What’s In My Bag: Forecastle Edition

This is the second in a series about my experience at the Forecastle Music Festival. I already wrote about what I wore, I will also be writing a festival recap.
Kelty Tecate

For my first Bonnaroo, I purchased the Kelty “Tecate” hydration pack. I wanted something small that would fit pretty much between my shoulder blades, and this did the trick. Problem is, once the bag has a full bladder of water, there’s not much room to hold anything else. Over time, I have switched to attaching a Camelbak reusable bottle to the bag’s strap with a carabineer – this makes it easy to refill, I can take a sip without detaching the bottle, and I have plenty of backpack space for festival necessities.

Since 2007, this bag has attended four Bonnaroos, a trip to Vermont, various hikes around the region, a few smaller local festivals and now Forecastle. My husband says it’s bad luck to wash your hydration backpack; I have only washed it once when a bottle of bug spray exploded in it. It was fun to pull it out of the closet and see it still coated in Tennessee dust from Bonnaroo 2011. The buttons I have gathered from different festivals – I lost two since last Bonnaroo and will have to get some new good ones soon!

This year my husband and I said we were “festing like a boss.” Over time we have learned what is a necessity, and what is superfluous; what will increase our comfort level without leaving us burdened with a heavy bag. Never during the festival did I feel I lacked for anything, and had many people wanting to try out our chairs!

whats in my bag

What’s in my Bag:

  • Packable poncho. My sister got this one for me several years ago from Bed Bath and Beyond; it’s fun to have a change from the typical blue, yellow, or clear ponchos and it’s a ripstop fabric that has held up nicely over the years.
  • Alite chair. This thing is totally awesome. It’s the size of a Camelbak reusable bottle and not only fit in my Kelty bag, but also the J. Crew tote I carried the first night. Not too tall to piss off those in the field behind you, but tall enough to keep you out of the mud and dirt; you can also recline in it for a very comfy outdoor concert experience!
  • Sunglass case. I wore my sunglasses until sunset, but didn’t want to get them scratched or lost. Ray Ban makes a nice slimline case that makes it easy to fit in the bag. I also had the cleaning cloth tucked in it.
  • Saline solution. I used to carry moisturizing eye drops, but usually I just need something to wash funk out of my contacts or rehydrate if it has been a long day. I have found that saline solution does it better.
  • Barrettes and elastics. I start the day with hair down, but if it gets too hot, too sweaty, too whatever it’s nice to be prepared. I usually do a messy updo and clip back my bangs, but I always want extras in case I lose or break one, or if a fellow attendee is in need.
  • Safety pins. I even take a couple diaper pins which could secure heavier fabrics or even hang things from my backpack.
  • Pen and Sharpie. Pen to jot things down or share info with new friends, Sharpie in case I meet an artist and want their autograph.
  • Plain lip balm. With SPF.
  • Tinted lip balm. Give the sweaty bare face a hint of color.
  • Philosophy mineral foundation. This is only there in case I get a chance to say, meet a musician and get a photo op, go backstage, end up leaving and going to a place where a sweaty bare face may be a bit much. It can go on sans mirror and look like me, just a bit more polished and it doesn’t itch or drip when I sweat.
  • Gum. One pack of minty, one pack fruity. A day in the heat, drinking a lot of water and the occasional beer can leave a gross feeling and taste in your mouth. Gum is amazing, and you can make a ton of friends by offering gum to those around you!
  • Business cards. To share contact information with new friends.
  • Face sunscreen. Small so it fits in the bag, dry so it will go on the face and stay there. One in our group will carry a can of spray sunscreen for all of us for the day.
  • Comb. My sister got this one for me from Sephora and I adore it.
  • Non-essential wallet stuff. On my person will be my ID, cash, and credit card. However, in my bag I will have things such as my insurance card or fan club membership card and festival schedule.

Not seen: carabineer holding my Camelbak water bottle

whats in my bag forecastle

And here’s how everything fits in the bag. There’s still room to fit a can of sunscreen, a bandanna, a snack. There’s bungees on the back so I can attach a tee shirt if I buy one, or even strap my empty water bottle back there (I tuck the base in the mesh pocket to keep it from jangling around). Sometimes I take a waterproof blanket or groundcloth instead of a chair; for that I usually bungee it to the outside of the pack. If I know I will be using grody porta-potties I will have a sandwich bag of Clorox wipes and one of toilet paper.  If it's a more rural festival, I will also pack a headlamp.

