Insider's Guide to Bonnaroo 2014

C.M. Friese Photography
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For the 13th year in a row, the Bonnaroo Music Festival will make an appearance in the rural town of Manchester, Tennessee. Normally, Manchester is home to about 10,000 residents, but every June about 100,000 more people come swarming its most famous 700-acre farm to partake in four days of music and fun. This year Bonnaroo will take place from June 12-15th and will feature major acts such as Elton John, Kanye West, Vampire Weekend, and plenty more. While the festival is always a blast, if you aren't prepared, it can get somewhat uncomfortable. Here's the Insider's Guide for making the best of your Bonnaroo experience:

Jake Wheeler

1. Water
However much water you think will be a sufficient amount, bring double that. You'd be surprised how much you waste cooking, cleaning yourself and your gear, and obviously drinking. An Osprey Hydration Pack is great to have on you at all times. Remember that the water there is bountiful, but you have to either pay for it, wait in line for it, or suffer through the raunchy rotten egg smell/flavor of good old Tennessee well water.

2. Food & Money
Bring plenty of food and some sort of way to cook it. An MSR Pocket Rocket is an unbelievably convenient, efficient, and easy-to-use lightweight stove that boils water in about five minutes. Eat as often as you can. Also, be sure to have some cash because it will come in handy for food once inside Centeroo, since you can't take any in with you. It's also good for golf cart taxi rides and emergency funds, etc.

Jake Wheeler

3. Shade
Bring some sort of tailgating tarp/ pavilion style tent to shade your campsite. They are game changers. Chairs and a table underneath one of those make for one luxurious camp site. Shade is easily forgotten when packing, but it's super important. You can also put it over your tent if it rains, which can happen at any minute. The better your shade, the happier you will be.

4. Gear
It's 100 degrees during the day, and feels like 40 degrees at night. Cotton clothing is uncomfortable and once it's wet from sweat or rain, there's no turning back. Try Capilene, wool, or any other synthetic material that wicks away moisture. Be sure to have a backpack, hat, and a flashlight, and most importantly, good footwear. And when it comes to this footwear, you simply cannot go wrong with Chacos. No other shoe or sandal compares to how durable, comfortable, and practical they are for this type of setting. Whether it's hot & dusty or raining & muddy, Chacos will be your foot's best friend.

C.M. Friese Photography

5. Flag
Lastly, a flag at your campsite is an excellent idea, and the tallest & most distinctive flag you can find is the best kind. Have one at your campground and maybe even take one into Centeroo. You never know when you'll lose your buddies and your cell phone will probably die every time you go into Centeroo. A retractable golf ball retriever and a big flag at the end fits into most backpacks and works well.

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