Coachella Car Camping

In this post, I will be sharing my Coachella car camping experience – sparing no gritty detail.

Let me be the first to say that you are not getting the full Coachella experience unless you brave it out and camp. I know, I know – for all us princesses, the idea of portable toilets is enough to deter away from camping. However, hear me out when I say that it’s actually not that bad… Except at night/the end of the day. BUT THERE ARE FLUSHABLE TOILETS INSIDE THE FESTIVAL! Make the most of those, everyone who camped did.

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Coachella Car Camping

As I mentioned in my last post, the first night was the hardest due to the strong winds causing lots of noise. I recommend bringing earplugs if you camp, and in general especially if you find you’re a light sleeper when you travel. I have been doing this for years, and it has helped a lot.

The Coachella valley is notorious for its sandstorms, so expect the noise and the dust. Each day, we noticed a thin layer of dirt on our things. Bring a tarp if its a big deal to you. We kept our important possessions in the car and tent for this reason.

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As a group of 4 girls, one could say that we definitely took it up a notch when it came to our campsite. Aside from the essentials, such as the tent, canopy, sleeping bags, etc., we brought tapestries and circle chairs to achieve that bohemian feel. My favorite addition were these round towels we put on the ground outside our tent. They were perfect!

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The nights got progressively better from the first night and as we got acclimated to Coachella car camping.

By trial and error, we found that the free showers were way better than the “luxury” ones (in which you paid $10 a shower). It’s a good idea to invest in a headlamp for those night-time bathroom breaks. And you definitely need all the tapestries, towels, and tarps you can get for that coveted shade. It starts warming up as soon as the sun rises. Don’t underestimate that!

It also isn’t a bad idea to bring your own toilet paper and flushable wipes to the port-a-potties.

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What to bring:

  • Tent
  • Canopy
  • Stakes
  • Tapestries
  • Battery-powered lights (anything really)
  • Sleeping bags + pillows + blankets
  • Chairs
  • Table
  • Towels
  • Food + water + drinks (must be in cans)
  • Coolers + ice
  • Duct tape/zip ties/scissors
  • Flushable wipes + toilet paper
  • Headlamp and flashlights

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For those camping for Weekend 2, Happy Coachella! I’m still in post-Coachella car camping recovery mode.

My Coachella Experience

I’m back from my first Coachella weekend! And my body/mind are still in full-recovery mode. Who knew four nights camping and three days of festival frolicking could take so much out of a girl?

I was lucky to have spent the whole weekend with three other girls who I’ve known since middle school and high school. We met up in Indio on Thursday afternoon, then headed straight to the campgrounds to set up our site. We had the cutest setup! Photos don’t do it justice.
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Day 1

Our first night on the campgrounds was difficult. As a light sleeper, I always keep a pair of earplugs in my bag when I’m not in the comforts of my own bed. But even with my ears plugged, the combination of desert winds, EDM, and snoring neighbors meant restless nights. However, the first day of the festival was here – so you can say we were all running on several hours of sleep and the excitement that is Coachella.

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Some of the sets we saw this first day included Years & Years, ASAP Rocky, M83, and Ellie Goulding. This was actually the same day that we encountered the infamous Sahara tent for the very first time to try and see DJ Mustard, and I’ve been scarred for life! My poor backpack was destroyed – one of the straps was ripped off! The Sahara does not play. We also tried to see Jack Ü’s set, and the crowd was just as merciless.

Day 2
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The second day was less windy/dusty, but much hotter. It was probably my favorite day set-wise because we saw some of my favorites: James Bay, CHVRCHES, Disclosure, and Halsey. We were even treated to several surprise guests this day! Disclosure brought out Lorde and freaking Sam Smith (!!!!!) during their set, Brendon Urie during Halsey’s, and Ice Cube had Snoop Dogg. Obviously, it was a great day. We ended the night with Guns N’ Roses and RL Grime.

Day 3

We couldn’t believe how fast the weekend went by, and even though we were all ACHING for our own beds and flushable toilets (camping gets tough), it was still bittersweet knowing Coachella was coming to an end.

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We basically stayed at the main stage for the majority of the day. I wanted to see The 1975 (fun fact: my blog’s name Dressed in Black came into being because of their song Chocolate) and Diana wanted to see Diplo, I mean Major Lazer. We also watched Matt & Kim, part of Sia and Flume’s sets, then ended the night with Mr. Calvin Harris. He brought out Big Sean, Rihanna, and John Newman. Such an awesome end to the festival.


I would definitely say that Coachella is an experience of a lifetime, and if I ever have the opportunity, I’d do it all over again. Most likely not the car camping, but the festival for sure. You can’t argue with the feeling of being young and free for an entire weekend.

In another post, I will share some of my camping + festival tips as a first-time festival goer. But until then, I’m sending everyone all the good vibes.

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Until next time, Coachella!