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coachella car camping tips

I applaud anyone who dares to car camp at Coachella as I did.

Camping, in my opinion, is part of the experience. One thing I can say is preparation is key to a good time.

Failure to do so can single-handedly ruin your entire festival experience.

Here are 5 survival tips no one tells you about when camping at Coachella.


coachella car camping tips

Wherever the wind blows

1. The Wind Can Ruin Everything

The campsite is one giant open area and best friends with the wind.

Campsites will be DESTROYED if not set up and monitored correctly. End of day one, people were sleeping in their cars or on grass after the wind destroyed their campsites.

Here’s how to avoid being those people:

Take down any tarps or easy tents before heading into the festival. Once the wind picks up it ill swoop underneath any tarps and rips it off. It’s extra labor but so worth it.

Stake everything down and then again. If you think you’re good on stakes, think again. This is especially important if you forget to take your tarp down.

A well-staked tent means it can withstand the pressure of the wind hitting it. Plastic ones only like this.

coachella car camping tips

One of the best Coachella camping setups you can have is re-purpose sheets for added shade.

2. It’s Always Sunny in California

Sure California weather is cool near an ocean, but guess what? You’re not near an ocean which means it’s blazing sun rays and HOT!

Here’s how to keep yourself cool:

Bring cool towels. It will keep you cool for hours.

Bring a pop-up canopy tent, or bed sheets if you are trying to save.

When you’re ballin’ on a budget like me, then spare sheets from my moms closet was my only choice.

Coachella car camping tips

Don’t mess with us when it’s time to shower.

3. The Shower Battle

Coachella tries to sell everyone on the VIP showers for shorter lines.

However, if everyone believes it and invests in the upgrade then guess what? Those lines are now a long wait.

Here are the best times to shower at Coachella:

If you don’t care about the last act at the festival, shower before the festival ends.

Believe me, the last act is not always the best one.

Shower before 8 am. You may think that is too early, but I promise you, once the sun comes out you will be roasting inside your tent.

Waking up will not be a problem when you are 100 degrees!

Best advice, get up and get to the shower.

Feel free to take a nap after while everyone else waits in line.

Coachella car camping tips

You can call me the guardian of coolers

 Ice (money) breaker

Bags of ice are expensive. $10 expensive. Trucks drive around the campsite for convenience but you most likely have to flag them down.

Here’s how to make your ice last:

Bring a Yeti Cooler. Well worth the investment, especially if you plan on camping ever again in your life.

This next one is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised.

Keep your ice chest in the shade. I can’t tell you how many people don’t do that.

coachella car campting tips

A group of male (non)geniuses.

Let there be nightlight

Thankfully we have the suns light for the better half of the day, but what about at night?

Trying to maneuver through your campsite at night can be challenging.

Consider buying these camping items:

Buy a headlamp for around $10 – just like this one. You get light and two free hands.

Rather than trying to prop your phone up somewhere while you dig through your bag at night, or fight over the lantern, just place the headlamp around your head and voila!

Want a hands free light that also serves as a ceiling fan? Check this lantern out.

Just hook this to the top of your tent for some added light that also keeps you cool!

A must-have, plus it’s only $12.99.

Coachella car camping tips

Great time with great friends

P.S. Coachella Camping Checklist

  • Portable Lantern with ceiling fan
  • Blow up mattress (This one is comfy and doesn’t cost a fortune)
  • Sheets that will keep you warm & night and cool in the morning
  • Comforter
  • Pillows
  • Sleeping Tent & Easy Up Tent
  • Full Length Mirror
  • Alcohol and mixers (you’re welcome)
  • Sun block
  • Bug spray (there will be flies everywhere unless people throw their trash away)
  • Towels (one for each day)
  • Toiletries (i.e. loofa, makeup remover, dry shampoo)
  • Portable Camping Griddle (big money saver)
  • Eating utensils and paper products
  • Work out clothes if you want to participate in main village yoga
  • Warm clothes for at night
  • Shoes you can get dirty
  • Bandanas!! (Unless you want to inhale dirt for 3 days eewww)

Well there you have it. I hope this helped prepare you for what’s to come. Camping at Coachella whether tent or car should be experienced at least once. Follow this guide and you will have peace of mind knowing you can go into the festival and come back to your campsite in one piece.

Psst. . . Looking for more California fun? Check out a few of these posts:

Have any camping survival tips? Share in the comment below!

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission (at no cost to you) when you purchase through these links, which helps me keep my lights on and order pizza from Dominos! I am extremely grateful. Thank you.

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