10 Important Festival Season Safety Tips
Follow these simple rules at festivals to avert a major crisis and have the time of your life instead.
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If you're traveling with a group, pick one friend to be your buddy and keep tabs on each other during the entire trip. Two heads are better than one and you'll be twice as safe if you have a friend to help you make decisions. Coordinate meet up times with the rest of the group and bring walkie talkies along if you're worried there won't be good phone service.
Festivals held in the heat of the summer can lead to a need for more water than usual, especially when drinking alcohol. Make sure to stock up on fresh water and have it handy at all times in a refillable bottle. Also, make sure to pack weather-appropriate clothing to prevent overheating or heat stroke.
Never Take Drinks From a Stranger
No matter how nice they may seem, never ever take a drink (especially an alcoholic one) from someone you don't know. If you didn't see them pour it, there's no way to know for sure what's in it. It's also wise to avoid drinks that are being dipped from large, open buckets or coolers.
This one is extra important if you're traveling alone. Even if you don't have a buddy, make sure your tent neighbors or other people nearby know you're there. Make friends with people camping around you so that if you don't return, someone will take notice. It's also safest to never leave with a stranger. If you start to feel uneasy on your own, head towards a crowded area and look for a security officer.
No one likes a gnarly sunburn that will leave you uncomfortable for the rest of the trip and put you at risk for serious skin damage. If it's hot out, you'll probably be sweating which could cause your sunscreen to wear off more quickly. It's important to reapply every few hours and choose a waterproof brand that won't get washed away. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends using SPF 30 or higher. Also consider wearing a trendy sun hat with a wide brim to protect your most vulnerable areas like the scalp, face and shoulders. Read more about how to stay protected from the sun here.
If you plan on consuming alcohol during your trip, it's important to know your limits. Don't overdo it or your trip could be ruined by a major hangover, or you could get seriously sick. Drinking from plastic cups can easily fool you into drinking more than you realize. If you're using one of those cups, use the indented lines on the side to keep tabs on how many standard drinks you're consuming throughout the day. If you're drinking liquor, the bottom line equals about one ounce, which is one standard liquor drink. Use the second line from the bottom to measure 5 ounces of wine. The third line from the bottom is for beer. Use this line to measure 12 ounces of beer so you know exactly how much you've had to drink. Also, take advantage of this online calculator to measure how many drinks you're able to safely have without elevating your BAC to a dangerous level.
Bring Proper Shoes
Remember that you'll probably be doing a lot of standing and walking for most of the trip. Pick a pair of shoes or sandals that are cute and comfy. Bring Band-Aids and anti-bacterial cream along in case of blisters and leave the high heels at home.
Wear a Fanny Pack
Big purses may get in your way and are easily snatchable, and a backpack may leave you vulnerable to pickpockets. Fanny packs are back in style and a great way to keep your important belongings close. Keep your ID, money and other items you'll need throughout the day in front of you so you can always keep an eye on it. Never leave your important items unsupervised.
Leave Expensive Valuables at Home
If you planned to bring your favorite diamond necklace along, maybe reconsider. Flashy jewelry and other expensive looking stuff may make you a target for thieves. Don't bring anything that you're not comfortable leaving in a tent all day without any supervision if you'll be camping. Some festivals offer lockers for a small fee where you can keep things safe, so find out if that's an option and if you'll need to provide your own lock. Bottom line: If it's not necessary, leave it at home. You'll be glad you don't have too much stuff weighing you down once you get there.
Before you leave, make sure friends and family know exactly where you're going and how long you'll be staying. Bring a solar charger to keep your phone alive during the trip so you can check in with someone at home periodically if there's phone service. Have someone on standby who can come pick you up just in case and memorize their phone number so you'll be able to get in touch with them if something happens to your phone and you need to borrow someone else's.