Top 8 Festival Survival Tips

My four pillars of festival survival are nutrition, hydration, supplementation, and sleep. None of these alone are the magic pill (you see what I did there), but missing any of these can create performance failure.

Festival season 2020

Festival season is starting and I feel like it comes earlier all the time. Preparation is definitely important! You have bought your wristbands, made camping or hotel arrangements, booked your flight, and now you have to consider what to bring!  With the 10th anniversary of the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas soon to be upon us, let’s take a look at surviving a long festival. 

The Basics

My four pillars of festival survival are nutrition, hydration, supplementation, and sleep. None of these alone are the magic pill (you see what I did there), but missing any of these can create performance failure.

Fuel your fun

Starting with a solid meal is essential. If you use a step counter be prepared to see numbers of 25k to 40k in a night. You WILL burn through what you eat. I like a good mix of protein, fat, and smart carbs. If I’m camping I make my own version of Ramen with extra eggs. I have that solid meal an hour before I enter the festival grounds and then I will find the most delicious food truck to eat again later in the evening, usually around midnight. Then I will have some snacks until dawn (I carry Vega Sport bars 20g protein and BCAAs). Finally I will eat breakfast before my shower to give myself nutrition to rebuild from the previous nights damage. 

Hydrate or die

Let’s have some real talk about hydration. Dehydration is easy to accomplish especially with the festival in the middle of a desert. In such a low humidity environment perspiration will not remain on your skin for very long (it will evaporate in seconds). With dark clothing you might see evidence of your lost electrolytes like a white chalk. There are many opinions about how much water is necessary each day. According to the Mayo Clinic, men require 3.7 L each day and women require 2.7 L each day. This will also depend on your body size, climate, overall fitness level, and level of activity. If you feel thirsty then you are probably already behind the curve. I use a 2 L hydration pack and filled it 3 times a day.

Too much of a good thing

Preventing drowning is also part of hydration. Magnesium, sodium, phosphate, chloride, and potassium are required for movement, digestion, and neurological function. Water intoxication happens when you lose electrolytes and only take in water. This is why meals and electrolyte replacement is critical. Every 2 liters of water I drink I use HydroRX (Keto friendly) or Pedialyte packets mixed in a cup (NOT your hydration bladder). 

Bring it with you

Hydration is only as good as it is available. I’m a gear junkie so I chose to use the Lunchbox platform for my festivals. This isn’t your usual festival hydration pack. It has a 2L bladder stored in an insulated compartment. My water stays fresh and cold and with the hydration tube cover you don’t have hot water for your first few sips. In addition this is an anti theft pack with zippers on your back side rather than the outside. There is plenty of room for essentials and pockets for the most important things.

Supplementation

When it comes to supplementation, I already have a daily vitamin regimen but I boost it up for festivals. This will help to strengthen your immune system and maintain proper electrolyte balance. Products I like such as Rave Doctor supplements (vegan friendly) and Sambucol tablets are easy ways in which to keep yourself healthy and immune system strong.

Power save mode

Finally comes the one we love to hate because of the FOMO, but you absolutely NEED TO SLEEP. If you are staying in Camp EDC this might be more challenging. True you don’t waste valuable time traveling to your hotel but there are plenty of activities in camp to distract your sleep. I sleep with foam ear plugs and a sleep mask to block out all of the light. Sleep time is where repair happens. If you wanna go hard for three days, you must power down. 

Climate

Let’s talk about the climate. We already know about the four pillars above. In addition to that you should have some other essentials. Chapstick is your friend and so is sunscreen. I don’t care what skin type you have or from what heritage you are, and neither does the desert sun. All sun exposure is radiation exposure and it can zap the energy from you (and far worse). 

Treat your feet

Raves and festivals are your safe place to express yourself. You should dress the way that pleases you. Simple enough. Please for your sake and the sake of your rave squad, wear Comfortable Shoes!! You’ll be on your feet for 12 or more hours every day and having comfortable shoes will save your experience. If you have new fancy or dope rave shoes you wanna wear, make sure you spend a couple days wearing them before the event and have a back up pair in case they don’t work out. After a night of dancing I like my feet to be free so I always pack quality flip flops.

This is a tip from an experienced raver on Instagram @bootyloopshoops. “Platform shoes keep a good distance for your feet to the hard paved surface but they are not your daily shoes. It’s a good practice to wear two pairs of socks or Wrightsocks (double layer socks) which will slide on each other, not on your skin creating blisters. I also wear fishnets over my socks so they aren’t cutting directly into my feet.”

Final thoughts

Last but not least, hygiene, hygiene, hygiene. Your kit should always include hand sanitizers, flushable wipes, and spare toilet paper. Porta Potties do run out and 150k people a day are touching them. Wook flu, festival flu, rave AIDS, whatever the catchy (and sometimes inappropriate) term is used this year, it’s for a reason. 

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