Packing List

Here are some packing suggestions to help you have a more enjoyable festival.


SpiritFire is an outdoor event. It’s camping, but it’s comfortable. The festival site is in the Taconic Mountains of New York. Average temperatures are between 70 – 80 degrees during the day, 50′s and 60′s during the night (roughly 12 – 21 degrees centigrade).

Alhough the road up to the site is steep, the fire circle and merchant areas are flat and grassy. The camping area is light woods with paths. There’s hiking in the surrounding woods if you want to explore.


  • both shorts and long pants
  • We strongly recommend that you consider pre-treating some of your clothing (pants, socks, etc.) against ticks.  Premethrin spray can be found at outdoor supply stores such as Outdoor Gear Exchange or other sources.
  • clothing that can be layered
  • light jacket
  • sweater
  • rain gear
  • at least two pairs of shoes
  • extra pairs of dry socks
  • large heavy-duty ziploc bags to keep socks, etc. in to keep out any potential moisture


Home Sweet Home

A few attendees stay in cabins, and most stay in tents. We’ve been lucky most of the time, but come prepared for rain. There’s no electricity in the cabins. No fire of any kind is permitted in camping areas, per the site owner’s policy.


  • bedding (for both cooler and warmer weather)
  • pillow
  • tent
  • ground cloth
  • rain fly
  • ground pad or air mattress
  • tarps for your instruments
  • extra stakes and cord
  • battery-operated lighting
  • earplugs for sleeping – the drumming isn’t intrusive, but it’s audible
  • eye mask for sleeping during the day



The retreat serves brunch and dinner daily; no dishes are required for the meal plan, but we suggest bringing a labeled travel mug of your own for ease. Dishes are not available for private camping needs, so bring what you need for your personal food stores.

Critters are a concern, but you may keep food at your campsite if it’s in a sealable, latchable container. There is no refrigeration available.


  • snacks in a sealable container to keep you going through the fire circle or in the afternoon
  • extra protein – foil packets of tuna or chicken, nuts, peanut butter
  • any special food or tea you need
  • water bottle
  • travel mug



The site has running water, hot showers, and flush toilets. We encourage biodegradable shampoos and soaps, since the showers drain onto the ground.


  • regular toiletries and medications
  • biodegradable soap
  • two towels (one can get pretty damp)
  • washcloth
  • band aids, sports tape, and basic first aid supplies


Outdoor comfort

SpiritFire is an outdoor event.


  • flashlight and extra batteries
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellent
  • backjack or folding chair


Workshops and Jam Sessions

Check workshop descriptions for anything special they might require, such as a blanket or particular instruments. A tape recorder could be useful for drum and voice workshops, but please remember to ask before recording. Workshops descriptions are listed on the website and will also be in your program on site.  Yoga mats are great for seated moments in the pavilions.

Fire circles run from 11:00 pm until they come to a natural stop, usually the beginning of dawn. Each night has a different theme; descriptions are here.


  • clothing you can layer and move in comfortably all night long
  • water bottle or travel mug
  • rhythm instruments: drums, rattles, singing bowls, didgeridoos, rain sticks, chimes, etc.
  • festival clothing, especially things that fit the theme of each fire circle. You might wear colors that reflect the parts of a fire circle you are particularly drawn to: red for music, blue for motion, yellow for voice, green or white for service, and black for mystery.
  • face paint
  • decorations for any of the several altars: the four elements, the ancestor altar, and the friends and family altar
  • finger foods to share at the food table: fruit, nuts, chocolate, cookies, stored in airtight, sealable containers. SpiritFire will take care of storing community food.




  • cash for a massage or merchant goodies (if you can bring $1 and $5 bills, that would be much appreciated!)
  • cash for the scholarship fund raffle or work shift buy-out. Scholarships are awarded to about one dozen people each year thanks to the generosity of the community.
  • journal/pens
  • fliers for your community events
  • small gifts for those new and spontaneous friends, and for the gifting shells on the West/Motion altar
  • an extra pillow, blanket, camp chair, or decoration for the community comfy tent (marked with your name please)
  • poi, diablo sticks, or other spinning toys
  • a watch or battery-operated alarm clock
  • backjacks, pillows/cushions, or camping rugs for the community cozy tent
  • citronella oil for the torches would be much appreciated


Things to leave home – Please do NOT bring these:

  • pets
  • illegal substances
  • camping stoves, candles, or incense; due to past accidents, the site does not permit any open flames at campsites.
  • drum sets, plastic timbales, or other similar instruments. They tend not to balance with the rest of the circle and take up a lot of space.
  • valuable or breakable items that you don’t want to risk losing


Other suggestions are found in the registration info packet, downloadable by those who have registered.

We hope you have a happy, safe, and comfortable festival!