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Festival Camping 101: How to Stay Safe, Dry & Warm

camping 101

There’s nothing like a festival. Your time is going to be filled with music, good times, and unforgettable moments. However, camping at a festival requires some preparation to ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable stay. 

In this guide, we will explore essential tips and strategies to help you stay safe, dry, and warm during your festival camping adventure in the UK.

Festival Camping Essentials

Before you set off for your fun-filled music event, you want to make sure you’ve planned out exactly what you need to take with you. You don’t want to be in the middle of setting up and realise that you’ve left something at home!

Here are the most important bits of camping gear you’ll need at a festival:

Make sure you have all your festival camping essentials with our handy festival camping guide! Read on for expert tips and tricks from wood to water.
Festival Camping 101: How to Stay Safe, Dry & Warm

(1) Camping Tent

Select a reliable and sturdy tent that is suitable for the number of people in your group.

Look for a waterproof tent with a built-in groundsheet that’s going to keep you dry if it rains. Consider the tent’s size, ventilation, and ease of setup.

(2) Sleeping Bags

Invest in high-quality sleeping bags that provide adequate insulation for the expected weather conditions. Choose bags with a temperature rating suitable for the lowest temperatures you anticipate. 

(3) Sleeping Mats or Air Mattresses

Use sleeping mats or air mattresses to provide insulation and cushioning beneath your sleeping bags. These will help prevent cold seeping in from the ground.

(4) Camping Chairs and Tables

You might want a dedicated space for relaxing, eating, and socialising during your stay. Look for lightweight and foldable options for easy transport.

Portable camping chairs
Festival Camping 101: How to Stay Safe, Dry & Warm

Check the Festival’s Rules on Pitching & Camping

Before heading to the festival, familiarise yourself with the event’s rules and regulations regarding camping. 

Some festivals have specific guidelines on tent sizes, prohibited items, noise restrictions, and campfire regulations. Adhering to these rules will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable camping experience for yourself and fellow festivalgoers.

Setting Up Your Festival Campsite Space

Once you’ve checked, double-checked and checked again that you have all the things you need to pitch up, you can make your way to the festival pitching site!

Once you’re there, you’ll then be tasked with choosing where to pitch your tent.

Where to Set Your Festival Tent Up

Choose a suitable location for your campsite. Look for a flat and elevated area to avoid pooling water during rain. Avoid setting up near pathways or high-traffic areas to minimise disturbances. 

Of course, you’ll probably have pre-booked a designated section or area of the festival site to camp in, so you’ll have to do your best with the space you have.

Tent Orientation

Position your tent in a way that maximises natural ventilation. Consider the direction of prevailing winds to avoid gusts entering your tent. If possible, position the entrance away from the prevailing wind direction.

Stake tent
Festival Camping 101: How to Stay Safe, Dry & Warm

Tent Stakes

Securely anchor your tent using sturdy stakes or pegs. This will help keep it stable during strong winds. Carry spare stakes in case some get lost or damaged.

Tarps or Canopies

Set up additional tarps or canopies above your tent to provide extra protection from rain and sunlight. This will help reduce the risk of your tent getting too hot during the day or leaking during rainfall.

Weather Preparedness

Part of the fun in going to a festival is dealing with the unexpected. Prepare for adverse weather conditions – such as wind, rain and extreme heat – and do what you can!

Checking the Forecast

Keep checking before and during the festival. Be prepared for changes in weather conditions and pack accordingly. Anyone who’s attended a UK festival will tell you it’s sensible to expect a mix of sunshine, rain, and cool temperatures.

Rain Protection

Pack waterproof clothing, including a rain jacket or poncho and waterproof trousers. You should also bring waterproof covers or dry bags for your belongings.

Sun Protection

Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. You’re going to be spending a lot of time outside, and sun protection is essential.

Layered Clothing

Pack a variety of clothing options to accommodate fluctuating temperatures. Layering is key, allowing you to adjust your attire based on the weather. Include items such as long-sleeved shirts, hoodies, lightweight jackets, and thermal wear.

Camping clothing waterproof jacket
Festival Camping 101: How to Stay Safe, Dry & Warm

Festival Campsite Safety and Security

It might not be something you think about amongst all the buzz and excitement of setting up your festival tent, but considering the safety of your campsite is important.

