Unlike normal vacations, camping at music festivals does not entail the luxury of sleeping in some five-star hotels or a fancy Airbnb. You are simply sleeping in tents along thousands of other people. But, why do people still go wrong? If you lack any of the festival essentials, you are likely to ruin the whole experience. In this article, we will share all the festival camping tips and tricks you need to experience the best of every camping festival.
- Basic Festival Camping Tips
- What to bring to festivals?
- Music festival campsite ideas
- Some fun things to bring to a music festival
- Other festival camping hacks
Basic Festival Camping Tips
- Only pack what you need
- In case you are attending the festival as a group, plan together. You can split items to among members of your groups.
- Remember the 7 principles of no trace camping still hold. You will pack out everything you pack in. So, pack wisely.
- Bring a tent that is one size larger. If two of you will be sharing a tent, then go for a three-man tent. It will comfortably fit all your belongings.
- Study the rules and regulations of the festival beforehand. They will guide you in knowing which items are allowed and those that are prohibited.
- Practice pitching your tent. Especially if you are attending a festival for the very first time or, if you planning on bringing a type of tent that you have never used before.
- Be prepared to stand for long hours. Brace yourself for long queues everywhere. Thus, put on a comfortable pair of shoes. And at the end of the day, remember to give your feet a break and let them breathe.
- Stay hydrated. The heat and burst of activities will drain away most of your water reserve.
The above tips apply for any kind of festival camping. But let’s narrow down to the kind of festival gear you will need for that upcoming music festival camping.
What to bring to festivals?
Get your ticket from a legit supplier and do not forget to pack it in a place you can easily access. This should be the first item in your festival packing list. Without your ticket, then there’s no festival.
If you’re planning on buying alcohol, your ID will be the only way to verify your age before you can access one of those alcohol selling booths.
The lines at money machines will be very long. Having ready cash for your food and emergencies is very necessary. Remember to pack your cards in case you run out of cash.
This is a must-have item. Probably, there will be a few charging stands by different phone companies, but why go through the hustle? If your budget allows, go for a solar power charger which you can use to recharge your phone anytime.
Carry a good tent with a working zipper. Then, buy a small lock to secure your belongings but, do not lose your key.
A sleeping bag or blanket
If you are headed for places that can get pretty cold, then opt for a warm sleeping bag. Otherwise, a few cotton sheets and a light blanket will be perfect.
Pack a roll mat or an inflatable mattress
The ground on the campsites is usually bumpy and uneven. Thus, a mattress will guarantee a good night’s sleep. Although a camping roll mat is not as comfortable and luxurious as an inflatable mattress, it packs small, is light and still serves the purpose. Another alternative would be a foldable camping cot. They are comfortable and will as well offer you some good rest away from the fear of unwanted visits from any of those crawling insects.
A few inflatable pillows take up very little space on your bag but guarantee some extra comfort.
Lamp and flashlight
A flashlight will come in handy to trace your way back to the tent at night while a lamp is ideal for lighting up your tent.
A camping chair
A great choice would be a chair that can be folded to a very small size and has a built-in cup holder. It is an awesome place to chill as you sip your cool drink after a long tiring day.
It will serve as your beer-pong or the perfect point to make your morning sandwiches.
Bring a water bottle to refill at the water fountains. This saves you all the money you would have spent buying that highly priced water.
When camping at a festival, it is a total rip off to buy all your food from the vendors. Their prices are exhilarating high. Therefore, pack in a few foods and drinks. Refer to the rules of the festivals on what is allowed and remember to include a few breakfast bars and nuts to fuel your body all day.
Cooler for your drinks
The midday sun can get very hot. During such times, water from your water bottle will have probably warmed up. Nothing can replace the refreshing feeling you get from taking an ice cold drink. All you will need is to buy a few ice bags every morning to refill your cooler. These can be easily found in one of the stands.
With the large crowds of people and the excitements of seeing your favorite musicians performing on stage, a handheld fan may not work for you. That’s where a water mister comes in. A spray of cold water on your face guarantees the much needed cooling effect.
Wet wipes/ cleansing wipes/ tissue paper
Water will be a scarce resource for the next few days. Carry a large pack of wet wipes to save the day. You can use them to wipe your shoes, used utensils, and most importantly they will come in handy when the lines to a public shower are unbearably long. Also, pack extra tissue papers. You will appreciate how versatile they can be.
Prepare for weather changes
Pack an umbrella and a pair of wellies even when the forecasts predict sunny days.
Other music festival essentials include:
- Change of clothes
- Warm hood and socks to keep you warm at night
- Sun hat
- Laundry bag/ bin bag to separate the dirty clothes from your clean ones
- Dry shampoo
- Any other necessary toiletries
Music festival campsite ideas
By now you have probably ticked off most of the items on your festival camping checklist. Now, let us look at ideas to make your campsite even better.
