I’ll confess, I don’t enjoy camping. Not because I fear the outdoors or getting my hands a little dirty but because a good nights sleep is so important to me and past camping experiences have left me with a crooked back and cranky hangover.
People approach festivals in two very different ways, which I think myself and a friend of mine sum up pretty well. N would buy the cheapest tent from Tesco and use his rucksack as a pillow, falling into his ‘shelter’ at the end of the night and emerging a little bit broken the next day. Minimalism was the key here, in fact, I’m pretty sure he would have even forgone the tent had we not been experiencing a typically British summer.
I, on the other hand, am the over-preparer. A six-man tent for two, a camping stove, double airbed, proper pillows, camp chairs and enough food to survive an apocalypse. The glamping sections of festivals are extremely pricey but it is possible to get a decent glamping experience if you don’t mind lugging all the kit across a field (or 10).
For those, like me, who like a little more luxury to their festival experience here are my festival essentials for 2018
- Upsize your tent.
Now my six man tent was definitely a little too big for two but did give us a spare compartment for all our bags and a central dry space to hang out in the rain. As a minimum, I’d suggest doubling up and going for a tent designed for twice as many people as you plan on camping with. Festivals can be miserable in the rain and having enough space to comfortably enjoy yourself whilst in your tent is essential, not to mention you need the extra room to keep your little luxuries.
- Get an air bed
I am not one of those people who can sleep on the sofa or the floor without waking up feeling as stiff as a board. Air beds are relatively cheap and can be inflated with a small foot pump to provide you with a comfortable mattress that will help keep you warm as well as well rested. They can be a little heavy and cumbersome so this Coleman Compact Double Air Bed is perfect.
- Bring a camp stove
I was laughed at for bringing my camp stove to a festival until the next morning when everyone was gratefully drinking a cup of hot coffee and eating beans on toast. Having boiling water on demand is an essential in my books, for tea, pot-noodles, hot water bottles (if it’s really cold!) and even for warming up a little water for a quick wash down. We used the stove every day and everyone appreciated it. You can buy camp stones for as little as £10 and the gas is inexpensive to replace too. I got mine from Halfords about 5 years ago and it’s still going strong, you can get a similar one here.
- Always carry toilet roll
Not so much a luxury essential as just an essential full-stop. If you manage to find a portaloo with toilet roll then you’re one lucky person indeed! Carry toilet roll or a packet of tissues with you at all time and leave a few sheets for the poor person behind you who hasn’t bought any of their own. Pay it forward.
- Go extra and bring ice
Nothing feels better than an ice-cold drink, especially when everyone around you is drinking tent-warm beer. Ice at a festival is like water in a dessert but it can be done! Investing in a good quality cool-box and some block ice can keep your drinks cool for up to 5 days.
What do you like to take with you when you go camping? Let me know in the comments!