We all look forward to summer because of one thing – the sun! We want to spend days at the beach, take a vacation to the Bahamas, and travel to different parts of the world if we are lucky. But there is one thing that can never let us down – music festivals.
Summer is blessed with festivals. Thousands of people flock into various festival grounds, set up camping tents, ready to let loose for days or a weekend of good music, dancing, and laughs.
But there is no unpleasant feeling than coming all this way and realizing that you forgot some of the most important camping items at home. That’s why we have complied a well-thought-out festival camping checklist to make sure that this never happens to you and enable you to have a stress-free getaway. But just before that, let’s check out some helpful festival camping hacks.
Tips For Effective Festival Camping
Just like any major trip, music festival camping needs proper preparation. This includes obtaining the right camping gear and enough information about the area in which you will be camping.
1. Book Your Tickets Early Enough
Most festivals will sell out several months before the main day. A music concert being one of these is no different so it would be wise to get the tickets as soon as their sale is announced. That way, you won’t risk missing out and might even save some bucks since sometimes early tickets go for less.
2. Gather Information
Research about the camping, parking, and any other information you feel relevant to your trip. In most cases, these details will be posted on the festival website, so make sure to visit it.
Find out where you will be parking your car. Is it at your camping site or a separate lot?
This will help you determine what luggage to bring with you. Of course, if you will be parking your car far from the campsite you will need a wheeled cart, rolling cooler, and large backpack. Otherwise, how are you going to carry your camp chairs and tables, loaded lunch coolers, and the rest of your camping gear to the tent?
3. Tell The Guy Next Door
Even though there will be other people attending the festival, it is important to inform someone about your trip and when they should expect you back. If they are willing to join you and you don’t mind, let them. This is for your safety. Things can go awry out there and it’s always nice to have a buddy keep an eye on you.
Festival Camping Essentials
Whether you are a party princess, spirit guru, metalhead, happy hippie, or wild child, this music festival packing list will keep your camping game on point.
This one is very important. Some people prefer privacy so they will get a 1 or 2 person tent. Others want to have enough room for their things so they will bring a giant 8 or 10 person tent. Whatever you prefer, make sure it is weather friendly.
Invest in a waterproof tent if possible. Weather can be very unpredictable – one minute you are basking in the sun and soaking wet in the next. So, do yourself a favor and get a tent that doesn’t let water in or waterproof your old one. Learn more on how to waterproof your tent.
Make sure you got everything you need to set up the tent. Also, it would be nice to practice how the setup is done beforehand so that it can be a cakewalk once you get there. You really don’t want to look stupid in front of everyone when the thing just stands there staring at you like a sad jellyfish.
2. Sleeping Bag
Anyone who has spent a night in a tent during cold weather must have firsthand information in understanding how important a sleeping bag is. In fact, this is the second most important item in any festival camping checklist. Leave this behind and your back won’t thank you later.
However, how well you sleep during the entire trip will highly depend on the type of sleeping bag you bring with you. Therefore, get one that is of high quality.
Think about your destination. How cold or hot is it? Different sleeping bags are designed with different temperature ratings. What you use for winter cannot be used during summer and vice versa, so make sure the one you choose is right for the weather.
Consider the size too. There are kid’s sleeping bags and adult sleeping bags. Unless you are bringing your kids along (which we highly doubt) just stick to the one that meets your body size.
The weight matters too. You really don’t want to bring something too heavy especially when the parking lot is far from the camp spot because transporting it to the tent could be a problem.
The joy of festival camping is that you need very little gear to survive outdoors. However, it is always nice to make your little space as homely, convenient, and comfortable as possible.
A table is one of those things that will make your tent feel like home. Picture having a place to prep some food, eat from, or just put your stuff on. Quite cozy, right?
If it is your first time camping or the festival is only going to take a few days, it could be best to rent or borrow one and later invest in something you really like. Speaking of, get a foldable table. This will help you carry it around without occupying so much space in your car. You don’t need anything big either. One that can seat two people could get the job done.
When deciding on the best camping table to buy, look for one that is easy to clean up. Its feet should also be able to stand firm even on uneven grounds.
A camping chair is an important item in a festival camping checklist. You will be spending most of the hours pacing around the festival. What you need when you get back to your tent is a place to relax as you watch the sunset. Sure, you can do this sitting on the ground but what if it is damp? Plus who wants to develop bum-aches?
That’s why you need a camping chair. This often forgotten or rather ignored piece of equipment could literally save your day.
When looking for a chair to bring on this trip, consider a portable one. One that folds and unfolds quickly and light to move around could be a great place to get started. You will also be a lot happier if your chair is comfortable, has a storage space and a place to mount your drink.
Think about what you will be eating during your sleepovers with Mother Nature. Since you won’t be cooking any food, you will be required to bring some with you. The best way to do this and store the food fresh is by purchasing a cooler.
You can bring a small or big cooler but this will depend on the number of people who will be joining you. If you have a huge crew you will definitely be bringing plenty of food and drinks and you may want to get two coolers for these.
