1. Reusable Water Bottle
Pemberton Music Festival provides water stations around the site to help keep you hydrated. We’ve found the best method is to grab yourself a reusable water bottle (or Camelback bladder for your pack) and sip water continually throughout the day. It takes around 70-120 minutes for your body to absorb 300ml of water – anything beyond that gets kicked out of your body rapidly, so there’s no use in chugging water at the water stations.
Doing this will kill three birds with one stone: keeping you hydrated and preventing you from having to visit the washroom every 30mins, as well as reducing the amount of waste from the festival.
There is nowhere to hide from the sun at Pemberton Music Festival. It’s a wide-open meadow with no tree cover, and the main stages are open-air.
Pemby (as it’s affectionately known to locals) is consistently a few degrees warmer than Whistler, so prepare to possibly be outside in baking sun and 30ºC+ heat all day. We can’t imagine anything worse at a festival than having to decide between missing your favourite band, or hanging out in the shade to save your skin – but every year, it happens to someone.
We’re probably going to say this a lot in this post, but Pemberton is hot, dry and sunny. Ladies, if you have a hairstyle with a really obvious parting, but you don’t want to lather-up your scalp in sunscreen, bring a hat. Hair partings are the single-most forgotten about area of the body when it comes to sunburn, but if you ignore it you just end-up looking like you have dandruff when the skin peels. Ugh.
Sunglasses are pretty self-explanatory.
4. Light, Packable Rain Jacket/Trash Bag
We just told you Pemberton is hot, dry and sunny, and now we’re about to throw a raging contradiction at you, too. Pemberton is part of the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest that stretches from California to Alaska, and it’s in the mountains. Mountain weather can change at the drop of a hat – there is always a chance it could rain.
If you don’t want to huck a jacket around with you, stuff a trash bag in one of your pockets. Trash bags are great for a multitude of different things. You can tear holes in the sides and wear them as an emergency rain jacket, sit on them if the ground is wet, keep muddy/dirty clothes away from your clean clothes, and use them to clean up the trash at your camp on the way out.
5. Ziplock Bag
For your phone and wallet, should it rain. If you put your phone in a clear Ziplock bag and suck out all the air, you can get the bag to sit tight enough around the phone that you can still use the touchscreen and take photos. Bingo, who needs a GoPro?
6. Cash In Small Notes
Because carrying around lots of coins is a nightmare, and paying in large bills annoys festival vendors (who only have so much change on-site).
7. Food That Won’t Spoil In 30+ºC Heat
And we’re back to hot, dry, and sunny. Meat for your BBQ, your fruit, your milk for coffee…it will all spoil in the Pemberton heat if not stored in a cooler – even if it’s in your tent in the shade. Bring a cooler and lots of ice. And we can tell you, yoghurt is a bad idea.
8. Portable Phone Charger
Take only memories, leave only footprints. That’s something we live by here in Whistler and Pemberton…the only exception is photographs. Take lots of photographs.
Last year Molsen Canadian had a couple of portable phone charging stands, but towards the middle of the second day they get very busy. Consider grabbing a small portable phone charger – they start at around $30-$70.
9. Bug Spray
Thankfully the Pemberton Music Festival site is not next to a large body of water, so the bugs shouldn’t be too bad. But with the current BC-wide fire ban in effect, don’t count on using citronella candles to protect you around camp.
10. Electrolyte Powder/ Vitamin Mix
Alcohol, dancing, sun, heat. Four things we all enjoy, but four things that can become very harmful (and ruin your festival) if you don’t keep hydrated. These little sachets or tablets will become your best friend. Drop half a Nuun into your water throughout the day, and (or) take a vitamin mix with some water before you hit the hay. You’ll wake up rehydrated and feeling as fresh as a daisy.
Nunn’s help your body to absorb – and use – the fluids, electrolytes, and fuel more quickly than if you were drinking just water alone. You can grab them from almost all camping and grocery stores around Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton.
11. Extra Things To Share
Sharing is caring, and you’re going to be living with the people around your camp for 3 days. Whether it’s extra granola bars, ice, or bandaids in your first aid kit (someone always gets a blister from their inappropriate shoes) the best festival camping friends are made through random acts of kindness.
