It’s that time of year again, time to pull your musty tent from the back of the shed, dust off those wellies and brace yourself for Portaloos and cold beans from a can; it’s festival time!
As festivals have grown both in number and popularity, the options for where to rest weary cider-filled heads and bodies tired from dancing, crowd surfing and loud music, are quite literally endless. For those looking for the non-pricey, less luxurious option the humble tent will suffice.
Many outdoor specialist shops, high street chains and websites offer cheap tents in a variety of shapes, sizes and patterns. As festival season approaches many shops that are not usually associated with camping equipment will have accessories and tents for sale. Shop around before you decide and remember spacious is better than the child sized ladybird ‘cute’ tent.
If you don’t fancy joining the masses and queuing for the loo each night in your PJs why not raise your budget a little and hire a tepee or company tent? This is serious glamping (glamorous camping) with tents featuring a variety of home comforts; most will come with real beds and electricity, and some will even have their own shower and porcelain throne! Hurrah! For those lords and ladies of the festival one can even hire a butler or chef adding that bit of luxury to the surrounding cow pats and stray bits of clothing.
Prefer sturdy walls surrounding you as you sleep in your field? Then go for the daddy of them all, and the bane of all bank holiday weekend drivers: the caravan. This miniature abode is perfect for those who do not want to share bathrooms and toilets with strangers and would rather gaze at the stars through real windows.
For those who wish to join the masses and experience the “real festival effect”, grab the tent and begin pitching! Remember these handy tips when festival camping to ensure you get the most out of your experience.
Check your tent bag before leaving
There is nothing worse than driving for miles, queuing, dragging your bags through the mud and finding a space only to discover you’re missing your main pole. Check before you go and remember to bring extra pegs; your neighbours may not be keen on sharing and festival camping stalls (if there are any) are usually very expensive.
Pack the essentials
We have all been camping and realised at the vital moment (when in the communal showers with no towel or caught short in the toilet without any paper) that we forgot that essential item. Typical things to remember (especially when festival camping) are: toilet roll, dry shampoo, face wipes, bottles of water, aspirin and snacks. The list can be altered to fit you, but all should take note of item number one.
Get there early and choose your spot wisely
Festival campers should always aim to get to the site early. The good plots will inevitably go first, with those that are swamp ridden and closest to the loos/path/rubbish bins left until last. Nobody wants to sleep next to old beer cans and half eaten food containers. Look around before pitching your tent; what is near and what are your neighbours like?
Four days Is a long time in festival land, especially if you festival weekend is plagued with rain. So consider choosing higher ground, but be careful not to pitch up on too much of a slope as this will be highly uncomfortable and impractical.
Choose your style and plan for each occasion rain or sunshine. Camping no longer means soggy sleeping bags and mosquito bites so grab your tent and your equipment and descend on the fields.