Your Ultimate Taste of Country Music Festival Camping Checklist

Who, what, where, and what to bring.

Hunter Mountain will resound with music this month when the three-day Taste of Country Music Festival (TOC) kicks off June 7. And the best way to enjoy the hitmakers is to camp there. Arrive on Thursday, June 6, for the Campground Party offered to all campers and VIP members, and enjoy music by Ryan Hurd, Scarlett Drive, and McKenna Faith at The Empire State Tap House. Various campsite options abound, from off-site (with shuttle service to TOC) to carside to RV camping.

Whether you pitch a tent or park your Winnebago, you’ll want to be prepared. Dallas Shewmaker of Gear to Go Outfitters — which had a Buchanan facility until last year, and now rents camp/hike equipment at — offers some tips and gear suggestions for newbies:


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Be sure to take a flashlight, lantern, or headlamp for that midnight trip to the restroom. Lanterns are most forgiving to fellow campers, with no harsh light.

Gear: Coleman® Pack-Away® 105L LED Mini Lantern, retail $26.99; rental rates vary


Photo by Joshua Timmermans


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Sleeping setup

For most, that is a sleeping bag and mattress pad. A cot — although bulky, heavy, and potentially costly — adds to the “glamping” experience, and is helpful for those with limited mobility, plus there’s storage space underneath.

Gear: Kelty Tuck 20 sleeping bag, retail $89.95; rental rates vary



Kudos if you’re bringing an RV. But if you are roughing it with a tent, practice setting it up beforehand. Beyond the obvious roof over your head, pack personal clothing/gear that’s appropriate for the weather (read: plan for cool nights and potential rain). And don’t forget a hat and sunscreen!

Gear: Alps Mountaineering Meramac 2-person tent, retail $119.99; rental rates vary

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Photo provided by Dallas Shewmaker, Gear To Go Outfitters


Food & Water

There are food and drink vendors on-site, but bringing a few gallon jugs of water (to fill smaller bottles) and simple meals and snacks can’t hurt.

Also, “Bring all personal necessities you are used to grabbing from the bathroom at home, any prescriptions, eye care products, etc.,” Shewmaker encourages. “And a very important thing to take is a positive attitude — it might rain, it might be muddy, there may be bugs; all of these are irritants at the time, but those will soon be forgotten, and just the fun from the music and friends will remain.”

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