10 Tips For Camping At Your Favorite Music Festival

One of the best things about a music festival with camping is that it offers a fully immersive environment. You become friends with your neighbors, you find hidden gems in every nook and cranny, and there is always something to do. Each festival having its own little unique quirks that create a community unlike any other.

That being said, having a full weekend of camping and music might seem ambitious to some, but don’t let that deter you. It is equally as rewarding as it is exhausting. If you have to instantly jump back into your real life routine on Monday morning, you’re going to want to make sure that you take care of yourself all weekend. With festival season gearing up, our team thought it would be useful to share some tips I’ve learned over the years for anyone who is thinking of going to their first camping festival or prepping for their 10th.

1. Water, water, water.

Yes, I realize I probably sound like a badgering mother, but I have seen too many people suffer the consequences of heat exhaustion and dehydration. With most festivals being in the spring and summer, more often than not it’s going to be HOT.  Sometimes, you don’t realize how quickly the sun and hours of grooving will dehydrate you. Always carry a water bottle with you and know where the refill stations are! Side note: If you’re a fan of pickles, bring a jar! They work wonders for rehydration and alleviating cramps.

2. Find (or make!) a landmark to help you remember where your camp is.

You might think that you’ll recognize your site, but in a sea of tents, getting lost is almost too easy. As more people fill up the area throughout the weekend and the sun sets, one accidental wrong turn can put you in an area you’ve never seen before. A tall totem or lit up structure will do the trick and stop you from going in circles looking for “the blue EZ up” (trust me, everyone has one).

3. Earplugs save lives.

You know that tingly feeling when you can physically feel the bass shaking you? When that happens, you’re going to want to make sure you save your pretty little eardrums. If you are someone who sees live music often, you especially will want to make sure you don’t completely destroy your hearing. They also come in very handy if you’re trying to sleep and your neighbors have other plans.

4. Sharing is caring.

Bring enough to sustain yourself, and then bring a little more. Some of the best moments at festivals are at camp, swapping stories over a meal, or providing a stranger with a sip of your water on the dancefloor. Whether it’s making a hearty breakfast or grilling for dinner, good food and drink is a commodity everyone can appreciate.  Be the person that offers your extras to others and I promise good karma will come your way.

5. Have an adventure backpack.

Sometimes, at a moment’s notice, you’ll leave camp to check out a new artist and will end up staying out hours longer than you expected.  A good adventure backpack will carry all the necessities (a water bottle, chapstick, sunscreen, earplugs, sunglasses, snack, flashlight, etc. are a solid bet. Band Aids and Advil are also a good addition for the extra prepared momma/poppa bear).

6. Being shady & lit.

By this, of course, I mean having some structure in place that lets you escape the heat. Shade is one of those things that you can truly never have enough of, and having a cool communal hang out area is one of the most underrated pleasures – it’s a prime example of “if you build it, they will come.” As it becomes night time you’re going to want to make sure this area and your tent is lit. You don’t want anyone’s weekend being ruined by stubbing their toe on a stake or tripping over wires (it’s not fun). Solar or battery operated lights and lanterns are relatively cheap and will come in handy every time.

7. Love thy neighbor.

As I’m sounding like another lesson from your mother, make sure you treat everyone with respect. Be social, invite neighbors out with you, jump in and lend a helping hand. One year a couple of my neighbors were struggling to get their tent up, so I ran over to help them. We instantly bonded over a DJ we liked and I gained lifelong friends out of it – we even coordinate camping next to each other every year now.

8. Take breaks and listen to your body.

While I fully understand wanting to make the most of every minute, you have to take care of yourself. If you’re feeling tired, rest for a little while. I understand how big of a factor FOMO is, but your health is your number one priority. Stretch, meditate, do yoga, whatever it is you need to do to give yourself a fighting chance. You can’t sprint a marathon, trust me.

9. Leave your campground better than you found it.

Think of how much fun you just had because of the hard work that hundreds of people put into curating this experience for you and your friends to enjoy! Make their lives a little bit easier and clean up after yourself. Be the person that brings extra trash bags and do your part. Pro tip: if you make an effort to clean up throughout the weekend, it makes an enormous difference at the end.

10.  Try new things.

Whether it’s seeing a new artist, trying new food from one of the delicious vendors, or going to a workshop, get out there and challenge yourself! Festivals are a chance for you to break out of your comfort zone and explore your creative side in a fun and healthy way. Pick up that flow toy! Jump in on that game of Twister! Say yes to new adventures! Above all, just enjoy and appreciate the experience.