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Everything you need to know about camping at Coachella


The primary time I went to Coachella was in 2013. I’ll always remember seeing a few of my favourite bands just like the Postal Service and Phoenix. Or the adrenaline rush of operating between Native Natives and Tegan & Sara and the stress of deciding if I ought to depart Wu-Tang Clan for Pink Scorching Chili Peppers. I’ll always remember my first golden hour, watching the solar set behind the mountains, the lights on the palm bushes activate and the large roaming snail illuminate the grounds. Euphoric.

I’ll additionally always remember how this unbelievable weekend was nearly being ruined as a result of my finest good friend and I have been woefully unprepared for tenting within the desert. In the entire pleasure main as much as the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Pageant in Indio, Calif., I uncared for to analysis what we should always pack. We had our tent and pillows, however no sleeping luggage. We had our bathe caddy, however no towels. We didn’t deliver an EZ-Up (that one was deadly).

Fortunately, I recovered and have camped on the competition yearly since (and have change into a moderator of the Coachella subreddit). Alongside the way in which, I’ve picked up ideas and methods from the most effective. With presale beginning Friday at 11 a.m. PT., right here’s an unofficial information to surviving tenting at Coachella.

What are my tenting choices?

Camp in your automotive ($149 + charges). Automotive tenting spots are 10 by 30 toes and you may have as many individuals tenting in your spot as you may comfortably match. You want just one automotive camp cross per automotive and spots are good for your complete weekend. As soon as parked, your automotive stays in your spot for your complete weekend — there’s no driving out and in. You’ll be able to’t enter the spot with out a automotive so you need to both arrive along with your entire group or anticipate individuals to point out up within the ready space previous safety.

You need to have a standard passenger automotive, truck or van. (No bikes, RVs, trailers, motor properties, buses or U-Haul vans allowed — see the complete listing of authorised and banned autos on the Coachella web site).

Sure, camper vans are allowed! These are a handy approach for individuals coming from out of city to camp with out flying with a ton of drugs. They arrive with a mattress, linens and small kitchenette with a range and mini-fridge. Be sure that the corporate removes any butane (the competition permits solely propane) and actual silverware (that has been confiscated by competition safety earlier than).

Camp in a tent ($149 + charges). Tent-only tenting spots are a 10-by-15-feet grass space and you may have as many individuals as you may comfortably match. Every tent tenting spot comes with one in a single day parking spot to go away your automotive throughout the road.

Camp in a spot closest to the competition, a.okay.a. “most well-liked tenting” ($375 + charges). The primary 15 to twenty rows of the coveted Lot 8 are reserved for most well-liked tenting, placing you closest to the doorway of the competition. This selection offers you the liberty to reach everytime you’d like through the day and be assured a spot towards the entrance of competition, which might save your toes by the top of the weekend.

There are different glamping choices (Lake Eldorado, Safari), however these are a lot pricier and sometimes embody competition tickets. They don’t observe the identical standards because the GA tenting areas, so I’ve restricted this text to these.

Campers hug at their tent at night.

Campers hug at their tent.

(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Occasions)

However what’s the distinction between automotive and tent tenting?

The one precise distinction we’ve discovered is that automotive tenting offers you entry to your automotive simply, whereas tent tenting doesn’t. You do camp individually, however everyone seems to be in the identical principal lot. Tent campers have entry to every thing automotive campers do, and you may nonetheless hand around in the automotive tenting heaps.

How many individuals can comfortably slot in a automotive camp space?

Two individuals with a mid-size automotive and a tent are my private most. I’ve tried it with three individuals and it was … cramped.

Do I would like a tenting cross to entry the campgrounds?

Nope. A competition wristband is the one factor required to be within the campgrounds.

Is a tent required?

No. You’ll be able to sleep in your automotive, outdoors beneath a cover, a hammock, or on the bottom behind your automotive. What you do in/along with your house is totally as much as you.

Tents are packed in as people set up camp.

Tents are packed in as individuals arrange camp.

(Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Occasions)

What’s the safety course of like?

