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Packing for the Unknown: Coachella

Yikes! Guys, tonight, I’m heading to SoCal for a little music and arts festival you may have heard of.. Coachella. Tonight. The planner in me is freaking. the. eff. out. I’ve never been! Did I pack enough? Are baby wipes really necessary? To mini backpack or to cross body bag? Ahhh so many decisions!


Receiving my tickets in the mail totally made my day!

I think that’s the scariest part of going somewhere new. I mean, yes, we’ve all read stories and seen pictures that attest to Coachella’s crazy, fabulous, innovative, and other awesome adjectives -ness. But, until one actually experiences it (or anywhere totally new), how the heck does one know what to prepare for?! How many clothes are too many? I revisit my earlier mini backpack vs. cross body bag question. And I’m bringing both, dammit.

Okay, I’ll take a breather from my massive mild panic attack– I mean, I did it for Chicago, I’m pretty sure I can handle Coachella. Right?

Research is one way I calm myself down when worrying about what to expect and what to pack. The other is wine, but that should come as no surprise. I’ve decided to share all of the fabulous sites I’ve found that have saved me from going off the deep end over the past two weeks.

First of all, The Owl Mag’s post Coachella Camping Survival Guide from 2012 has been the Xanax to my anxiety. And I am forever grateful. Not only is there a specific listing of what to bring if you’re camping (as a fellow list maker, I think I’m in love with you), but also what to expect!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of Dave Bullock / Eecue

Then, of course, I also went straight to the source of all things Coachella: the Coachella forums. In a thread titled, This is What to Pack, Courtney was extremely creative and put together a board of all girl-related things to pack when attending Coachella. It’s her version of this list from BrettShipes in 2008. Commenters below Courtney added quite a bit of valuable info and hilarity.

what to pack

Photo courtesy of Courtney

And finally, there’s the Daily Beatz’s So You’re Going to Coachella–2012 Edition. This was one of the first articles I found when googling “what to pack for coachella“. It was also the first time I was introduced to Dr. Bronners. I don’t plan on buying any– the thought of an all-in-one for shampoo, body wash, and dish washing soap kind of freaks me out– but I do think it’s a neat idea.

After perusing the sites above and a few others (POPSUGAR, anyone?), I created a list to compile everything I discovered I’d need for extra long weekend adventure. As I’m sure you can imagine, I took away a few things and added others as I was shoving everything into my carry-on bag, but here’s the gist of what I’m taking:


Don’t judge me!

Apparently I am really into orange-colored clothing right now? And it would appear that I have a child and am a smoker. Both ideas are totally false, duh. Oh, the things you learn when you make a list. Anyway, who else is going to weekend 1 of Coachella? What are you bringing or have you brought in past years? Travelistas: what am I forgetting!?

About In Natalie's Shoes

I’m a twenty-something food fanatic. By day, I’m working for a non-profit, by night I’m dreaming of becoming a domestic goddess, creating adorable crafts to gift and engineering delicious home cooked meals for the fabulous dinner parties I’ll one day throw. I love to travel, locally, regionally… heck, even internationally, I don’t discriminate too much when it comes to a new destination. I am a little obsessed with taking photos of the food I eat, whether I make it or pay to eat it. It is my firm belief that a girl can never have enough purses or too many shoes. I plan to fill this lovely little blog with my adventures in food, travel, and craftiness. I hope you enjoy!

5 responses »

  1. Love this. Can’t wait to hear all about the organized chaos!

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