You can get a soft cooler and stash all your drinks and a regular one for food. This will keep everything organized properly.
Do you see this small soft-sided cooler that slings over the shoulder? This one too could come in handy if you will be bringing a few snacks and drinks from the campsite to the concert. Just make sure to find out what is allowed in the festival ground and what is not ahead of time. Some concerts restrict bringing large food items, cans, and bottles to the show.
6. Portable Speaker
Whether you will be spending the night in the tent solo or with a group of buddies playing your favorite music will get the night started with good vibes. Besides, isn’t music the reason why you are going on the trip in the first place? So, there will be nothing wrong with listening to some after the concert.
There are plenty of portable speakers made for camping. Your best bet is to get something waterproof. This can be used in any weather and won’t get damaged even in a saturated or rainy environment.
Modern portable speakers come with Bluetooth connectivity so all you need to do is turn on the music on your phone and return it to somewhere safe and your speaker will do the rest. Don’t risk your expensive phone. Better breaking a few buck’s gadgets than an expensive iPhone, right?
7. Solar Charger
Whether the festival takes a day, a weekend, or the entire week, you will need to check up on your friends in your phone book once in a while. But you can’t do this if your phone is dead. Your portable speaker might need charging too if you still need to keep the music going. Thus bringing a portable charger is imperative.
We advise campers to invest in a solar-powered one, as this one will keep your phone going as long as the weather is sunny. Additionally, it will save you money, as you won’t have to go looking for paid powered sites to charge your phone.
When shopping for a solar charger, make sure to get one that can produce enough power to support your device. Also, check to see that it doesn’t take too much time to get the gadget fully charged. You really don’t want something that takes the whole day to do a 4-hour job, do you? So get your selection right from the word go. Take a look at our collection of solar chargers and see what best suits your needs.
There are many things we can control in life. Unfortunately, light or darkness is not one of these. Good news? Over time, we have learned how to cope with each other.
When packing for your festival camping, you should put these two into consideration. Sure, no one wants a good concert to end and no one wants darkness to set in. But who are we to argue with Mother Nature? So to be in her good books, just pack up a camping lantern.
The dark will be much easier to navigate. A lantern will light your way so you don’t fumble through packs or trip over chairs.
There are gas and electric lanterns designed for camping. Get the one that suits your preference. Gas lanterns are heavier than electric ones but you won’t have to worry about them running out of power. Electric lamps on the other hand are much lighter and cheaper but you will need to keep them charged.
If you are going for an electric lantern, we recommend one that uses batteries. That way, you can just swap out once it is depleted.
9. Pop Up Canopy Tent
If you want to protect yourself from outdoor pests and elements, you may need to bring this baby with you. A pop-up canopy tent is an important item in any festival camping checklist. Though often ignored, it allows air to circulate through your tent and gives protection from rain, wind, and bugs. It could also be a shady place to go when the sun gets too hot.
Canopy tents come in different sizes and shapes and would be the perfect complement for your camping. There is a time when you need shelter but don’t want to spend the night in a stuffy tent so this one could be just what you need for the night.
If you want extra space to hang out with your buddies after the concert, a space to eat, or just relax with a glass of wine, then brings a pop-up canopy tent. Thank us later!
10. First Aid Kit
Not just a first aid kit, but a well-stocked one!
Picture this. You have arrived at your campsite, removed everything from the car, and started setting up your tent. An angry bee just flies from nowhere and buzzes toward your face and an attempt to hit it with your palm leaves you with a sting. This might not feel so good but can be remedied easily with some medication.
It is during the thrilling moment of setting up the camp and moving the gear to the right places that we are somewhat prone to such mishaps and many others like cuts and scrapes. A camping first aid kit will come in handy at these moments.
Accidents are inevitable but can be managed with a well-thought-out first aid kit. You can get it from a local pharmacy or build one for yourself from scratch. But whichever route you choose to take, make sure that your kit has all the items you need for a festival camping adventure.
The first aid with Band-Aids, a pair of scissors, a flashlight, and some tweezers are crucial for any camping trip but so is a packet of pain relievers.
When you dress a wound or if you have done your own surgery, in most cases, the pain won’t just go away immediately. Having some painkillers will go a long way in reducing the pain and the quicker you will go back to the concert.
If you are on medication make sure to have your prescription refilled beforehand. Remember the campground may not have access to a doctor so carry extra medicine, just in case.
12. Paper Towels
You didn’t think you would miss paper towels on our music festival packing list, did you? Of course, this little piece of gear was going to show up here and every other time we talk about prepping your camping trip.
Messes happen all the time and the best way to keep your campsite looking great would be to pack a pack or two or paper towels. Even when you spill some juice on your favorite jacket, you know that you got something to wipe it up.
13. Trash Bags
Most people who have not tried camping before imagine it to be a poo-in-the woods, sweat covered, pest-ridden experience. And tell you what? Part of that is true. Campers do their business in the woods all the time. There is too much sweat involved and pests are part of the game.
