We love a good festival here in the UK, with more festivals popping up every year there really is something for everyone. With camping being such a big part of the festival experience you really need to get it right. If you nail it you can have a cracking time however if you make some rookie mistakes then you could end up having a bit of a bad one. Festivals are a great place to really leave the rigours of everyday life behind so don’t do it wrong – take a look at our guide which answers the question ‘How can I make my camping at a festival comfortable?’
So how can I make my camping at a festival comfortable?
When it comes to camping at a festival there are a number of things that really make all the difference to your experience. These include the right camping equipment, location of the tent, clothing and a mix of other things that we will cover below.
Preparing to Camp
Being prepared is probably the best way to make sure your weekend of festival camping goes off without a hitch. Comfort is not just about how cosy your tent is but how you handle the whole festival experience from where to camp to what to take. There are a few things you can do before arriving onsite that will help you relax a bit more ahead of the festival weekend.
-Know where you’re camping
Most festivals offer online maps of the site or you can download an app. Checkout the layout and assess where you would like to camp. Check where the toilets are, stages and other useful areas and then make a decision. Find two areas you like the look of in case the first area doesn’t work out.
-Be familiar with your equipment
Get your tent out and pitch it before hand. As well as airing an old tent out this also means you’ll find any issues or missing parts. Putting a tent up for the first time at a festival is no fun if all you want to do is get settled.
-Camp with friends
Having your friends around means not only do you have great people to chill out with, but you also have a group of people who will help keep an eye on each others stuff. What could be more comfortable than having your friends around?
-Be prepared for rain or shine
With UK weather pretty unpredictable (well we know it’s going to rain at some point, right?) its better to be prepared for both situations. Pack appropriately and you’ll be comforatble come rain or shine.
-Make it comfortable
If your sleeping area is comfy then you should rise each day feeling refreshed and ready to attack the new day.
-And chill out, it’s meant to be fun, don’t stress out
Look, not everything will go to plan, that’s not just festival life that’s life itself. So don’t worry if it doesn’t all go to plan, you’ve done your best now just enjoy the festival – it’s what you’re there for.
When it comes to any camping trip there are a few essentials that you’ll need as well as some items that create those creature comforts we can’t live without, here we’ll cover these for you.
If you can manage without one of these then great. But if you have lots of stuff one of these could be a great help and really make your first walk through the festival site a lot more comfortable. Plan for mud and you’ll not go wrong, this means big wheels not little thin ones.
This goes without saying unless you planned to camp under the stars (not recommended at most festival). Pick a tent that is going to serve you well. Yes you could cheap out but cheap tents last one sitting and so you end up throwing them away which is no good for sustainability. A four man tent is perfect for two people and the cost isn’t that much more than a two man tent. Of course personal preference is key. Remember your tent needs pegs for keeping it attached to the ground, don’t be forgetting these.
-Inflatable mattress or roll mat
The inflatable mattress has become the new campsite favourite. You can pick up fairly lightweight version cheaply and compared to sleeping on a ground mat they are pretty good and really add a nice element of comfort to your tent. Roll mats of course will always have their place and so if you like to just roll out your mat without all the hassle of blowing up a mattress then this option is for you.
Rolling up an old pair of trousers is never going to be the same as having an actual pillow. Don’t forget your’s or you’ll have a dodgy neck throughout the festival.
When it comes to keeping warm, cosy and comfortable at a festival the sleeping bag is right at the top of the list of items to have. Make sure you keep it nice and dry as you transport it to the site. Place in a plastic bag to help keep it dry.
-Tent foot print
This relatively cheap pieces of kit help protect the bottom of your tent. They add an extra layer between you and the ground and so anything that does that is a recommendation in my opinion as it will make things a little more comfortable.
-Camping stove etc
When you think of being comfortable food is near the top of the list. If you plan to cook your own food then bringing along a camping stove, kettle, cutlery and pots is a grand idea. Just remember that its a lot to carry around when you’re trying to find your campsite. Its worth saying that festival food is so much better nowadays and so you should be able to find some great grub throughout the site.
Rechargeable LED works best with a USB charger. Nothing worse then trying to find things in a dark tent.
Location is key When Pitching your Tent at a Festival
If you want to have a comfortable camping experience then you need to find the best location. When it comes to pitching your tent don’t just throw it down in the first place you come to. Finding the right location for your tent could be the difference between a good nights sleep and a bad.
