By: Anand Harsh
I'm a festival survivor. I'll whine about the heat, the cold, and the wet, but I'll trudge through. Doesn't mean I'm a happy camper the whole way through, but I scrape by. What really makes festivals bearable are the creature comforts. And most of those creature comforts are things I totally forget when I get a last-minute assignment, grab my tent and bag, and run out the door.
But I think I discovered my new best festival buddy.
The folks at Vitality Gear sent me their Festival Survivor Pack for me to test out. I'm not saying that I could last a 4-day festie with just this pack, but it makes packing for the weekend a lot easier, because most of the things I truly need to outlast Mother Nature are on-hand and ready to go.
I decided to give the pack a dry run (or rather a wet one) at the much-anticipated Tipper headlining performance at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO in mid-May. I'm not the blonde lady pictured to the left, or a lady at all, but it appears as the Survivor Pack has already made fans at the iconic venue.
While a one-day, non-camping event might not seem to the average person to be a great test of the Survivor Pack's abilities, anyone who knows May in Colorado knows it's the perfect opportunity. The forecast called for high winds, torrential downpours, and blistering sun and temperatures. To say the Vitality Gear Survivor Pack stood up to the challenge is selling it short.
First of all, the waterproof bag all the goodies came in stayed bone dry. With Ott's set punctuated by a nasty summer thunderstorm, I was able to comb through all the contents without sloshing around in inches of water. After slathering on sunscreen (possibly the most important part of the package) and chapstick, I made my way across the parking lot flooded with fans headed towards the porta-pottie lines. Armed with wet wipes and hand sanitizer, there was no need for me to fear for my health or safety. I stowed the UV protected sunglasses that came with the package when the sun went down, and went right for the snacks.
When it comes to festivals, there aren't a ton of healthy snacking options. Fatty, filling foods slow you down, wear you out, and deplete the needed energy reserves that any festivalgoer demands. The Vitality Gear Survivor Pack comes chock full of goodies like hummus, peanut butter tubes, baked lentil chips, sunflower seeds, granola bars, and trail mix. High in protein and good carbs, the snacks kept me going, and prevented me from having to nosh on an expensive venue burger, which would have put me down for the count.
Included in the pack was a bug repellent wristband, which wasn't necessary on my trip, but totally comes in handy for festivals in the middle of fields. Likewise, I didn't need the tissues or bandages, but there's no doubt that they'd come in handy by Day 4 of a festival. What did come in handy were the ear plugs. Even though those Funktion-Ones delivered crystal clear sound, it's crucial to me that I protect my 'drums, so I can continue to crack wise about shows long into my geriatric years. And because of the low-quality of my unnamed cell phone brand (they don't deserve a plug), the portable USB charger came in handy when it was time to find my friends and hit the road.
Did the Vitality Gear Survivor Pack save me time, keep me happy, and ultimately fulfill its goal of keeping me alive? Why, yes it did. While I may not be able to survive solely on the food provided in the pack for the entirety of a festival, I could come darn close, and definitely be perfectly fine for a night or two.
If I have to talk shortcomings, there are three missing pieces that could be easily rectified. The first is the necessity of adding a poncho to the pack, which became evident in the downpour. Additionally, a bandana would go a long way to protect the user from the ubiquitous festival dust and also keeps one cool when soaked and wrapped around the neck. Finally, an eco-friendly water bottle would be the icing on the cake. Easily refilled at water stations, the travel canteen would provide necessary hydration, and function to keep the pack's endurance up from festival to festival. With those simple addition of those three items, which wouldn't add too much weight to the light pack, I could comfortably see myself surviving any camping festival situation with no problems.
Now it's time to test it out at SONIC BLOOM!
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