When you head to a festival, whether it's a music festival or not, one thing is sure, you are likely to be camping! Camping and festivals are almost synonymous these days. You can't have one without the other. Whether or not you choose to camp when you visit your next festival, there are likely to be fields and fields of tents nearby full of festival-goers having a great time.
Many people choose to camp at the festival, so it's easy to get to and from the festival itself, but this isn't for everyone. Don't worry, even if you choose to book day tickets, you can still camp. Just choose a campsite nearby or within a short drive. There are likely to be lots to choose from, and these should have more options for facilities and amenities than the camping fields at the festival.
But, what do you do if this is your first festival or you haven't camped before? There is a lot to think about and a lot to book and buy! Don't worry; we have a handy guide to festival camping right here if you are new to festivals and camping.
Make sure you have the right camping gear
The first thing to consider when you go festival camping is your gear. Even at a festival, you will need all the usual things you need for any camping holiday. If you are lucky enough to have been on lots of camping holidays, then you probably already have everything you need. If you are camping at the festival itself, it might be worth bringing along a cheaper tent, not your family tent, as accidents can happen on a busy festival campsite. Why not grab yourself a smaller tent that is perfect for the occasion instead?
If you are camping in a tent rather than taking a caravan or booking into a nearby static caravan park, then you will need to make sure you have your tent, sleeping bag and sleeping mats. It is worth packing a pillow too. Your sleep will be essential to ensure you have enough energy to make the most of the festival when it is open.
Obviously, you need to take your tent and all the tent pegs, guy ropes and paraphernalia that comes with it. On top of this, it is worth taking the measurements of your tent and a tape measure. Tent fields will likely be full, and you don't want to start putting up your tent only to find it won't squeeze into the spot you have picked! Make sure you measure out your plot well before starting to build your tent to avoid this.
You will also want to take a method of cooking and eating with you. A camping stove is perfect but always check the rules and regulations where you are staying before packing. Campsites will differ on what is and isn't allowed when it comes to cooking, BBQs and campfires.
While packing these items, don't forget a washing up bowl, a method for carrying water and plates to eat from! These are easily overlooked items but are really important.
A top tip when festival camping is to take a small pop-up tent to put up alongside your main tent. This provides somewhere handy to put your smelly, wet and muddy clothes so that your living and sleeping areas are kept clean and dry.
Once you have your tent, sleeping and cooking equipment, it's time to start thinking about the things you will personally need. These are your clothes, cleaning and hygiene equipment and anything else you might need like chargers and spare items. You can get some great phone chargers that are solar-powered, so you don't need to be without your phone at the festival.
Where to pitch your tent
When you get to the campsite, it's time to consider where to pitch your tent. Some campsites and festivals will have this picked out for you and should direct you to your spot. If not, then you will need to find a suitable location yourself. Look out for an area that is grassy and flat.
If you are camping at the festival then picking a great place for the tent is really important. Festivals can be loud and smelly, especially late at night or in the early morning. The first thing to consider is where. It might be tempting to camp close to the festival entrance or by the toilets for convenience, but these are not the best places. These areas have very high traffic levels and might not be quite as pleasant or convenient once hundreds of people are milling around and using the facilities. You might be better pitching your tent a little further away but in a much quieter spot. It's worth walking a little further to the festival or facilities to ensure you get a good nights sleep.
You could choose to avoid the festival campsite altogether and book yourself into a nearby campsite instead. These should have better access to facilities and won't be as overcrowded as the festival camping fields. They can still get busy, so make sure you book in advance. This could also save you on ticket prices for the festival as you can book your self day tickets rather than tent and access tickets.
Food and cooking
When it comes to food and cooking at a festival, the first thing you need to do is check the rules. Whilst many campsites do allow BBQs and camp stoves, not all will, especially during festival time. This is because of just how busy and full the fields can get. This should be easier if you choose to stay at a nearby campsite rather than at the festival.
If in doubt, take lots of snacks and foods that need minimal to no cooking. You could also eat at the festival. There will be lots of food options for you to choose from. The problem with this is that it can get a little pricey, so make sure you allow for this in your spending money.
Enjoy and stay warm
If you get unlucky with the weather, staying warm and dry can prove to be a challenge. This is all part of the fun of festival life, and you can minimise the issue by taking plenty of clean, dry clothes to change into. You may also want to pack extra blankets so you can wrap up warm in the evenings too.
Hygiene is another issue to take care of. Washing facilities can be difficult because of the number of people using them, so we recommend you take lots of cleaning and personal hygiene wipes to keep yourself clean easily. Popping some hand gel into your pocket is also a must so you can wash your hands whenever you need.
The last thing to remember is to enjoy yourself. You only live once, after all, and a little dirt and wet weather is all part of the fun! A festival is a special time to enjoy and remember.
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