Packing FAQ

Shamb2014Web (75 of 94)

Hello Shambhalovlies!

Britz here. I’ve been attending Shambhala and other festivals since 2003 – over the years I’ve learned a lot about festival camping comfortably. I originally made this list in 2007 to help other members of our Forum pack for Shambhala. I’ve updated it, broken it down into sections, and thrown in some check boxes for your packing ease!

Personalize it any way you want – add some things, omit others.

Some of the things listed in the Camp Stuff section are intended for planned coordination with other camp mates. Just hit “print” (don’t worry, it prints with a white background) and you’ll have your packing list ready to go!

Anything with a * means optional/if applicable.

Happy packing!


To Get In:

☐ Your Ticket!
☐ 2 pieces Gov’t issued ID (at least one piece photo ID)


☐ Tent
☐ All your tent poles (seriously – double check before packing!)
☐ Tent pegs and mallet
☐ Tarp
☐ Extra tarp and poles (or other shade structure)
☐ Rope


☐ Sleeping Bags / Bedding
☐ Pillow
☐ Air Mattress / Foamie
☐Extra Blanket(s)

Camp Stuff:

☐ Cooler
☐ Camp Chairs
☐ Lantern (preferably battery or solar powered)
☐ Tape (electrical, duct, whatever – you’ll probably need it for something)
☐ First Aid Kit (at the very least, bandages + sterile wipes)
☐ Large water containers (4L jugs, 5 gal water cooler style jugs with pump, etc)
☐ A wagon or dolly (to transport water refills back to camp)*
☐ Garbage bags, recycling bags and gloves (Respect the River, Respect the Land)
☐ Dishtowels/Rags
☐ Camp stove (Some restrictions apply. SEE: Festival FAQ)*
☐ Portable camp table*
☐ Dishes, cutlery, pots, pans*
☐ Can opener*
☐ Wash/rinse bins and biodegradable dishsoap (for camp dishes)*
☐ Solar Shower (if you don’t want to wait in the shower line)*
☐ Sewing kit (for mending costumes!)*
☐ Safety Pins (always handy)*
☐ Permanent Markers*
☐ Personal Touches for Your Camp (flags, banners, signs, solar lights, etc)*


☐ Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
☐ Earplugs (super important! protect your hearing!)*
☐ Deodorant
☐ Body lotion
☐ Towel
☐ Shampoo and Conditioner (Please DO NOT use these products in the river! Respect the River, Respect the Land)
☐ Face wash/cleanser(Please DO NOT use in the river!)
☐ Soap (Please DO NOT use in the river!)
☐ Hand sanitizer
☐ Sunscreen
☐ Insect repellent
☐ Baby wipes
☐ Toilet paper
☐ Tweezers
☐ Lip balm
☐ Smokers: Small container for cigarette butts
☐ Vision impaired: Extra contacts, solution and contact case (and/or glasses)*
☐ Condoms (if you forget these, you can pick some up free at ANKORS+OPTions)*
☐ Any medications you normally take*
☐ Tylenol/Aspirin*
☐ Multi-vitamins, melatonin, Emergen-C, etc*
☐ Ladies: tampons/pads (even if you won’t need ’em, one of your girls might)*


NOTE: Prepare for all types of weather – No, really! – I’m talking to you, people from out East who think it’s warm at night in the summer. It’s not in the mountains. The days can be hot, the nights are often cool and damp. You’ll want to be nice and warm at night, and cool during the day. Plan for both extremes.

☐ Sunglasses
☐ Socks (more than you think you need!)
☐ 2-3 pairs of footwear, at least 1 waterproof (more than just sandals!)
☐ Rain coat
☐ Warm coat (the temperature can be in the single digits at night!)
☐ Warm clothes
☐ Undergarments
☐ Bathing suit (or just your birthday suit, your call)
☐ Festival belt/fannypack type thingm(super handy if you don’t have pockets)*


☐ Valuables(anything expensive or sentimental – if you can’t live without it, don’t bring it)
☐ Anything on the Banned Items Page

Other Stuff:

☐ Flashlight (w/ new batteries – or a crank LED flashlight!)
☐ Extra batteries
☐ Portable music player full of good music + mixes for the road trip
☐ Reusable coffee mug (cut down on waste, bring your own mug! Or find the Shambhala version at the Beatique!)*
☐ Reusable water bottle (Shambhala version available in at the Beatqiue)*
☐ Backpack w/ water bladder, like a CamelPak(HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for any festival)*
☐ Snacks for between meals
☐ Groceries (if you’re planning to cook some of your meals)
☐ Alarm clock*
☐ Umbrella or parasol*
☐ Toys or props (hoops, poi, flags, etc – No fire toys/fuel)
☐ Body/face paints or other makeup*
☐ Musical instruments*
☐ LED Glowsticks (ditch the disposables! Also recommended: el-wire looks great in camp decor or costumes)*
☐ Bicycle (or other pedal-powered, non-motorized transportation)*
☐ Notebook or sketchbook*
☐ Bandanna*
☐ Dust mask for people with serious dust sensitivities (check out the options on the MEC website – I use the “Techno” mask, it’s awesome.)*
☐ Spray bottle (for misting yourself + camp mates on hot days!)*


    • Profile photo of Tommie Watts

      Tommie Watts

      June 1, 2014

      useful advice, especially the flash light extra batteries and bring like 3 pairs of sunglasses.

  1. Profile photo of flynnster


    July 28, 2014

    I was wondering if 2 pieces of ID is necessary? Would a valid Canadian Passport be acceptable on it’s on?

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 29, 2014

      A Canadian passport is valid as one piece of ID, but you will require a secondary ID (such as a credit card or debit card).

    • Profile photo of Andy


      December 23, 2014

      Although biodegradable soaps are better for the environment, we have a very large number guests attending the festival. For this reason, we don’t allow any type of soap or shampoo to be used in the river whether biodegradable or not. We do ask that our guests use biodegradable soaps for our showers though in order to assist us with our waste water treatment.

  2. Profile photo of Kerry Ann Bastien

    Kerry Ann Bastien

    June 17, 2015

    What are the options for securing a mountain bike (bicycle) while not in use. Having only a U-lock, not sure how good that will be locking it to my tent. Cheers.

    • Profile photo of Andy


      June 18, 2015

      We have some bike racks scattered about the grounds close to the downtown gates. We always keep grabbing more as we find them as well to keep becoming more and more bike friendly. I usually find having a cable lock that’s a little longer and more flexible than a U-lock allows me to affix it to other things around the site (like fences and trees).

  3. Profile photo of Sasha Alaniemi

    Sasha Alaniemi

    July 9, 2015

    Before I buy any, I just wanted to know if you guys are ok with soap nuts being used for cleaning in the river. Soap nuts are a type of berry, so they are all natural, but just thought I would ask before bringing some 🙂

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 10, 2015

      No. We don’t allow any foreign contaminants in the river. Although they may be river-friendly, anything in mass-quantities is damaging to the river.

      We do require river-friendly soap in our showers though, so you will likely still want to bring some.

  4. Profile photo of TOM


    July 10, 2015

    Hello everyone, this is my 1st Shambhala and i’m getting really excited. I did not read anything about food and beverage and just wanted to know if we have to bring everything on our own (water, juice, ice cubes, chips, bread…) or will it be possible to buy some of those stuff on site (especially soft drinks). Cheers and eager to make this magical journey!

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 14, 2015

      Hey Tom,

      We have an assortment of food vendors, and have some provisions available for sale (such as ice, beverages, etc.) Given the remote location, many of these items are more expensive than what you can get off-site, so it’s always a good idea to stock up before you come.

  5. Profile photo of Molly Kozak

    Molly Kozak

    July 15, 2015

    Hey so my BF lives in Canada but is from Mexico and doesn’t have his Canadian citizenship, there for does not have 2 gov issued pieces of ID. He has a licence but no health care card or passport. He does have credit cards and other things with his name on it, and he has a ticket, can he still get in given his situation?

    • Profile photo of Jake Dubconscious

      Jake Dubconscious

      August 1, 2015

      I believe you need one piece of photo ID with name and signature, and the second item can be a credit card with signature and name on it, for instance..

  6. Profile photo of Rob Cordsen

    Rob Cordsen

    July 20, 2015

    Just a couple questions!
    There seems to be a very specific camp stove one is allowed to bring. Does anyone know any brands that are allowed?
    I also think i read that upon arrival you may have access to a wagon/dolly to move stuff to a camp site or is it best to just bring your own? Thanks for your feedback!

    • Profile photo of Andy


      July 23, 2015

      Most campstoves are now allowed. Just no barbecues or hibachi type stoves.

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