12. Extra Memory Cards
Picture this: you’re all stoked with the rad shots you’ve been getting of Pemby Fest for your blog. You run out of space on your memory card because there’s just so-much-awesome to take photos of. Your phone is dead and the Molsen Canadian phone charger station has been jam-packed for the last 12 hours, and your favourite band is about to start. Bummer. Always pack one more card than you think you’ll ever need. You can never have too many.
13. Camp Totem
With thousands of tents, a camp totem is probably the simplest and best way to make your tent/camp visible from a distance. We’ve seen hundreds of variations, but the ones we’ve seen work the best are made from old tent poles and a t-shirt.
The tent poles collapse into sections that you can fold away, making your totem easy to carry in.
14. Baby Wipes
Preferably biodegradable. Festivals always turn in to a bit of a sweat/dust/mud-fest. And when your neighbour hands you a baby wipe in the morning (see point 11.) it will kick-start your day like a refreshing morning swim in a glacial lake.
15. Small Flash Light/Head Lamp/Keychain Light
Because when your phone dies, you’ll need to be able to see where you’re going when you need the washroom in the middle of the night.
Pemberton Festival has a pretty good liquor allowance for the campsite. Each person is allowed either one 40oz bottle of liquor, two 750mL bottles of wine, or one 473mL case of twenty-four cans of beer.
Number 26 on this list might come in useful to help you carry your flat of beer.
17. Light Summer Sleeping Bag
Pemberton is about 40mins north of Whistler and as you move further inland, the temperature gets hotter and drier. This summer is set to be one of the hottest on Canadian record, so Pemberton will probably hover around 28ºC-36ºC in the day and around 14ºC-20ºC at night.
Plus, it’s less weight to carry in – unless you’ve got number 26 on the list.
18. Over-The-Shoulder Bag
Unfortunately there are some people in the world who think they need your stuff more than you do. Backpacks with external pockets are a pick-pocket’s dream because the external pockets are where people store things they need quick access to, like phones and wallets. When you’re in a crowd of thousands, it’s easier to tell if someone is trying to get into a bag near your hip, than it is a bag on your back.
19. DIY Survival Kit
Once you’re at the festival site you might as well be on a desert island. Yes, civilization is really close, but do you really want to leave to have to go buy new shorts because you tore a hole in them and you only brought one pair? Or go buy new shoes because your feet swelled from dancing in the heat and now you’re getting blisters?
Grab one of those cute little mint tins and fill it full of bandaids, a sewing kit, Q-tips, safety pins and steri-wipes. Like this one from TEVA: teva.com/diy-mini-festival-emergency-kit
20. Travel-Size Baby Powder
Like the baby wipes will refresh your body, the baby powder will refresh your hair. We prefer baby powder to the spray cans of dry-shampoo because it lasts longer and baby powder has many other great festival uses, like keeping your feet dry inside your shoes or boots.
21. Dehydrated Meals
Probably not what immediately comes to mind when you think of festival food, but these packets are easy to carry because they weigh nothing, are easy to prep (you just need hot water) and require zero-washing up.
You can pick-up meals like this in any local camping store in Whistler or Pemberton.
22. Find-Me Flag
If you’re planning on meeting up with a bunch of other people, make yourself a “find-me flag” that folds up into your bag. You can make it using a similar method as the camp totem in number 13.
Stuff a roll of toilet paper in a Ziplock bag and keep it on you. You’ll thank us and probably make someone’s day – this is also related to number 11.
24. Ear Plugs
Maybe you don’t need ear defenders like this little sweetheart but, if you’re trying to catch some shut-eye between sets ear plugs will really help drown out the noise.
25. Hand Sanitizer
No-one wants to get sick during the festival. Sanitizing your hands before eating, and after the washroom is a preventative method up there with keeping yourself hydrated.
26. Something To Carry All Your Stuff In
With all the stuff on this list, your tent, clothes, dress-up costume etc. it’s a smart idea to grab a little red wagon like this.
Stay calm, keep cool, and party on.
Have a crazy-awesome weekend at the festival, everyone! If you have any questions about what you can and cannot bring, Pemberton Music Festival has an excellent FAQ section, here: pembertonmusicfestival.com/festival-guide/faqs
Photos all taken from Pemberton Music Festival’s Flickr Feed: flickr.com/photos/pembertonmusicfestival