Dry Ice & Other Festival Camping Essentials

A music festival crowd cheers for a performer.

Dry Ice & Other Festival Camping Essentials 

When it comes to making lifelong memories, few things compare to dancing the night away at an outdoor music festival. Experiencing the headliners you’ve been waiting to see for months. The feeling of the music in your chest. The new friends you just met. And then, at the end of the night, crawling into your tent so you can do it all over again the next day.

To sustain that kind of experience, though, you’re going to need to bring a lot of food. And to keep that food fresh, especially in the summer heat, experienced festival-goers know—you need dry ice. So Penguin Brand Dry Ice® (with a little help from a few festival veterans) has put together this festival camping essentials guide, including cooler packing recommendations and other tips for surviving the weather.

How to keep food chilled while camping:

For items that don’t need to be frozen, use dry ice in conjunction with regular ice cubes. The dry ice will help to keep the wet ice from melting over time.

  • Step 1: Find and purchase Penguin Brand Dry Ice at a store near you.
  • Step 2: Insulate dry ice with newspaper, cardboard, etc.
  • Step 3: Place dry ice at the bottom of the cooler.
  • Step 4: Layer wet ice over dry ice.
  • Step 5: Add items to be chilled.
  • Step 6: Pour wet ice over top of items.

Also, remember to always handle dry ice with gloves or a hand towel, as dry ice is a skin irritant. (Review our safe handling guide for more safety recommendations.)

How much dry ice should you bring?

Dry ice doesn’t last forever, so it’s important to pack enough to last your entire trip. Use this simple table to determine your needs.

Cooler Size 4 Hours 12 Hours 24 Hours 48 Hours
25 qts. 10 lbs. 10 lbs. 10 lbs. 15 lbs.
50 qts. 10 lbs. 15 lbs. 15 lbs. 20 lbs.
100 qts. 15 lbs. 20 lbs. 25 lbs. 35 lbs.

Listed dry ice weights are estimated starting points only. Cooler design, payload size, and ambient conditions may affect results/

Beat the heat: Other helpful weather tips

Camping can be a fun escape, but since most music festivals are held during the summer, it can also be a hot, humid, dusty—and sometimes rainy—experience. Bring a few safety essentials to plan for inclement weather, car trouble and unforeseen problems so your weekend plans don’t get washed away. The following is a good start:

  1. Water-tight containers: Pack your gear in rubber tubs that can keep out water and dust.
  2. Shade: Bring tarps and pop-up canopies to stave off sunburn and excessive heat.
  3. Rain gear: Bring boots and a rainproof jacket or emergency poncho in case of unexpected weather.
  4. Seating: Pack a comfortable chair to get some much-needed rest between acts.
  5. Lighting: Campgrounds are usually unlit, so stay safe at night by bringing a headlamp, lantern or reliable flashlight.
  6. Just-in-case items: Make sure you’ve got emergency essentials like rope, bungee cords, duct tape and a car safety kit that includes jumper cables.

One last thing (and this is super important)

Have fun out there 🙂

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