Wanderlust Camping Toolkit: What You Need to Pack + Prep For

Camping at Wanderlust Festival can seem daunting, but 10/10 budget-conscious Wanderlusters agree it’s the way to go. Here’s what you need to know.

Birds chirping excitedly rouse you. From the warmth of your sleeping bag, you unzip your tent and take in the scene. Sun peeks through towering pines; temporary dwellings cluster, creating a small, colorful village; other campers slowly mill about. It’s day one of Wanderlust Festival, and though you have yet to make it to your morning meditation class, here you are, already getting grounded amidst your environment.You breathe in the wild air, find that often-elusive freedom—the one that only appears when there are no walls to hide within or behind—and let this open space set the stage for the weekend ahead. This is camping at Wanderlust.

On its own, Wanderlust Festival brings you up close and personal to each location’s unique setting; a setting that is, arguably, one of most beautiful in the world. A festival allows you to seek respite and also connect with nature, yourself, and the palpable community that surrounds you. Pro tip? Choosing to camp has the ability to exponentially heighten your entire experience. It provides you with a nourishing and grounding retreat. One you find when you prepare your own food, go to bed under the stars, spend more time outside of walls than within, and immerse yourself in nature to rekindle your own sense of wild.

Pro tip? Choosing to camp at Wanderlust has the ability to exponentially heighten your entire experience.

Sure, camping can be daunting—especially for those of us who don’t consider ourselves the “roughing it” type. But with the right list of essentials (and even some non-essentials, which are just plain nice to have around) the experience can be as smooth as lake Tahoe at sunrise. Although your stay won’t be rated on a scale of one-to-five stars, you’ll see infinitely more, suspended above you in the night’s sky. Read on for your Wanderlust camping toolkit.

But first, a note on sustainability:

In the market for outdoor equipment or camping gear? In addition to popular second-hand sites, some outdoor retailers are now hosting their own used-equipment sites, too. Think sustainability meets bargain shopping. And, the reality of it is, everything is just going to get dusty anyway. So re-use that gear!)


  • Tent and sleeping bag. You aren’t backpacking, so you don’t need to go super light, posh, or pricy. Keep it simple and keep it fun!
  • Sleeping Pad. Give yourself the luxury of a barrier between you and hard-packed soil. Choose from a variety of options, from self-inflating air pads, to foam pads, to ones you manually inflate.
  • Pillow. A camping pillow packs up easily, but if you have the space, chuck in one from your own bed. Those extra zzz’s will thank you.


  • Cooler. Pack snacks, light bites, smoothies or even already-prepared meals if you’d rather eat at camp. If you have a system to heat water, don’t forget the tea, hot cocoa or mushroom coffee.
  • Utensils. Pack reusable plates, cutlery and an insulated mug, accordingly.
  • Water bottle. Bring a big one; you can fill it at the festival once it gets empty.


  • Towel. Whether it’s a lake-dip or camp shower, you’ll want a dry towel. (Space-saving hint: a yoga mat towel packs down easily and can double as a camping towel.)
  • Layers. Comfort is key when evening temperatures drop. Pack warm socks, a beanie and several clothing options that allow you to layer up and peel off.
  • Headlamp. One of the best inventions for navigating in the dark, hiking down from a sunset summit, reading before bed, or walking to the loo in the middle of the night.
  • Natural bug repellant and sunscreen. Protect your beautiful epidermis!

Non-essentials, for next-level camping, cooking and entertaining (Glamping, anyone?)

  • Fire-starting tools. Include dry wood that burns well, kindling, a lighter and/or other fire-starting methods. Note: check in with your campground ahead of time regarding campfire regulations.
  • Collapsible chairs. Most sites will have a picnic table, but if you want to bring foldable chairs to set up around a campfire or yonder, pack away!
  • Cooking gadgets. You can get crazy with a camp stove, barbecue or grill, but there are easy cooking systems that allow you to boil water in minutes, with no prep or breakdown. The latter makes it easy to prepare items like tea, coffee, hot cocoa and oatmeal, or even to simmer dinner.
  • Entertainment. Toss in those playing cards, s’more fixings, books or magazines for some well-deserved, post-Savasana downtime.

Kacey Janeen Waxler is a California-based yoga instructor and writer on the hunt for adventure and good stories. Her words can be located amongst noteworthy brands including Corona Extra, Athleta and Darling Magazine, and in the flesh she can be found reading unapologetically from the glow of a headlamp, geeking out over sequencing, or neck deep in a deliciously hot bath. Follow her adventures at @kaceyjaneen or kaceyjaneen.com.