Tent Lighting

Bring portable and battery-powered lanterns, headlamps, or torches to provide adequate lighting around your campsite. 

Lock Valuables Away (Especially When Leaving Your Tent Unattended)

Keep your valuables secure by locking them in your vehicle or using lockable storage containers. You shouldn’t leave valuables in your tent unattended either.

Fire Safety

Familiarise yourself with the festival’s campfire regulations. If campfires are allowed, follow proper safety protocols. It’s best if you can keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby. 

The main thing is to watch the fire and make sure it is never left alone. You should always make sure it’s completely out before leaving the campsite or going to sleep.

Pack a First Aid Kit

Pack a well-stocked first aid kit. That means bandages, antiseptic, pain relief, insect repellent, and any prescription medications. You’re going to want to have something for any common ailments and injuries that may occur during your stay.

Festival Hygiene and Sanitation

Anyone who’s ever been to a festival knows all too well that hygiene is not always the best. If you’re camping, make sure to bring a few supplies to help keep clean and healthy. 

  • Hand Sanitisers and Wipes: This is just good hygiene, but keep hand sanitisers and sanitising wipes with you. These are particularly useful in situations where access to running water and soap is limited.
  • Portable Toilets: You don’t want to be in a situation where you don’t know where the Portaloo is if you need one. Bring your own toilet paper, hand sanitiser, and wet wipes because you never know what condition the loos are going to be in. Dispose of waste properly and follow any guidelines provided.
  • Waste Management: Keep your campsite clean by properly disposing of waste in designated bins. Avoid littering and be mindful of the environment. Consider bringing trash bags and recycling containers to separate and recycle waste appropriately.

Make Sure You Bring Plenty of Food and Water

Keeping yourself well-fed and hydrated is so important for any festival. Plan your meals and bring non-perishable food items that are easy to prepare. 

Consider bringing a portable stove or grill if allowed, along with necessary cookware and utensils. Store your food securely to prevent attracting wildlife or pests.

Ensure you have an ample supply of drinking water. Check if the festival provides water stations for refilling water bottles or if you need to bring your own. Stay hydrated throughout the festival, especially during hot weather or strenuous activities.

Practice proper food handling and storage to avoid foodborne illnesses. Keep perishable food items chilled in coolers with ice packs or by utilising designated refrigeration facilities if available. Wash your hands before preparing or consuming food.

Always Remember to Respect the Environment

It’s something that’s unfortunately forgotten amongst many festival go-ers, bu respect the natural surroundings and ecosystem of the festival site. 

Avoid damaging or removing plants, disturbing wildlife, or littering. Follow any designated pathways and adhere to guidelines regarding protected areas.

Participate in recycling initiatives at the festival by separating recyclable items from general waste. Use designated recycling bins and dispose of waste properly.

Embrace sustainable practices by minimising waste generation. Use reusable water bottles, utensils, and food containers instead of single-use alternatives. Reduce your carbon footprint by carpooling or using public transportation to reach the festival.

Make Sure You Have Everything You Need from Wood To Water!

Going to a festival is a great way to relax and reconnect with your friends, but you still need to make sure you’ve got everything you need. Whether you’re looking for tents and camp stoves to pegs and water bottles, you can find a fantastic selection at Wood To Water!


What Gear Do I Need To Take To A Festival?

Start with a tent and everything that you need to ensure that the tent stays up and you stay warm and dry inside it! That’s pegs, ground mats and so on. You’re going to need to factor in the British weather, so warm clothes and waterproofs are a must. Don’t forget your first aid kit, either.

Can I Stay Green While Camping?

It’s easy to create a lot of waste while camping, so bring as many reusables as you can. Take water containers and Tupperware with you. Look for festival guidelines on rubbish disposal and take as much as you can with you when you leave.

Is It Hygienic To Cook At A Campsite?

It is as long as you take the proper steps. The same rules apply when it comes to things like preparing meat if you’re getting a barbeque going, and you’re going to need to make sure that you’ve got everything you need to clean your utensils and surfaces. A cool bag is essential if you’re taking meat or perishables with you. And don’t forget your hand sanitiser!

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