10 Bonnaroo Camping Hacks & Tricks

One EDM found this awesome post on Bonnaroo Camping tips and tricks in the Facebook Community. Naturally, we asked for permission to republish it in all it’s minimally edited glory. Chris Larr, the author of the post granted us permission to publish this in the hope of helping someone take their Bonnaroo poo in confidence while having enough duct tape to salvage Fyre Festival. Sorry, not sorry, Billy.


Two big items here!

Use DRY ICE! You can pick up dry ice at most grocery stores. Line the bottom of your cooler with dry ice and cover with a towel or newspaper. It will dramatically extend the life of the ice in your cooler. You can pick up dry ice at most grocery stores. Line the bottom of your cooler with dry ice and cover with a towel or newspaper. It will dramatically extend the life of the ice in your cooler.

Pre-freeze your water bottles in advance. Your water -and- your ice will stay colder longer. Pretty much anything you can freeze in advance is a good thing.


In tent city, one tent looks like another. Doubly so at night. Triply so at night when you’re near passed out from exhaustion or excessive enjoyment of party favors. Do something to make your tent distinctive and easy to find such as a flag or inflatable mylar balloon.


It’s a LOT better with flushable toilets in Centaroo, but the porta-potty is a fact of life at any music festival. Create a mini-toiletry bag with lysol wipes, personal TP or baby wipes (in a ziplock baggie), and hand-sani. It’ll make your pooping experience that much more tolerable (trust me, there is no guarantee that there will be toilet paper when you need it most). Also, take your daily deuce in the morning… that’s when the porta-potties are most clean.


A lot of sites will tell you to invest in a portable battery for your cellphone or headlamp (and I agree with this), but you will spend some of your days at camp, so I recommend a solar charger. Just lay atop your tent or canopy and have it charge your battery and phone while you chill at camp. Then you won’t have to spend precious and boring time at a charging station in the festival grounds.

BONUS TIP: However, some of the air-conditioned vendor tents have charging stations, but I’d rather charge my phone at camp while making food/coffee, drinking, partying, napping, etc.


Go to a Target, Wally World, or campstore (or find online) a large plastic container (typically 5 gallons) with a spout. Prices range from $15 and up. I SOLEMNLY PROMISE THAT YOU WILL NOT REGRET THIS DECISION! Fill it up every morning and you can use it throughout the day for washing hands, filling water bottles, cleaning, etc. It’s a tremendous convenience to have at camp.


First of all, ditch the tent. Tents suck at Bonnaroo. As any veteran of Roo will tell you, by sun rise, it is way too hot to sleep in a tent (and nothing sucks more than waking up after three hours of sleep because it’s too hot). I would advise erecting one at the campsite just in case it rains, but I would use alternate sleeping arrangements. A few include the following:

A tarp spread out on the ground and placing your sleeping pad and sleeping bag on top of it. Comfier than you think.

Portable Hammock. I use a portable hammock with a collapsible frame – and I sleep like a prince. If you are near trees, you can try to hoist a hammock there.

Vehicle sleeping. A lot of people will roll down the windows (sometimes covered with netting) and sleep in their cars. If a truck, bus, van, or SUV… use an inflatable air mattress.

Ear plugs + Eye mask: It makes all the difference in the world!


Despite your plans to spend every moment in Centeroo, you will be spending a lot of time at camp. So in addition to the necessities (canopy, camp chairs, table, tarps, etc.), stock up on the aesthetics and make your camp awesome!

  • Solar-powered lights
  • Solar-powered lanterns
  • Tapestries
  • Welcome mat
  • Music (I use a waterproof Bluetooth speaker)
  • Incense (smells awesome and drives away bugs)
  • Streamers
  • Flags
  • Toys (inflatables, games, etc.).

I also bring a couple of extra camp chairs for neighbors. A game changer is laying down a tarp on the ground and then covering the tarp with an old rug (trust me on this). Games are also a great way to make friends with your neighbors, or just to stay busy during the day. A fan favorite that has started to make a comback are handheld video games like the Nintendo Gameboy. These handhelds are compact and easy to care for, but are inexpensive. If looking for some great game option for a gameboy, check out this collection for some oldies but goodies.


Despite calls for ‘Radiate Positivity‘, there are always going to be slimy POS scumbags that have zero shame and case campsites looking to steal shit. I don’t recommend tent locks (it just tells a thief ‘hey… something valuable in here. Slash open the tent and take what you want’). Store your valuables that you don’t intend to keep on your person locked up in your vehicle. If you’re not sure you want to bring something, check out the Bonnaroo website to see if you can purchase it later on site at the general store if you really need it.


Bring a big, fat roll with you if doing the Bonnaroo camping experience. Versatile, strong, flexible, and infinitely useful! Do not underestimate the importance of duct tape!


My #1 tip! I -ALWAYS- have a solid first aid kit on my packing list (with Neosporin, antiseptic wipes, alcohol, iodine, tape, gauze, band-aids, moleskin, tweezers, burn cream, barrier cream, gloves, ice pack, splint, and a few drugs [benadryl, ibuprofen, Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, vit-C], etc.). If someone in your group has serious allergies, then bring an Epi-Pen. Check expiration dates. Every Roo I bring a first-aid kit… and every Roo I end up using it (for myself or a campmate).


You will definitely want to meet your neighbors. You’ll be seeing them off and on throughout the weekend. Get to know them. Hang out. Invite them to your camp to hang. I always pack a couple of 6-packs and distribute them to my neighbors. It’s good karma, radiates positivity, and gets the good vibes going! Getting the introductions out of the way Wednesday night while you set up camp is a good way to break the ice and start the weekend off right.

Big thanks to Chris for creating this awesome Bonnaroo camping hacks list for car camping. For any new or seasoned festival goer, there are all items that you need to have in your car when you roll up to the car checks. To get in the know about Bonnaroo head over to their website, or check out the 13 Bonnaroo Essentials you don’t want to forget. For help packing, all this check out a Mid-Size Truck Camper.

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