Strategically pitch your tent
Ensure your tent is in close proximity the restrooms—but not so close rest you choke from the pungent smell. Also, do not pitch near paths. Those spots can get very noisy at night. The best place is a spot that is near a landmark. It will be easier to find your way back at night.
Use this clever festival camp setup tip
Let group members closely pitch their tents in a circular format with the doors facing inside. This way you will discourage strangers from fixing their tent between yours.
Mark your tent
One certain thing in any camping festival is that thousands of identical tents will be pitched in the campsite. You will need the best festival camping setups hacks to identify yours. A good idea is to mark your tent with a flag or by tying a uniquely colored inflated balloon on your tent. You can improvise a DIY flag using a bed sheet or even an old t-shirt.
If you’ll be sharing a tent with a few friends, it’s easy for your stuff to mix up. The worst case scenario would be losing some of your valuables and especially your phone chargers. Consider packing a small hanging organizer for easy access to your essentials.
Clean your camp.
Incorporate cleaning your tent and campsite to your daily morning routine. Otherwise, do not be surprised at the rate your tent and camping area turns to a horrible trash mess.
Carry an extra camp bed/mat
When the heat inside the tent becomes unbearable, take your extra bed outside and catch some sleep. That extra mat or bed will also make a perfect lounge for you and your friends.
Bring a canopy
To make your extra bed an even better lounge, couple it up with a canopy. It will be pretty hard to find any other form of shade in the camping area.
Pack your own camp shower
Initially, you might have thought that your body will hold up just fine. But again, the heat may prove you wrong. Instead of all the hustle, why not just bring your own shower? All you will need is to pack in extra containers of water and you’re good to go.
Some fun things to bring to a music festival
The crowds, the summer heat, and the intensive dancing can turn your camp into a sweat hub—literally. Have you considered the possibility of investing in one of those battery-powered fans? It will make the heat bearable.
Portable Music players
Late night music will keep the fun going. Unfortunately, your smartphone speakers will barely work amidst all the noise. Thus, a Bluetooth music player with a large battery capacity is guaranteed to brighten up the moods during the evening hangouts.
Bring portable WIFI.
You can connect it to your smartphone to backup and upload pictures of your fun moments online.
DIY Camping lantern
When the night sets in, your campsite will definitely get dark. Normal lanterns may take up so much space in your bags. Instead, DIY your own by tying a normal headlamp to a colorless water jar. It will provide the illumination you need whether inside or outside your tent.
Represent your region with a flag. Isn’t it an awesome way to show how proud you are of where you come from? A flag can also help you identify your mates much faster.
Other festival camping hacks
- Get a cheap battery phone. When your iPhone goes off, you will still have a phone to call, text, and of course, to use as a flashlight at night.
- Note that the parking area is normally far from the campsite. Packing light saves you the hustle of carrying heavy luggage to the campsite.
- Arrive early. This will help you book a nice and perfect spot for your tent.
- Be among the first to leave to avoid the stress of dealing with annoying people and car traffic.
- Agree on a common meet-up point. It will save on time that would have been used trying to find and call your other group members.
- Store your wet wipes, water spray bottle, and deodorant in the cooler—you’ll be glad you did.
- Utilize every space in your bag. Consider attaching your sleeping bag/blanket outside your bag to save on space.
- The best way to work your way to the front is to walk from the sides. Then, put on your innocent troubled face, people are more likely to let you pass.
- Do not forget your deodorant. It will keep the sweat and insects away.
- Eat one heavy meal per day to ensure you’re getting the necessary energy on a budget.
- Dress in layers. Mornings and nights are likely to be very cold while day time can get very hot. Dressing in layers will make it easier to dress down or up depending on the weather.
- Have a fanny pack. Add this to your list of what to pack for a music festival. It’s no secret: pickpockets love crowds. If you do not want to lose your money and other valuables, have one of these saviors strapped on your waist. Use it to pack other essentials such as sanitizers, tissues, and a few mints.
- Pack a pillowcase instead of a pillow. Then, stuff it with clothes to DIY your own pillow.
- Wrap some gaff tape around your flashlight or water bottle. It will help in cases of unexpected tears.
- Look for restrooms that are furthest from common places, they’ll probably be cleaner. Or, study the cleaning program and use the washrooms immediately they are cleaned.
- Golden rule: do not carry anything that you are not ready to lose
I hope you now have the ultimate guide of best festival camping ideas and a list of what to bring to festivals. You do not have to bring all the items on the list. But, some items like a tent, phone chargers, and mattress are extremely essential. Other like a music player can be shared amongst your group. If resources are a limiting factor, consider hiring or borrowing some of these items from your friends or family. Or even better, share the cost within your group. Above all, adequately prepare in advance so that your camping experience will be one that you will live to remember.