Forecastle OOTD Saturday 3 outside 2
Wearing my backpack with Camelbak bottle attached – hands free to dance… or enjoy a beer!

My husband says I look like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with my “shell” on my back, but it’s very comfortable, doesn’t dig into my shoulders, nicely disperses the weight, and I can dance without having to put my stuff on the ground.

I know many may find this to be excessive; I see many a festival attendee having a great time with just that which is in their pockets or a small crossbody bag. And it’s true, you can have a blast without all these creature comforts. I personally like to have these creature comforts so I can better enjoy the shows and not have to spend unexpected cash on things like disposable ponchos or bottles of water. It works for me, and it helped me have a fantastic time at Forecastle!

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31 Comments

  1. Norma Stitts
    July 19, 2012 / 1:50 am

    I go to lots of orgies and a backpack is really handy (no pockets).  I can fit all my nipple clamps, lube, cockrings, anal splitters, sex club membership cards and double-penetration dildos in my backpack, and then both hands are free to jerk off new friends!  Thanks for the inspiration, Girly!

  2. Jennifer Brown
    July 18, 2012 / 3:37 pm

    I don’t go to music festivals (last night I attended an outdoor Mozart concert though!) but I love, love, love these posts. I find it fascinating to see how to be comfortable and prepared in any setting. I think these posts are very applicable to other situations, such as travel in crowded and hot places — something I do regularly! I also love to see the way you’ve thought through your choices over the years, instead of constantly complaining “Oh, I’m wet (again)” or “sunburned (again)” the way so many people do. Totally satisfying for me. Thank you for sharing your good times with us!

  3. Jennifer Brown
    July 18, 2012 / 11:37 am

    I don’t go to music festivals (last night I attended an outdoor Mozart concert though!) but I love, love, love these posts. I find it fascinating to see how to be comfortable and prepared in any setting. I think these posts are very applicable to other situations, such as travel in crowded and hot places — something I do regularly! I also love to see the way you’ve thought through your choices over the years, instead of constantly complaining “Oh, I’m wet (again)” or “sunburned (again)” the way so many people do. Totally satisfying for me. Thank you for sharing your good times with us!

  4. kathy
    July 18, 2012 / 2:12 pm

    Wow to Meredith. I’m not a festival goer, so I don’t really read these posts. Doesn’t mean I’m going to get all nasty about them.

    Allie, did you drive or fly to KY? 

  5. kathy
    July 18, 2012 / 10:12 am

    Wow to Meredith. I’m not a festival goer, so I don’t really read these posts. Doesn’t mean I’m going to get all nasty about them.

    Allie, did you drive or fly to KY? 

  6. bubu
    July 18, 2012 / 2:07 pm

    Hey Meredith, here’s a helpful tip for YOU: titles are generally good indicators about the subject matter that’s going to be covered. If you are not interested, then don’t read it. 

  7. Hallie
    July 18, 2012 / 12:04 pm

    Are you new here? Allie shares what she packs and is in her bag on a regular basis and I don’t seem to be the only reader who appreceiates it. Would you be happier if she opened up her Louis Vuitton to show off her Chanel sunnies, a Tory Burch iPhone cover and Tom Ford lipstick? Allie isn’t the first or last to do this kind of article, she just doesn’t fill it with posed pretty designer things.

  8. Ainsley
    July 18, 2012 / 2:05 am

     Sorry, I kinda agree with Meredith here.

  9. July 18, 2012 / 1:41 am

    I have loved following your festival experience on Instragram the past few days. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you had such a great time.

  10. July 17, 2012 / 9:41 pm

    I have loved following your festival experience on Instragram the past few days. Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you had such a great time.

  11. Georgy R
    July 18, 2012 / 12:49 am

    Back off Meredith!  I personally found a lot of interesting items in this post that I didn’t even know existed.  I think we all know how to pack but Allie definitely has it down to a science.  Next time you’re at Coachella and your back is sore from standing and you have to pay $9 for a bottle of water and don’t have any Sharpies when you meet the Black Keys backstage, you’re gonna wish you had paid closer attention to Allie 🙂

  12. July 17, 2012 / 11:30 pm

    It takes a time or two to get the hang of it, but after trying it a couple times at home I got the hang of it and was able to do on hills, concrete, in the dark and after a few beers too 🙂

  13. Meredith
    July 17, 2012 / 11:28 pm

    Are you for real??? Who seriously gives a fuck what you packed in your bag. This is way, way too much over-sharing. What is the motivation? To help your readers? Do you think your readers are so dumb that they wouldn’t know what to pack in their bags for a festival and need to look to you for inspiration??? Or are you doing this to justify your existence???

