DO Choose the right tent
It might only be used for the one weekend, but when it comes to buying a tent, cheap is not always cheerful. £15 might seem like a bargain for a 2-man tent from Asda, but waking up in the morning to a pool of water at your feet is when you realise the spending a little bit extra on your temporary home would have been worth it in the end.
Have a look at our article ‘Peppermints top five tents’ on what we think are the best tents on the market.
DO Choose your pitch carefully
When choosing where to pitch your tent, just remember three things. Paths, Toilets and Hills.
It might be convenient to set up camp next to the path that leads to the main arena, but it’s not so convenient when a drunken person falls into your tent at 3am after tripping over your guy ropes.
Toilets, again, it might be convenient to camp near a block of toilets, but half way through the first day and after thousands of people have paid them a visit, the smell will become unbearable.
When it rains, the water runs downhill and collects at the bottom, so try and avoid camping in this area. Even on completely flat ground you run the risk of becoming waterlogged, if you manage to pick that one patch of soft land that become a swamp as soon as it rains.
DON’T bring valuables with you
There is, at no point, going to be a need for you to have brought your iPhone, iPad, SLR camera, £3000 Rolex or £1000 cash; so leave it at home! Festivals are not the securest of places, even if you think you’ve put them in a safe place, they still won’t as safe as they would be locked in your house. Forget about all the flashy gadgets, invest in a £9.99 ‘festival phone’, a couple of disposable cameras and a watch.
DON’T lock your tent
Having a padlock on your tent won’t deter would-be thieves; it screams ‘I HAVE SOMETHING WORTH STEALING’, after all your tent isn’t made from solid bricks and mortar, it’s made from thin nylon.
DO remember to watch what you are drinking
Festivals may seem like the perfect opportunity to drink for 3 days solid, but when mixed with spending the whole day out in the sun, it’s bound to leave you dehydrated. Remembering to keep yourself hydrated may seem like a chore, but maybe the difference between spending the weekend in a festival field or spending the weekend in a hospital bed.
Also bear in mind where or who you get your drink from. Bottles at festivals are famously receptacles for all sorts of unpleasant waste, it may look like a bottle of water but there is no telling what is in it. Remember when your mother used to tell you not to accept anything from strangers while playing in the street, well that applies to festivals too. If it’s not bought from a licensed vendor, don’t drink it
DON’T expect to see everything
If you go to a festival expecting to see everything, then chances are you will miss the best bits while running from stage to stage. Invest in a programme on the first day, and mark out all the acts that are essential viewing and allow yourself time to see the festival site, looking round all the quirky stalls in the market, or just popping into the comedy tent to sit and chill for half an hour.
DO Specify a rendezvous point
The last thing you want is to be separated from your friends in a field full of people, but it happens all the time. Now is not the time to rely on your mobile, as chances are that even if you do manage to get signal to send a text, they won’t have signal to receive it. Specify a meeting place that is easy to find, and a time that you are to meet.
DO Be prepared
This applies for to every eventuality. Be it the weather, or having to wait in hour long queues.
Make sure you pack enough warm clothing; it may be scorching heat during the day, but that usually means low temperatures at night. Likewise, the last thing you want to be stuck in is jeans and a long sleeved top when temperatures are topping the high 20’s, so remember to pack for all kinds of weather.
Queues can go on for what seems like days, so make sure you either come prepared or leave enough time to queue. Queues for the onsite cash point can be in excess of an hour, so to avoid having to queue, bring as much money as you think you’ll need for the weekend. If bringing large amounts of cash make sure you separate it just in case you do get pick pocketed.
Queues for the toilets can be inconvenient at the best of times, but adding the alcohol into the equation and it turns to hell. Avoid the queues and invest in a TravelJohn; just find a discreet corner and you’ve avoided the mile long queue to do your business.
DO Prepare yourself a festival essentials kit
Or check out Pack Kit for a pre-made festival essentials kit. Essentials should include:
- Ear Plugs- Not only to ensure you get a good night’s sleep, but also to protect those sensitive ears of yours when you’re stood in front of massive speakers, jammin’ out to your favourite band.
- Torch- Because we’ve all fallen over guy ropes while trying to navigate our way back to our tents. Also, if you do have to use the toilets at night, it’s always nice to be able to check the state of the toilet you’re about to enter.
- Poncho/Pac a Mac- If you are unfortunate to experience bad weather, you will be eternally grateful to have one of these to hand. Compact and Light, some that available over festival season are actually quite stylish
- Wet Wipes /Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer- Not much to say about these, just make sure pack them. When there are no onsite showers, the trusty ol’ wet wipe will leave you feeling as fresh as a daisy.
- Sun Cream- Even if it appears to be overcast during the morning, chances are that your skin is slowly burning. There is no harm in applying sun cream before you leave your tent in the morning, and if it is sunny then remember to top up during the day. There is no fun in being tent-ridden because you’ve got sun stroke.
DON’T FORGET TO HAVE FUN!