#TBT How to Pack for Outsidelands

Sabrina is going to Outsidelands TOMORROW!!! Holy fucking shit I’m so excited for jealous of her! But I also want her to have the best possible time ever. A few years back I wrote this packing list from a few years of Outside experience and I wanted to share it with Sabrina and whoever else it might help!

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Okay, guys, it’s time for Outside Lands! Outside Lands is a WONDERFUL three day festival in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. I like to think of it as the nice, hippy, vegan, younger sister and Coachella is her douchy, know it all, bro-ed out older brother. (But that’s just me. Also, their parents are obviously Woodstock) 

Whether you’re a regular festy or a novice, Outside Lands is different from most music festivals and I am here to just suggest to you some friendly tips on how to make your OutsideLands experience even better. 

What To Bring

After a couple of years of mistakes and mishaps I think I’ve finally compiled what I think might be the best list of things to bring to Outside Lands. It’s a big festival that requires way more walking around that you might anticipate so you want to bring very few essential items. 
backpack osl
  • A backpack

A fanny-pack might be all the rage at most festivals, but with the layers you’ll want to wear, a backpack is ideal. Also, preferably one you don’t care too much about as it will get incredibly dusty.

  • Sunglasses

Who knows what the sun will want to do this weekend, but it will likely be out for the first half of the day and when it is you’ll be happy to be watching your favorite bands through tinted lenses as opposed to squinty eyes.

  • Hand Sanitizer

This is so important! Do not rely on the porta potties to have reliable hand washing stations. And if they do have them, don’t rely on them to always work! You’re gonna get dirty, sweaty, sticky, and/or messy throughout the day and you’ll want to feel clean. A pocket-sized purell will come in so handy and you’ll probably only need one for the weekend, even if you’re with a group.

  • Baby wipes

Don’t rely on the porta potties to have toilet paper all the time either! Especially if you realize suddenly you have to poo. Wipes are nice to have not only for the bathroom but also to feel clean throughout the day. I can’t stress enough how much more dusty it gets than I anticipate.

  • Sunscreen

It will probably be hot at moments throughout the weekend, and with the amount of white people who go to this festival, it amazes me how few of them put on sunscreen. It’s still summer time even if we are in San Francisco. Just a small travel sized one will be perfect for the weekend.

  • Chapstick

I don’t know about you, but I ALWAYS need Chapstick. This is just a must have. But if you think you can go three days without it, please, be my guest.

  • Water bottle 

Whether you’re drinking or taking drugs or both, (or neither) water is KEY! Unfortunately, refills on water bottles brought from home are $1 each, unless you have an official $10 Outside Lands canteen (It makes perfect sense, I know!) What I suggest is to just fill your bottles at the few of the secret water fountains.

This is a new addition. This vitamin helped us not feel like complete shit all weekend. With all the drinking (or drugs, or both) walking, dancing, and general freaking out, your body gets fucking tired! Essentially 5HTP, which naturally produced in your body, replenished you with more serotonin, serotonin that you will likely be losing throughout the weekend. Although the bottles are pricey, they are helpful and can be found drugstores like CVS or GNC or Walgreens. They also suppress your hunger a little which will be good for your experience and your wallet. 

What To Wear

Dress in some fucking layers!!! That’s the main reason for the backpack. It gets hot, then cold, then warm, then cloudy and you’ll be dancing, your temperature is going to fluctuate all day.
No matter what awesome and stylish outfit you have planned for the weekend, make sure you have a few jackets to take off or put on. 
Girls, I recommend something you can wear leggings under. And everyone, step up your shoe game! FlipFlops and sandals are so not ideal. Get some awesome, but comfy sneakers or at least closed toed shoes. 

How To Get There

Let me just begin by saying, public transportation this weekend will be a huge pain in the ass. However, you’re getting there plan to leave early. Give yourself one or two hours of buffering time. 

Bart and Muni are packed. You will get passed by buses that are too full. This is annoying especially if you’re traveling in a group. 
crowded bus
It looks like this, but with more glitter.

Uber and Lyft are good options, as you won’t need to rely on parking anywhere, but their prices go up when they are in high demand. Expect delays and insane prices. 


Driving is an okay decision, but it should be your last choice. Parking is almost impossible, and on Friday and Saturday, there are meters. Although sometimes people are known to auction off their parking spot if they live nearby. 

General Tips

The food is amazing! But expensive. Snacks are good to have as the backup. But when there’re four million food trucks to choose from, treat yourself to one meal a day. $10 a day should suffice. 

Plan out what you want to see. Or at least have a general idea. Making decisions at the moment, especially with a group, is basically impossible. But, on that note, even with a plan, keep an open mind because you may wander into something unexpectedly awesome.

Don’t underestimate the comedy! There’s always delightfully hilarious comedy at the Barbary. 

The OutsideLands App is incredibly underrated, but can come in really handy! I’ll be honest and I overlooked it, but one year when D’Angelo  dropped last minute and was replaced by Chic, it was nice not to be awkwardly surprised. Plus, it’s a free app. 

Have fucking fun! OutsideLands is such a uniquely fun festival. There’s so much more to it than the music or the comedy. And sometimes it’s nice to take a quick break and see the booths, check out the food trucks or stumble upon a secret show. 

But it’s also really nice to be prepared so make sure you don’t forget anything!

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