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Thread: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

  1. #1

    Cool 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Hey all!

    Third time Coachella-er, first time camper here and i was hoping campers from yesteryear could share any advice regarding what to bring to make it more bearable.

    I know the heat is gonna be on, so i was going to bring a portable AC or battery operated fan to keep things cool, but is there anything else that i should be aware of?

    for example, were the toilets stinky/dirty? any advice for the showers?

    what kind of food should i bring? there is no cooking of any kind, so im kinda stuck on that one.

    was the "general store" stocked? im sure it was EXPENSIVE!

    anyway, would appreciate any adivce from experienced coachella campers!

    thanks!!

  2. #2
    old school leo01g's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    if you have a car there's a ralphs like two blocks from the campgrounds. Water and ice is A LOT cheaper there than the campground.
    Showers are clean just bring some sandals so you wont have to step on the dirty floor.
    A shade tent helps too, we didnt wake up till like ten or eleven last year
    Bring lots of water and have fun!

  3. #3
    Member billtino's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Ever been a porta-potty? No? You have a couple months now to acclimate.
    Practice holding your breadth everytime you enter a bathroom starting now & you won't be bothered by the pile of excrement reaching out to you from inside a porta-potty. the good news is the campsite toilets are cleaned at least once a day. bring your own tp & baby wipes are an all purpose must have.
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    Member thephatkat's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    we had our tent under a canopy and it did the trick, i don't really know how well a portable a/c would honestly help. a fan is good to get the air moving around though, and if privacy is not a huge issue with you i wouldn't bother putting the rainfly on your tent if it's under a canopy and in the shade. it'll let all the hot air rise up out of your tent. you may want a REALLY good waterproof container to put in your cooler for those items that you don't want to melt in the heat. (and if you're a woman or camping with a woman there are bound to be those items) i agree with getting your ice from Ralphs, it's cheaper there, it gives you a chance to do something in the morning...and, their restrooms are a nice treat in the morning. last year we brought really dumb food choices and what we should have brought were things like, fruit and veggies, things that's aren't too high maintainence in the heat/outside. oh, gatorade, i bought those little instant powder packets that i could just mix into a bottle of water so that way we didn't have the bulk of gatorade ontop of our water. (plus they're easy to sneak into the festival) i didn't think the port a potties in the campground were too bad really, but you know, they ARE port a potties. as far as that goes make sure you have a flashlight for when you have to go and it's dark and skip the toilet paper and buy those cottonelle wet wipe things, just trust me on that one...seriously. as far as showers, get there early so you don't have to wait in a long line.

    ...but i think anything else you need to know are in a ton of threads on here already, just read them all and you'll have a good idea of what to bring and/or expect. just remember, you ARE camping, it WILL be hot, you WILL feel gross at some point, it WILL be loud at night. but remember...you're there to have fun, keep that in mind and the smelly port a pottie and the line at the shower aren't going to be what you remember.
    Last edited by thephatkat; 02-04-2009 at 11:00 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    I lived through 3yrs of camping out at coachella.

    Essentials. Flats of water ,energy foodbars,suntan lotion,babypowder(avoid chaffing)shower slippers,battery fan,sleeping bag,tent,sunglasses,paper towels when going to the outdoor toilets!!+lots of babywipes!!!

    A wagon to haul your stuff to your assigned spot.

    Change of clothes, plastic bags to store treats and anything else is more stuff to carry out.

    Just keep hydrated enough to enjoy the music!

