Just yesterday, our lovely art director — herself a Bonnaroo virgin — asked Cap’n Steve Haruch and me a handful of questions regarding 'Roo protocol, dress, sustenance, et cetera. (Bonnaroo has its own lists of what and what not to bring, by the way.) While this will just be my third year, and I certainly don’t claim to be an expert — I still have the scar on my left foot from walking into a tent spike to prove it — I have learned a thing or two. Take a peek after the jump to view the list of handy tips some of the other Creamers and I have come up with regarding Bonnaroo survival, and let us know what we forgot about in the comments.
* Never, ever, under any circumstances, wear flip-flops. They will be either A) sucked off of your feet into a mysterious muddy sinkhole, never to be seen again B) suffer from thong breakage the moment you’re more than a quarter-mile from your campsite or C) just be uncomfortable. But also, don’t wear any shoes you mind messing up or potentially losing.
* While we’re on the subject of footwear, this one is important: WEAR SOCKS! Trust me, I know shin-high argyles don’t look cool with your Vans, but the blisters will start kickin’ big-time on day two. My advice? Get ya some ankle socks. Nobody even notices they’re there.
* If you pack any perishables in your cooler, try to eat them within the first 24 hours. They will go bad swiftly, as Maloney and I learned last year thanks to the Raw Duck Fiasco.
* Figure out how much cash you think you’ll need, and bring at least $50 more than that. You don’t want to pay those ATM fees.
* Fellow pasty-faces: Don’t be a hero! Wear sunscreen.
* Earplugs aren't a bad idea for when you're trying to go to sleep. I have Paul Oakenfold’s late-night ’09 performance to thank for this lesson.
* Bring a bandana. If you soak that bad boy in some water and keep it on your head, you’ll stay cool all day. Do not, however, stow it in your back pocket unless you know the hanky code and are prepared to act accordingly.
* Bring plenty of bottled water. They have water fountains, but the lines are often lengthy and the water is often funky.
* You'll probably get one solid shower (if any), so try to squeeze that one somewhere right in the middle ... but don't wait too long. Stalls get mega-nasty.
* Bring a flashlight.
Via Steve Haruch:
* Buy a pack of cigarettes even if you "don't really smoke anymore" or whatever. Don't be that person bumming everyone else's smokes.
* Baby wipes.
* Scan your trunk for things that could get confiscated, even if you don't plan to use them. Last year I forgot I had a softball bat in there, and now I no longer have a softball bat.
* You may have enough gas to get to Manchester, but do you have enough to let your engine idle for hours waiting to get in? Just sayin'.
* Learned from Maloney: Bring something waterproof to put your electronics in if it rains.
Via Ashley Spurgeon:
* Individually wrapped sanitary wipes make great poverty showers. You can also use them to wipe down the toilet seat if you've gotta do some business. They're also basically portable toilet paper.
* Never wear flip-flops, but always wear flip-flops if you decide to shower.
* Bring a garbage bag for your tent trash.
* If you haven't already, buy galoshes. I went without last year and it was horrifying. They were the first thing I packed this year.
Via Sean Maloney:
* Baby powder for your balls.
* An extra "meat-only" cooler to avoid things like the Raw Duck Fiasco.
* Vodka, vodka, vodka.
* Pack more limes than you think you'll need. (I bought about 30, which should last until Saturday morning, hopefully.)
* Bring a coffee maker.
Via Seth Graves:
* Save some space by leaving those hair/makeup products behind. Nobody looks good/cool at Bonnaroo. Everyone's hot, everyone's sweaty, everyone's dirty and even a stop inside the Garnier Fructis on-site salon is just going to prolong the inevitable a few more minutes.
* Watch your shit. Generally, people at Bonnaroo are remarkably chill and refreshingly hospitable, but that doesn't mean other folks won't take the first opportunity to gank your bag.
* Smuggling beers into Centeroo can be done. Bags with false bottoms/hidden compartments help. Otherwise, rolling them into a large blanket works too. The trick is to stash it anywhere out of the way enough to where it'd hold up the line too long for them to check.
* Splash some Gold Bond powder on your unmentionables. All that walking around in the heat all day causes some unsightly friction.
* Don't buy any "red rock" opium. That shit is just incense and cooked down cough syrup.
Via Tracy Moore:
* If you are so lucky to have or know someone with a VIP pass, it's totally worth planning bathroom breaks to coincide with a visit to the VIP tent, where the Porta-Potties are way less wrecked.