horror stories of people leaving tickets on their fridge, or wristbands in their dresser drawers. Personally, my wristbands are one of the very first things I put in my bag, maybe with a wallet or something else important. Freak tip: if you are extremely forgetful, leave them in your shoes that you will wear to leave in the morning!
2. Prep all gear
About a week or so before a camping festival (do it this weekend for Backwoods), I always gather all of my camping gear and set it to up to ensure everything is clean, working, and ready to go. There is nothing quite like driving across the country, arriving at a festival, to discover that your tent has no poles. I usually spend a day setting up my tent and making sure I have more than enough tent stakes. Freak tip: pack extra stakes to share! I often find a ton of “abandoned” stakes on the ground when everyone is leaving the venue.
Ensure you have your rain fly and that you know how to attach it quickly. Pack a few extra tarps for the ground and maybe even above your tent. Freak tip: keep an eye out for area rugs at garage sales. They make great campsite ground covers, above tarps, that give your site a great, comfy vibe.
Also, canopies are sometimes extra difficult to set up, so they are important to practice beforehand. Blow up your air mattress and do not forget your pump. Bring enough chairs for everyone in your party, as well as a table or two to keep snacks and drinks out of the mud.
3. Finalize transportation and travel plans
Unless you live directly in Arkansas, getting to Backwoods is probably going to consist of several hours of driving or flying. We are planning on a 14-hour drive. Give yourself enough realistic hours (including occasional stops for bathroom breaks, rest, and sight-seeing) to actually get there! Road trips are much more fun if you can actually enjoy them.
Renting cars may seem expensive, but if your car is only semi-reliable or doesn’t get great gas mileage, I totally recommend it for the peace of mind, safety, and often reasonable cost compared to putting those miles on your own car. As mentioned above, rest is important! Driving tired is dangerous, and when traveling to a festival, there are often the precious lives of your friends in the car! Freak tip: become a member of a hotel chain and bank on those sweet member perks! I get points whenever I book a room, and I often choose a hotel that has laundry facilities so that when we get home, we are semi-recovered, showered, and already have clean laundry!
4. Outfits for fun (and function)
Festivals are one of the best ways to show off your creativity when it comes to fashion! Personally, I am all about function when it comes to festing, but I absolutely love seeing ravers go all out with their outfits. Pack your wildest, craziest clothes that you can’t wear anywhere else! Or go minimal and just bring a pair of pasties. Whatever you choose, just know that the community will hype you up and compliment you.
Freak tip: Backwoods is on a mountain, in the midwest, in the spring. That means that seriously anything in terms of weather and temperature is possible. Layer, layer, layer! Rock those pasties, but make sure you also have a onesie and rain poncho if you want to make it through the whole weekend! Need some new fits? Freak tip: trade with/borrow from friends, and hit up thrift stores and used clothing stores for the most unique items.
5. Pack for success
Below, I have included a basic packing checklist PDF that works for almost any camping festival (click the download button to open). This checklist has been curated by the most prepared, organized wooks from the days of Summerset! It even has a few extra spaces to add in your own essentials. Since Backwoods has such a ridiculous lineup, we want you Freaks to be able to focus on the music, not stressed out because you forgot something vital!
When traveling with a large group, we usually share this list within the group and put our names by the items that we contribute. This way, everyone can bring what they are able, we don’t end up with extra/duplicate items, and none of the essentials are forgotten. Freak tip: share this checklist with your festival friends to ensure everyone is fully prepared for Backwoods!
6. Mental and physical prep
Last but certainly not least, make your schedule for the weekend and decide which sets you will absolutely NOT miss! Scour the festival map (pictured below) and learn where things like water stations, bathrooms, and stages are so you are familiar with the setup before you even arrive at the venue. Open Spotify and stream the official Backwoods playlist, or even make your own. Now is the time to hydrate and treat your body well (healthy food, tons of water, and even extra sleep) for this epic weekend. If your body can’t make it through the weekend, neither can your mind! Freak tip: use a refillable water bottle to hydrate even extra prior to (and during) this trip. We love our REZZ water bottles and use them in real life every day!
Backwoods is almost here, and now you are more than ready for it! If you use Amazon, there is still plenty of time to order and receive last-minute items before you leave. Freak tip: use our Amazon link to support our site and find the perfect festival gear! The Backwoods venue map is below. Travel safe, pack smart, and hydrate! See you on the mountain, Freaks.
*Featured Image Via Joshua Andrews of GrandSchemeViews*