Our Ultimate Guide to Festival Camping
Packing for your first outdoor music festival? Check out our handy guide to festival camping and make sure you're prepared for a great experience.
Love music but yet to try a festival for yourself? If the idea of camping seems a little daunting, try our handy guide to make your first festival fuss-free.
Our ten-step guide is part of our #ThinkProject campaign, aimed at inspiring you to get outside and try things for the first time – after all, you may discover a passion you never knew you had…
Getting Ready: Pre-Festival Tips
- Get your tent right
It sounds simple, but this really can be make or break for your festival. It can be tempting to squeeze yourself and three others into an old four-man tent you happened to find in your parents’ garage at the last minute. Don’t do it!Firstly, although your tent may be ‘four-man’, once you have all your sleeping bags, sleeping mat and supplies unpacked, space will be limited. If your tent is for at least one more person than you actually have with you, you’ll have much more room. Secondly, make sure you put up your tent before taking it to the festival, just to make sure no parts have gone missing over time. Don’t rely on being able to buy a new tent or parts at the festival (especially if you are going to a smaller festival), so make sure to check your tent is up to the job before you go.
- Think practical
In the pre-festival excitement, it can be easy to spend too long thinking about your novelty festival items (think brightly coloured shirts, glitter and headbands), but don’t forget to pack the more ‘sensible’ things too. Wet wipes can be useful if you don’t want to waste valuable party time queuing for the shower, and bin bags can be used to store wet clothes or shoes. Anti-bacterial handwash is also another handy and lightweight item to pack. A portable phone charger is helpful, especially if you plan on using your phone to take photos which can drain battery.
- Bring cash – and enough of it
Don’t rely on your festival having a chip and pin machine, or even a cash machine. Drinks and food at festivals can be expensive, so make sure you bring enough money with you to avoid any awkward cash flow problems! Leaving cash in the campsite can be risky, so pack a small bag or bumbag so you can keep it with you.
- Pack for all the weather
Wherever you are in the world, festival weather can be unpredictable. Bring a waterproof jacket (even if sun is in the forecast) and sunscreen even if rain is in the forecast). Whatever the weather, packing well is sensible just in case things get a little muddy…Discover the perfect outdoor gear to make the most of your festival experience here.
Tips for During the Festival
- Find a good position
When you arrive, think tactically about where you want to pitch your tent. Arrive early and try to find somewhere close enough to the toilets to avoid a long walk in the middle of the night, but don’t set up camp too close. After all, you want to avoid crowds of people gathering outside your tent when you’re trying to sleep, and of course any unpleasant smells. It’s likely the campsite will be a fair walk from the car park, so bringing a camping trolley to cart your belongings to your tent can also save any aching limbs.
- Take a photo of your surroundings
There are thousands of tents, it’s dark and you may have had a little to drink; what if you can’t remember where you’ve pitched yours? Taking a photo of your surroundings can be a really helpful way to find your way back to the tent if all else fails.
- Don’t pitch in a dip
Even if you think you’ve found the perfect camping spot, if it’s in dip; avoid it. If it rains, the space could fill with water – something you of course want to avoid.
- Make friends with the neighbors
You’re going to be living in close quarters to these people so get to know them! Not only could you make some new friends, but they can also help to keep an eye on your tent when you’re away and lend you anything you may have forgotten.
Packing Up: Post-Festival Tips
- Pack everything up properly
After several days of little sleep, it can be tempting to simply ‘grab and go’. However, packing up your tent properly and folding your sleeping bag into its bag will prevent any parts from getting lost or damaged.
- Clean up after yourself!
This goes without saying; throw away your rubbish in the bins provided to help leave the camp site as clean as possible. If you spent a bit more money than you intended, some festivals offer financial incentives to people collecting empty cans. Look out to see if these are available at your festival.
Now you’re ready to get going on your (first) festival adventure! Most importantly, have fun and enjoy the experience – there’s nothing quite like it.
Over the next few months we want you to think about what you love doing with GORE-TEX products behind you. Think about what you’ve never done before, what you would like to try and what you never dreamed you could.
We want to inspire you, help you discover new passions and encourage you to experience the unimaginable. All you have to do is THINK.
Explore our site for more ideas inspired by the #ThinkProject, all designed to get you thinking about trying new things. Enjoy!
What are your top festival tips? Let us know in the comments below.