  14. Meredith
    July 17, 2012 / 7:28 pm

    Are you for real??? Who seriously gives a fuck what you packed in your bag. This is way, way too much over-sharing. What is the motivation? To help your readers? Do you think your readers are so dumb that they wouldn’t know what to pack in their bags for a festival and need to look to you for inspiration??? Or are you doing this to justify your existence???

    • Georgy R
      July 17, 2012 / 8:49 pm

      Back off Meredith!  I personally found a lot of interesting items in this post that I didn’t even know existed.  I think we all know how to pack but Allie definitely has it down to a science.  Next time you’re at Coachella and your back is sore from standing and you have to pay $9 for a bottle of water and don’t have any Sharpies when you meet the Black Keys backstage, you’re gonna wish you had paid closer attention to Allie 🙂

    • Hallie
      July 18, 2012 / 8:04 am

      Are you new here? Allie shares what she packs and is in her bag on a regular basis and I don’t seem to be the only reader who appreceiates it. Would you be happier if she opened up her Louis Vuitton to show off her Chanel sunnies, a Tory Burch iPhone cover and Tom Ford lipstick? Allie isn’t the first or last to do this kind of article, she just doesn’t fill it with posed pretty designer things.

    • bubu
      July 18, 2012 / 10:07 am

      Hey Meredith, here’s a helpful tip for YOU: titles are generally good indicators about the subject matter that’s going to be covered. If you are not interested, then don’t read it. 

  15. Sarah
    July 17, 2012 / 9:59 pm

    I’m impressed with your alite chair…I’ve been curious about them, but feel like I’m WAY too ungraceful to master sitting down/getting up.  What’s the secret?  I’m pretty sure I’d flail around, grab some helpless bystander to try to regain my balance, and end up taking us both down. 

  16. Sarah
    July 17, 2012 / 5:59 pm

    I’m impressed with your alite chair…I’ve been curious about them, but feel like I’m WAY too ungraceful to master sitting down/getting up.  What’s the secret?  I’m pretty sure I’d flail around, grab some helpless bystander to try to regain my balance, and end up taking us both down. 

    • July 17, 2012 / 7:30 pm

      It takes a time or two to get the hang of it, but after trying it a couple times at home I got the hang of it and was able to do on hills, concrete, in the dark and after a few beers too 🙂

  17. Georgy R
    July 17, 2012 / 8:25 pm

    Festin’ like a hoss!  I love your cute looks and how you manage to be practical yet fashionable!  That Alite chair is a miracle – I can’t believe something that folds up so tiny could keep you off the ground and dry!  You definitely know how to fest, pretty lady!  <3

  18. Georgy R
    July 17, 2012 / 4:25 pm

    Festin’ like a hoss!  I love your cute looks and how you manage to be practical yet fashionable!  That Alite chair is a miracle – I can’t believe something that folds up so tiny could keep you off the ground and dry!  You definitely know how to fest, pretty lady!  <3

  19. July 17, 2012 / 7:08 pm

    We did get rain but it didn’t really affect us – most was before the shows started. They pushed back the schedule an hour on Saturday but it didn’t affect set lengths. it did alter the MMJ soundcheck, but ended up being for the better (deets in upcoming post!). Hope you had a BLAST at Bunbury!

  20. July 17, 2012 / 7:06 pm

    Went to Bunbury this weekend and took similar items! Heard you got lots of rain. Two great festivals!

  21. July 17, 2012 / 3:06 pm

    Went to Bunbury this weekend and took similar items! Heard you got lots of rain. Two great festivals!

    • July 17, 2012 / 3:08 pm

      We did get rain but it didn’t really affect us – most was before the shows started. They pushed back the schedule an hour on Saturday but it didn’t affect set lengths. it did alter the MMJ soundcheck, but ended up being for the better (deets in upcoming post!). Hope you had a BLAST at Bunbury!

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