  6. #6
    Member lickety_spit's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    forgive me if i'm repeating any of the other suggestions, but i don't want to read all of those posts.

    the portapotties are filthier than a gutterwhore, and even though they supply t.p. and toilet seat covers, they don't always restock them. bring some of your own.

    bring flipflops or showershoes for the shower because you will be splish-splashing around in other people's funk. whether or not it says "no shoes," wear them.

    bring crackers. if you bring anything sticky or potentially melty, i.e. granola bars, cookies, put them in freezer bags and keep them in your cooler.

    i've never bought anything from the general store because grocery stores and drug stores are a stone's throw away. even if you've never been there, it's really hard to get lost. if you don't have your own vehicle, i don't imagine it would be too hard to find someone that is on their way already that would give you a ride.

    make sure you have enough blankets/clothes to keep you warm at night. last year was my 5th year camping, and i still froze my tits off because i hadn't anticipated it'd be as cold as it was.

    if you don't yet have a cooler, don't spring for the "still ice after 5 days!" bullshit coolers because you'll need new ice every day.

    benadryl (grass everywhere). ibuprofen (all-night drum circles & shit like that). flashlight (you can't see in the portapotties at night). lawn chair (sometimes the ground is wet or antsy). combination or pad lock for your tent (i've never had a problem with theft, but i've always had a lock. i know a lock isn't going to stop someone with a knife or pair of scissors from stealing from your tent, but it's a whole hell of a lot more obvious when they need to cut into it. plus, a lot of tents look the same, and after a long day/alcohol consumption, i wouldn't even put crawling into the wrong tent past myself.).

    i hope this has been helpful. even though it's hot and dirty, camping is my second favorite thing about coachella.
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    Member sassypants's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    read lots of old threads on camping. everything you need to know is already available.

  8. #8
    Member zajaa's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    im a 4th year camper - we always drive into town some time before noon and hit up a nice air conditioned flush toilet for Number 2 - just do yourself a favor and never go near the porta potties.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXsq7C-dWS8

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    Member ZackQ's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    A good canopy will make a 20 degree difference in the morning AT LEAST. It's a must.

  10. #10
    Coachella Junkie locachica73's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    After you set up your tent and head to the festival (if you arrive late like we did last year) make sure you get your location figured out before dashing off. It took us an hour to find our tent friday night. It being dark, booze and smoke may have been a contributing factor.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    I agree with most of the stuff above, but wanted to add a few things that has worked for me:
    - Get one of the head-lamp flashlights. Makes evening Honey Huts (aka port-a-potties) runs alot easier when its hands free (and less scares of dropping it in there).
    - Bring some hand sanitizer as the soap dispensers run out fairly quick.
    - Some sanitation seat covers are good to bring if those run out as well.
    - I agree any type of shade you can make is great for the mornings. Canopys are nice, but can be heavy. My group and I use a screen house from REI with a tarp with some poles to extend the tarp out. Makes great shade and can double for a tent, which is what I do.
    - If no funds or you cant bring those, either make friends with those who have one, or wake up early and sleep in the shade of a large tent...trust me it beats sleeping in the oven that is your tent.

  12. #12

    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Odin 8 View Post
    I agree with most of the stuff above, but wanted to add a few things that has worked for me:
    - Get one of the head-lamp flashlights. Makes evening Honey Huts (aka port-a-potties) runs alot easier when its hands free (and less scares of dropping it in there).
    - Bring some hand sanitizer as the soap dispensers run out fairly quick.
    - Some sanitation seat covers are good to bring if those run out as well.
    - I agree any type of shade you can make is great for the mornings. Canopys are nice, but can be heavy. My group and I use a screen house from REI with a tarp with some poles to extend the tarp out. Makes great shade and can double for a tent, which is what I do.
    - If no funds or you cant bring those, either make friends with those who have one, or wake up early and sleep in the shade of a large tent...trust me it beats sleeping in the oven that is your tent.
    Hmm. Explain the whole screen house REI and tarp acrchitetural design, haha. Was looking to do something like this as well.
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  13. #13
    old school emtgreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    50 bucks: (with tax/shipping)

    http://www.rei.com/product/761882
    "It began as a mistake" - Charles Bukowski

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    Member Vic Viper's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by emtgreg View Post
    50 bucks: (with tax/shipping)

    http://www.rei.com/product/761882
    This is genius, thank you sir. Did you have a problem with the wind catching the two walls?
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  15. #15
    old school emtgreg's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    i should remind you though, that product is just for the walls...it doesnt include the canopy

    it needs to be light though..thats why that product is rad...
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  16. #16
    Coachella Junkie locachica73's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    My sister and I made "potty packs" they were little zip lock bags with seat covers, cottenelle butt wipes, toilet paper, hand sanitzer and lotion for our bathroom adventures. They came in handy and when the soap dispensers ran out I was everyones best friend over by the portopots.
    Quote Originally Posted by SlowMotionApocalypse View Post
    I have snuck in weapons before
    Quote Originally Posted by TomAz View Post
    A butt plug is not a weapon.