First, be certain that everybody in your automotive has a wristband, and your tenting cross is on show in your windshield. If you arrive on website, you’ll be directed into certainly one of about 20 traces. If you get to the entrance, safety guards will ask you to step out of your automotive. They’ll examine all your stuff. The traces are not often constant — your line might have safety opening suitcases, tent luggage and coolers or they’ll open your glove field and usher you onward.

Professional tip: I like to supply the safety guards water, soda or snack. They’re usually overworked, understaffed and underpaid. Kindness goes a great distance, particularly given how exhausting they might make the start of your day.

What tenting facilities can be found?

The Basic Retailer: A big retailer in the midst of the grounds, promoting on a regular basis objects you could have forgotten — toiletries, tenting gear and bedding, snacks, ice and even a microwave.

A silent disco: The place the occasion individuals go on the finish of the evening.

Actions Tent: The place the early birds flock to for daytime actions like dodgeball and yoga.

Charging stations and an web café: For these busy bees.

Requirements: Meals distributors, Port-o-potties, bathe trailers.

A shuttle: It takes you to Ralph’s, the closest grocery retailer.

What ought to I deliver?

  • A straight-legged EZ-Up. This isn’t a suggestion. This can be a necessity. You’ll completely remorse it for the remainder of your life for those who don’t get an EZ-Up. I additionally use a cover wall (only one) for slightly privateness and to maintain the solar out.
  • Plastic stakes (and a mallet) to stake down your EZ-Up. Steel stakes will 100% be confiscated by safety.
  • Frozen water bottles. Use them in your cooler in lieu of ice packs. They’ll hold your meals and drinks chilly, and after they soften, you’ll have chilly water. (Some individuals swear by dry ice. I’ve by no means been capable of determine it out.) Additionally they promote luggage of ice across the campgrounds, both on the common retailer, or via pickup vans driving across the website.
  • A meals cooler and a beverage cooler. You’ll possible be opening the beverage one way over the meals one, so this could assist make your ice last more in at the very least certainly one of them.
  • Something that makes your camp really feel like house. Convey rugs, tapestries and inflatable furnishings. I take advantage of a ton of each photo voltaic and battery-powered string lights. Fancy lights make your camp fairly whereas additionally serving to you discover your campsite in the dead of night.
  • Much more lights. Headlamps. Lanterns. Flashlights.
  • A multi-tool. I additionally like zip ties, skinny rope and duct tape to safe issues and to have available in case of emergencies. Our camp bathe broke in a wind storm final yr and we duct taped it to all hell and it survived the weekend.
  • A tenting bathe. However for those who don’t deliver one, attempt to bathe as early as humanly doable. Anyplace round 7 a.m. is good. As soon as it hits 9 a.m., you’ll be ready some time out within the warmth.
  • Ear plugs and an eye fixed masks. These are essential. I simply added the attention masks final yr and holy shirtballs, that was a sport changer for sleeping in past the dreaded time when your tent turns into a sauna.
  • A tank filled with gasoline for those who’re automotive tenting. Fill your automotive up simply earlier than getting in line to enter. You don’t understand how lengthy you’ll be in line for safety. So as to add: I’ll usually sit in my automotive within the morning and do my make-up within the air con (or simply to chill off, let’s be actual.) Don’t hold your keys within the ignition just for too lengthy. It’s very unhappy whenever you’re able to go house Monday morning and your automotive received’t begin. And convey jumper cables! Although for those who neglect, AAA is on-site.
A music fan brings a bag of ice back to his camp site.

A music fan brings a bag of ice again to his camp website.

(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Occasions)

What’s among the finest components of tenting at Coachella?

Day Zero, or the Thursday earlier than the competition. It’s an entire temper. The grounds are electrical and power is at an all-time excessive as everybody mills round. I really like attending to the campgrounds as early as doable to soak up all of it. Some key issues to do that day are:

  • A classic merch sale occurs round sundown close to the Silent Disco, the place merch from earlier years is bought at an enormous low cost.
  • Sundown on the hill in Lot 4. A whole lot of campers collect on this beloved landmark to observe our first sundown over the desert.
A party in the tent.

The perfect Coachella occasion would possibly simply be in a tent.

(Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Occasions)


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