Music festival camping can get gross too. It is therefore important to figure out a way to manage any trash from your packaging and the human waste you will produce even before you leave for the trip. And this is where trash bags come in.
As you start using the items you brought with you, garbage begins accumulating. But don’t be tempted to get rid of this trash by littering. Just put it in trash bags and dispose of it later when you get back home. This will keep your camping spot free of dirt and the entire environment clean for you and others.
14. Camp Shower
If the concert will only be a day or two, you may not consider keeping clean a top priority, but if you will be gone for weeks and there are no shower blocks at the campground, you seriously need to think about getting a camp shower.
It is the nature of Mother Nature to get a layer of grime on campers’ bodies and some smut around the collar areas and under the nails. But it really doesn’t have to be like this. With a portable camping shower, you will stay fresh right from a day of the mind-blowing concert to a night under the moon and stars.
Cleanliness is second to Godliness, they say. You can decide to go the old-fashioned way and poke holes in a plastic bag full of tap water or get yourself a real camp shower. The latter is more fun as it is designed for the job. But either way, you will reduce your filth and get closer to God.
15. Items For Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is quite difficult to manage especially when festival camping due to the huge crowd of people involved. You won’t have access to all the modern conveniences you have at your home and therefore keeping up with grime, dirt, and bacteria would be a challenge.
Having hygiene items with you will determine whether you will go back home sick or in one piece. Yes, the campground may have running water but this alone is not an assurance that you will not stink out your fellow campers. To prepare for personal hygiene, make sure to pack the following items:
- Hand sanitizer
- Toothpaste and Toothbrush
- Camping towel
- Biodegradable soap
- Toilet paper
- Body wipes
- Backpacking trowel
- Hair shampoo
- Clothing line
16. Ground/Camping Blanket
If you are serious about festival camping, then you must know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep. You will bring your sleeping bag but packing up a ground or camping blanket too is essential. Sometimes, the temperatures at night could be bone-chilling, and having this piece of camping gear will ensure that you stay warm throughout the night.
A ground blanket can be used anywhere. Its name betrays it – you can watch the entire concert seated on one, have your meals back in the tent while splaying your legs on it, or even lie on it while listening to music from your speakers. And when you are not camping, you can take it with you to the beach for sunbathing.
17. Lock For The Tent
You want to come back home with plenty of stories but also you want to bring back everything you took with you unharmed. Music festivals attract all kinds of people, from evildoers to saints.
You don’t want to risk any of your valuables being stolen or damaged so make sure to pack up a lock for your tent. Thieves want to get in and out of a tent fast and without being noticed. Trust us, no one will just rip your tent open if there is a padlock on it. However, if you will be bringing things like bank cards, it would be much safer to keep them with you instead of locking them up in the tent.
18. Rain Jacket
Rain falls whenever it feels like but it should not be a reason for you to abort the show and go back to the tent. That’s why you will need to stash a rain jacket on this trip.
A rain jacket is designed to prevent drops of rain from getting you wet. If the day looks cloudy in the morning, there are high chances that there will be a downpour later so it would be nice to carry a rain jacket to the festival ground. That way, even if it rains, you will remain dry underneath.
Rain jackets come in various designs, colors, and sizes. When purchasing one for the trip, make sure to invest in something waterproof and lightweight. It should also be compact enough not to take too much space in your backpack. If possible, get one that has a drawstring hood to shield your head from the rain and wind.
Sunburns, wrinkles, and premature aging…ouch! These are UV rays effects that you don’t want to experience. Wearing sunscreen will protect your skin from the harmful UV rays from the sun and keep you safe.
Most music concerts are held on open grounds, which means your skin will be exposed to the sun for the better part of the day. So attending one without wearing a sunblock will put you at a higher risk of developing UV rays-related conditions.
You also need to keep your skin moisturized. A great place to get started would be packing up tanning oil. This keeps your skin hydrated and prevents it from cracking.
20. Multi-Tool Knife
Last in our festival camping checklist is a multi-tool knife. The traditional camping knife will only help you in cutting but a multi-tool combines the functions of many tools. It could be a set of a knife, spoon, and a bottle opener attached.
Bringing this type of knife instead of separate tools is much better because, first it saves you space, and second, you don’t risk losing the items attached to it.
Globo Surf Overview
Music festivals are a great way to jam with your buddies and maybe getting to explore various parts of the world. However, if you are planning to camp, you need to make early preparations so that everything runs smoothly in the end.
Start by acquiring early bird tickets. Get all the information about the campsite beforehand as this will help you determine what to pack and what to leave behind. And most importantly acquire the right camping gear.
The above festival camping checklist has all you need to get ready for the next concert. Keep this information handy and you will have a fun-filled camping experience.
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- How To Heat A Tent
- Festival Camping Checklist, easycampinglists.com
- The Ultimate Festival Checklist: Everything You Need To Pack, capetownmagazine.com