  17. #17
    Member Vic Viper's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by emtgreg View Post
    i should remind you though, that product is just for the walls...it doesnt include the canopy

    it needs to be light though..thats why that product is rad...
    Yeah i noticed that. Still though.
    Quote Originally Posted by thewindowliquor View Post
    No. I push you down. Always.

  18. #18

    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Glad you liked the idea. Here's what I do:
    - Set up screen house, make back door face east (explained below)
    - For the sides, I use sheets for privacy at night or when at festival. You may have seen it, I use one blue/black and one light khaki/black celctic sheets.
    - For the back door, I angle my rain fly to cover this and leave some room between the rain fly and the back door. Enough to not have it open/exposed but also allows the heat to dissapate from the sun hitting rain fly in the morning - this keeps the screen house less hot since sun rises in the east.
    - I either tie or clip a large tarp with guesset holes to the screen house and attach the other gussets to two poles, which I tie down with stakes and rope. Bring the poles out far enough and angle them to keep the tarp taut.

    In the mornings, the tarp is up and the side sheets rolled up. Enough shade and room inside screen house and under tarp. Open sides and front door allows any breeze to come through, doesnt get too warm inside the screen house either.

    At night or away, roll down the side sheets, and take tarp off the poles and block the front door.

    http://www.rei.com/product/681226

    http://www.rei.com/product/766385

    http://www.rei.com/product/601891
    Last edited by Odin 8; 02-04-2009 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Show equipment used

  19. #19
    old school Stickjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    All of us flying in are jealous of the elaborate shade canopies, wading pools, etc. I might splurge and buy a cooler this year but haven't used one in 3 years of camping.

    It's been mentioned, but be prepared to carry your stuff from the parking area, through the check-in line, and to your camping spot. It's a few hundred yards, depending. That's where you can really spot the newbies. Wheels are your friend. Make two trips (and enjoy the line twice!) Try to drop stuff closer to the entrance, before you park (it gets crowded though at peak times.) Just don't be one of those people in line with a huge pile of loose random crap at your feet trying to slowly shuffle forward when the line moves.

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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Be prepared to stand in lines for everything.

    Bring LOTS of butt wipes & paper towels as seat covers. Package them up in little baggies. Mentioned above.

    Definite life saver!

  21. #21

    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Here is all the info you need to survive coachella http://www.metrowize.com/coachella-survival-guide

  22. #22

    Wink Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Thanks everyone for all of the amazing suggestions!

    i am super excited and cannot WAIT for camping and coachella! my REI shopping cart is getting slightly out of hand, but totally worth it!

  23. #23

    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    I would sign up for the REI membership if you havent already. It's pretty cool to get a little back in form a dividend to the store.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Yeah, I got my tent from REI. Cool place to get gear/snacks!

  25. #25
    old school leo01g's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    has anyone ever passed through security with a camelpak? I really want to take one in but
    fear they might throw it away.

  26. #26
    Member OnlyNonStranger's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by leo01g View Post
    has anyone ever passed through security with a camelpak? I really want to take one in but
    fear they might throw it away.
    There was a thread somewhere about somebody getting not a camel pak in but a backpack that had a camelback in it or something. I'm worthless, I know. But also lazy.

  27. #27
    old school Stickjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1st Time Camper - Any Survival Suggestions?

    "Has anyone ever ..." has nothing to do with what will happen to you. The rules plainly state "No Camelbacks" so don't bring it if you don't want to lose it or have to go back to your tent.

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