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It's in the bag

Attending a summer festival without sunscreen is like trying to fight a wolf with a corn dog: You're asking for trouble. Here are four more essentials to guarantee your day isn't filled with regret, or hepatitis.
Photograph: Martha Williams
By Erin Osmon |

Running from stage to stage while scarfing down fried food inevitably leads to a killer thirsty-with-a-stomachache one-two punch. Combat the lethal combo by packing a chilled bottle of mint-infused water such as Metromint ($1.79, available at Whole Foods). Natural peppermint soothes your tummy, while water purified by reverse osmosis ensures you’re drinking only the good stuff.

With portable potties comes the absence of toilet paper (and overall human decency). Do yourself a favor: Instead of trying to jam a huge roll of Scott tissue into your tote, bring a travel pack or two of Kleenex ($1.99 for pack of three at CVS). Just don’t let anyone else in on it, or you’ll be out by the time you reach the front of the line.

When cruising through a fest, always remember: Everything you touch has been touched by at least a few other people—at least one of whom could not find TP in the porta potty. Fight off potential infection with portable, ecofriendly EO hand sanitizer spray (10ml for $2.99, Merz Apothecary, 4716 N Lincoln Ave, 773-989-0900). Lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils also ward off that nasty festival smell.

Seasoned vets of music fests know it inevitably rains at least one of the three days. Nobody wants a wet, post-rain butt, and standing for eight hours is not an option. Combat swamp ass by packing a shower-curtain liner ($5.99–$10 at Target) to slide under your blanket. You’ll stay dry, and the people on the blanket next to yours will be insanely jealous.

How to store all this stuff? Forget the fanny pack, and instead pick up this whimsical tote by Megan Lee Designs ($22, at Renegade Handmade, 1924 W Division St, 773-227-2707). You’ll fit right in.


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