You've made it to Munich, but you don't know what you need to survive the next few days you're spending at Oktoberfest. The Gadget Geek has got you covered.
If you’re flying out to Munich this weekend to catch the tail end of the biggest Oktoberfest ever, there’s going to be a few things you need for your journey. This year the festival has seen record-breaking numbers in the first week alone, increasing its visitors from 3.5 to 3.6 million. To put that number into perspective: a hefty 3.6 million liters of beer were consumed in the first week, which many take as a sign that the record 7.5 million liters of beer consumed last year will be surpassed. There’s more to the festivities than beer and lederhosen; you need to be prepared for everything so you’re not one of the unlucky 1,000 who end up losing their passports. Here are the gadgets you need to make your time at Oktoberfest unforgettable.
A Sturdy Camera
Photo courtesy of Flickr Leave your Leica and thousand-dollar DSLR setup at home because you won’t want to risk dropping your camera into one of the many massive litre steins you’ll be drinking from. Drinks this year have upped in price: a litre is now going for €8.70 or €9.20, depending on which tent you’re in, so you’ll have to keep the price of your new camera low if you’re expecting to hit those beer tents hard this year. If you take most of your photos with your cell phone, we suggest a sturdy waterproof iPhone case like the LifeProof. They’re only a percentage of the price of your precious smartphone and will keep your mind at ease when you accidently submerge it while you’re picking the perfect Instagram filter to capture the beauty of your beer maid. If you’re still using a digital camera, Olympus’ Tough TG-1 goes for about 400 bucks and is one of the best traditional cameras that can withstand almost all the wear you put it though.
The Right Apps
Photo courtesy of Flickr There were approximately 479 cases of robbery last year at Oktoberfest, and although that number is low, some of those cases were identity theft. Now that we keep all of our information on our smartphones through apps for banking, bill payment and other personal necessities, it’s so much easier for this to happen. First things first: if you haven’t already, lock your phone. If, by some act of god, you can access a Wi-Fi network on the grounds, make sure it’s a secure one. Security aside, there will be many English-speaking Oktoberfest-goers in attendance, but it doesn’t hurt to download a translator app like Say Hi Translate, that translates what you’re saying when you speak into your phone, or Google Translate. If you’re unfamiliar with the grounds, the paid app Münchner Oktoberfest will help you out while you explore. If you’re not willing to fork over the 99 cents, Oktoberfest Guide is its free competitor with just about the same specs.
Photo courtesy of Flickr Although the tents open later in the day, people are lining up to grab a spot in line as early as seven A.M. If you’re going with a few friends, you can attempt to secure a seat, but it can cost upwards of €300 so we’d say wing it and arrive early. There are 14 big tents at Oktoberfest that vary between 4,000 and 10,000 person occupancy. Each tent has a different theme with different music, food, décor and beer served. Take for example the Hofbräu-Festzelt, which is usually popular with people from overseas because of its connection with Munich’s best-known beer hall, Hofbräuhaus. The Augustiner-Festhalle tent, owned by the Augustiner Brewery, is considered one of the friendliest tents, and the Käfer tent, which you should flock to early in the afternoon, closes at one A.M., while most of the other tents close at 10:30 P.M. Long day of drinking and eating ahead of you, isn’t it? To lug all of what you need and be sure you’re keeping your accessories charged, pick up the Powerbag Deluxe Charging Backpack from ThinkGeek. It keeps your electronics charged through USB mini, micro and Apple iPod/iPhone/iPad dock connectors.
Can’t make it to Oktoberfest? Check out our past beer articles here!