Wherever possible find some nice flat ground to pitch your tent. Lumpy bumpy ground is not well suited to a good night sleep although your ground mat will help with that.
-Don’t pitch at bottom of a hill
Pitching on a hill is fine but the top is better. If it rains and you are at the bottom all that water has the run somewhere and I’m still yet to hear of if it running up hill.
-Position your door down hill
If (or when) it rains you don’t want the water running down the hill in through your door. Position the door down hill so it if rains then the water should pass around your tent and not through it.
-Keep away from the toilets
You might think its a stella idea to camp near the toilets but you’d be wrong. Its doesn’t take much for them to start smelling and in some cases overflowing. Also the foot traffic is crazy around the toilets. You’ll want to camp so you don’t have far to go when you need the toilet but you’ll also not want to be able to smell the place. These areas are also well light all night so if you’re too close you’ll not have a dark tent to go to sleep in.
-Be in easy reach of a water supply
Some festivals have extra water taps that are not situated new the toilets. Theses are great for topping up you water supply, don’t pitch your tent right next to one as it will see a lot of traffic (and gets quite wet on the ground) but if you’re able to see it from your tent then you’ll not have far to go if you need a drink.
-Keep away from paths and thoroughfares
The closer you are to a path the more likely your tent is going to get trampled on by drunk people. Festivals become busy places and although being close to the path means easy access to your tent. It also means you’ll probably not sleep and may end up with a ruined tent. By camping off the beaten track your tent should last and you’ll have a better sleep.
-Don’t camp too near the stages
With some festivals you’re given the opportunity to camp quite close to the stages. This might seem like a great idea but it can be a pain in the hiney with music blaring away all the time, especially if its a band you don’t care for. Camping a little further away can give you a little more peace and quiet.
-Talk to the people you are camping near
Don’t be afraid to make friends with people you are camping near, it’s a festival and making new friends is great. If they were there first say hello and see if they are the kind of people you want to be camped next to. Making friends with the people around your tent is a great way to not only make friends but you’ll also gain people who will look out for your tent if you’re not around, its the unwritten rule of the festival to look after each other.
Timing – When to Pitch your Tent
When it comes to getting your tent set up in the perfect location you’ll need to make sure you arrive on site in plenty of time, good sites go fast and so being the first into the site does have its advantages.
-Arrive the day the festival opens
If you’re going to camp then get there for opening, this means you have plenty of opportunity to find a nice location that suits your needs.
-Don’t try and pitch your tent at night
We made this mistake once and ended up camping in someone circle of tents, right slap band in the middle I may add. But it was dark and we just saw open space. Better to get there in daylight so you can scope out the area first and make sure you have good space around you.
-Take your time
Once you have found your location there is no need to rush. Chill out, have a beer and then get cracking. You’re there to have a good time and unless its pissing it down you don’t need to hustle.
Sleepy Time Comforts
You spent the day running around the festival site and now you need to get some shut eye so you can start it all again tomorrow. You’ve already set up your tent and made it nice and comfortable so now its time to use the thing.
-Quick tent tidy up
Before you get to sleep just make sure your dirty clothes are in a bag and out the way so you’re not sleeping on wet socks or trousers.
It can get a little loud with all the other people in close proximity to you. Ear plugs are great at cutting down the noise and helping give you a better night sleep. Try them a few nights before to see how you get on with them as not everyone likes using them.
No you’re not Batman but you are ruddy sleepy and as the morning comes you’re going to be woken up by that damn bright ball of light that rises at around 4-5am. With a nice stylish eye mask you’ll not only look great while sleeping but you’ll also be able to block out that nasty light.
I doubt you’ll want to sleep in the buff at a festival unless it’s absolutely sweltering so we would suggest you pack something comfortable to sleep in that will help you keep cosy.
When it comes to camping at any festival you want to make sure you have a good time, camping can be a relaxing get away as long as you are prepared to get down and dirty for a few days. Don’t let anything stress you out and you’ll find that you can have a pretty comfortable time while enjoying your favourite bands.
If you want a full lowdown on what you should take to a festival then checkout out article ‘What should I bring to a festival?‘ where we cover everything you’ll need for the whole weekend.