Must-have gear to get before hitting New York City summer music festivals

Our picks for chargers, ear plugs, footwear to make your concert experience better.

Modern music festivals can seem like they have everything: Eclectic lineups, interesting public art installations, tasty food and beverage programs. But attending Panorama, Electric Zoo or one of the other myriad fest options in the area still requires a little more planning than just buying a ticket.

We’re not going to dictate your personal festival fashion statements, but beyond the fringe and the flower crown there are some items that experienced attendees know are life-savers. Here’s a shopping list:

To Wear

Summer weather can be volatile; thunderstorms aren’t unheard of, and with most festivals being out in nature (or at least a park), you dream weekend can literally get stuck in the mud easily. For that reason, Hunter Boots’ Original Festival Chelsea Boots should make it into your clothing rotation; made from rubber, but with a matte finish, they are both stylish and practical when Mother Nature turns a flood of music into a straight-up flood. Pair them with a Hunter poncho for full protection.

To Charge

Fighting for a signal in the middle of a field with 50,000+ other Instagrammers can drain a battery fast. Anker has a line of solutions, ranging from the one-charge capacity (but incredibly compact) Astro Mini 3200 to the PowerCore + series, where each unit can make sure that you and a couple of your friends stay connected to the outside world.

To Hydrate

Gone are the days when the only hydration choice was a five-dollar bottle of water. Festivals are taking the health of their concertgoers seriously, and most now provide hydration stations for refilling containers. Take full advantage of that with a Camelbak Repack, a fanny pack with a huge water bladder for filling and sipping on throughout the day. It works as well hiking or biking as it does at a music fest, too, making it as much of an investment as it is a festival hack.

To Hear (The Day After)

Ask your elders: Someday, listening to all that loud noise will make you deaf. And if your festival schedule takes you into a dance tent (or a full fest dedicated to dance music, like Electric Zoo), you’ll want some sort of barrier between the awesome speakers and your ear drums. That’s where Etymotic comes in, with a wide variety of earplugs that go far beyond wadded up toilet paper or foam bricks. The company’s highest-end offerings can cost as much as the last model of iPhone, but pick up a pair of affordable ETY Plugs HD to save your hearing and still listen to the music.

Robert Spuhler