1) Wear breathable clothing (excluding costumes)
Last year, I made the mistake of packing more jean shorts than athletic shorts. I knew that my jean shorts would be a little warm, but I wasn’t expecting just how warm they’d be after a few hours out in the blazing sun. The heat just stayed with them, and I ended up having to wear the same pair of athletic shorts for most of Roo. This year I’m sticking to light breathable clothing, like spandex and elephant shorts.
2) NO ROMPERS
One word, port-a-potties. You really don’t want to be taking off all your clothes while in a port-a-potty that’s been having poop stew all day, just for a five-second pee. Now, imagine doing that after having a few drinks. If I’ve learned anything about port-a-potties at Roo, it’s that poop can end up ANYWHERE. So the less movement you make in there, the better.
3) Bathing suit tops > sports bras >> regular bras
With the bathing suit top, you’ll be able to go in the fountain or slip-n-slide whenever you want without having to go back to camp and change. Sports bras are my personal favorite for dancing the night away and having a lot of support throughout the day, but they can feel a little constricting and you’re less inclined to want to get wet. I don’t even bother bringing regular bras. They don’t absorb the sweat well, and you’re less inclined to want to take off your shirt and cool off.
4) Pack more bras than usual
You’ll be sweating through them like crazy. With that early-summer Tennessee heat and this year’s forecast, boob sweat is inevitable. It’s better to have a clean, new bra to switch into, rather than having to wait for another bra to dry off.
5) Make your own rave bra instead of buying one
E-6000 glue and some creativity go a long way. After last year’s Bonnaroo, and seeing all the cool bras people had on, I knew that this year I had to have one. But I didn’t like anything I found online, and I wanted something that was unique. So I used an old bra I had, got some glue and made my own shell bra. You can also make your own light up bra with a sewing kit, EL wire, and some patience.
6) When in doubt, comfy clothes > fashionable
I remember going back to camp to change after only an hour when I couldn’t feel comfortable wearing these cute shorts that just trapped heat. I made the same mistake a couple nights later, when I tried to wear a pair of costume leggings, but was just way too warm. The only time you should wear clothes that are slightly uncomfortable is when you’re wearing a costume. Just make sure you don’t get too hot, and to drink a lot of water. If your clothes rub you the wrong way, or you don’t usually love how they feel after wearing them for just a little bit, imagine wearing them all day at Roo.
7) Fanny packs are awesome
Whether you’re wearing an outfit that doesn’t have pockets, or you’re in the bathroom and don’t want to deal with taking off your backpack and everything, fanny packs are perfect for carrying toiletries and other things you’re constantly reaching for.
8) Remember to trim/groom yourself before you leave (bonus tip, paint your nails so you don’t see the grime)
Trim errywhere! Everywhere you groom on a regular basis, make sure you groom right before you leave for Roo. Make sure to pack a pair of nail clippers in case of hangnails you might discover after dancing all day.
9) Defeat that chub rub with Body Glide
I first discovered Body Glide through running, and it’s been a LIFE SAVER. You apply to any areas that rub (not just your inner thighs) and it stays on all day long. I used to use Talcum powder before, but it would only last for a couple of hours and was pretty ineffective.
10) Menstrual cups are amazing if you’re having a Red Roo
You don’t have time to use this now, but definitely a great tip for next Roo. Menstrual cups are super comfortable, can be left in all day (depending on the day and how heavy your flow is), and once it’s placed in properly, you can’t even feel that you’re having your period. They sell these in different forms, such as the (re-usable) Diva Cup, and disposable cups. I’ve recently seen Period Panties online too, but I’ve yet to try them, so I can’t give a recommendation.
11) If you’re doing body/boobie paint, remember to apply sunscreen on those spots
Just because you paint on top of your skin, doesn’t mean you’re protected from the sun’s rays. A safe approach is just to apply an entire layer of sunscreen lotion when you first wake up (before painting), and re-apply using spray sunscreen throughout the day (remember to gently rub in the spray sunscreen).
12) Don’t forget the usual missed spots: lips, back of neck, hairline
Remember to protect your lips with sunscreen lip balm, put sunscreen on the back of your neck (even if your hair is covering it), and apply some (preferably spray) sunscreen on the part in your hair.
13) Don’t let your hair get knotty
If you have long hair and aren’t planning on showering much, put your hair up in a bun or braid it by Day Two! Knots after five days are horrible!! Trust me, I’ve been there and have had to lose some hair… death by hair clump.
14) Practice standing on your tippy-toes (if you’re short like me!)
If you want to get close to a show, there’ll be many, many times when you won’t be able to see because everyone in front of you is too tall. Practice standing on your tippy-toes so you don’t get a charley horse like I did. You can also bring a portable stepping stool, just bear in mind that the stool is extra weight to carry around all day.
15) Practice your squats
There will be many, many, many times when you will not want to sit down on the port-a-potties at Bonnaroo. In fact, I’d recommend always hovering to go to the bathroom if you can. I’ve seen so many poop monsters in the Bonnaroo port-a-potties; everything from a perfect poop circle around the rim to the horror that is Poop Mountain. I swear I sometimes have flashbacks of Poop Mountain, a port-a-potty that had so much poop overflowing that a little mountain emerged from the depths. If you happen to encounter Poop Mountain at Roo, just back away slowly and use another stall.