Hacks to survive Coachella

Written on July 8, 2018
Categories: travel

About a couple of months back, I was fortunate enough to go to Coachella and find out what the hype was about. The tickets were quite expensive and we were planning to camp. It was going to be my first (or second?) time camping at a festival so you could say that I was a big noob. Yet, I had a good amount of experience travelling abroad and discovering/staying at new places so I knew I had to prep before the festival. Before I get into the hacks that I used to make the most out of my experience at coachella, here are a few things why I wanted to go to Coachella in the first place.

  1. Once in a lifetime experience. Everybody heard of it and it’s a major world-wide event. You can think of the reputation as a stamp of approval.
  2. Lot of good artists. For me, this was: Tash Sultana, Maceo Plex, Black Coffee, Kolsch, CHIC, alt-J, Odezsa, Kamasi Washington, The weekend. There were lot more big names (eminem, migos, beyonce etc) but they were not selling points for me. Anyway, the idea here is that combined you would spend shit ton of more money to see all these artists. It’s so convenient to see them all back to back. This is assuming you don’t have major scheduling conflicts.
  3. Beautiful venue. Indio California - Coachella Valley. Well, basically it’s a desert but still with all the grass and palm trees, it’s stunning.
  4. Lot of attractive people. Minus instagram-only souls.
  5. Great stages. Except for when they are too close to each other there’s a bit of sound interference.

Major downsides:

  1. Heat. It’s just extremely hot. Gets to 90s. I’m not good at handling extreme heat. You basically get up in the morning sweating in your tent.
  2. Need to hydrate too often. This is basically a result of #1 but could easily be solved with few of my hacks I describe below.

Ok now that we are done with overall feedback let’s get into what you REALLY need to know before you head to Coachella.

Hacks (in no particular order):

  • Let’s start with water. Either invest in those camelback water backpacks or buy plenty of water and bring a cooler. I started off with a hydration backpack but wasn’t a huge fan of it. Maybe it was because mine was an off-brand. There are water stations you can use for free to refill your backpack.
  • Try the lemonades for hydration. They are really good and have extra electrolytes. Worked pretty well in my hydration backpack too. Drink either frequently.
  • Bring bandanas. You can wear them inside your hat. They are great at protecting you from the sun. Just do it. they also look cool and that’s a bonus.
  • Invest in a quality sunscreen. SPF-70 or above. I don’t have to explain this right? You don’t wanna be sunburnt. It hurts.
  • Don’t go to outdoor stages before 5-6PM. Or minimize your time there. Direct exposure to sun really drains your energy.
  • Get an AMEX card because AMEX lounge is a great place to chill and cool down. It’s also not crowded so perfect to have a drink or two and socialize.
  • Here’s a MAJOR tip. AMEX lounge has Wi-fi and you know where you need wifi? Bathrooms!! So Head over to the restrooms right behind AMEX lounge and thank me later. Dont forget to get the password before.
  • Try to go early to the camping site on Thursday. If you can secure parking lot 8 for camping that’s great. It’s the best one because it’s so close to the festival area. This really makes a difference. It’s so much more tiring to walk back and forth to your camping area if it’s far. Parking lot 8 is also very central to bathrooms and showers.
  • Ok, portable toilets suck. We all know that… I couldn’t find an indoors bahtroom you just have to deal with it. Bring your own TP and wipes. IT’s just what it is..
  • Showers are good! And you don’t need super duper showers if you are a guy because lines are managable. If you are a girl, bad luck.. Normal showers have hot water so no worries. It’s also clean enough. Or I guess they clean it on a regular basis unlike restrooms.
  • Check out all the stages even if you don’t like/know the artist. It can’t hurt and trust me - almost all stages are worth peeking at.
  • Bring a portable charger for your electronics. Invest in a good one that can last you 3-4 days. You really don’t wanna go after outlets. Ew, that’d suck..
  • Bring layers for the night. Since it’s basically a desert, it gets cold. At night.
  • If you don’t have a cooler just buy moderate beer like miller lite and put em underneath your car for extra shade. Have them in the morning since they’d be cold enough.
  • Take a break or two during the day and drink a redbull or two.
  • Bring 100% silk clothing. It’s AMAZING!! Keeps you cool. I had two silk Hawaiian shirts and they DELIVERED.
  • Invest in good earplugs. Don’t rely on Coachella’s free earplugs. They are not good. Take good care of your ears because they matter and venue is LOUD.
  • Make sure to bring slippers or birkenstocks.
  • ACAI bowls are great but not filling enough. So consider them for dessert.
  • Bring peppermint oil with you. My friend showed me this and it’s so refreshing. Use a few droplets on your legs. Voila! Enjoy..
  • Go to Yuma tent for A/C. Only indoor stage with AC I believe.
  • Bring snapchat spectacles if you can. I mean why else do they exist.

BONUS: Check out the video below I shot at Coachella 2018