In Australia we are super lucky to have a wide variety of music festivals we can attend every year! Music festivals are an incredible and unforgettable experience however the best festivals are not always that close to home. This means some form of accomodation is required and when money isn’t in abundance camping is usually the best op. I personally believe that camping actually improves the experience of the festival, the spontaneity and craziness of it creates more memories and bonding time with your mates! Camping can often be more convenient as most festivals offer camping on site. This means if you get tired throughout the day you can pop back to the campsite for a break. Camping however does require more planning and responsibility but not to worry we are here to help! Here is a list of essential items for camping at a festival!
The Obvious Stuff
These are the items you probably already have packed but we thought we’d just make sure incase!
- Sleeping Bag
- Sunscreen and Bug Spray
The Obvious Stuff You Probably Didn’t Think Of
These items whilst might seem very basic are actually some that many people forget!
Whilst there is usually plenty of food at a festival of course, it’s a good idea to bring some snacks to have at the campsite to keep yourself energised. Remember there is no fridge or anywhere to keep things from going off so think carefully about what you bring. Some good foods to bring include:
- Fruit such as apples or banana
- Cereal (you can eat this without milk as a snack)
- Muesli Bars
- Potato Chips
- Rice Crackers
- Dried Fruit like apricot or mango
- Lollies for energy
Some Form of Camping Mattress
Whilst this may seem obvious or not essential as “the ground is kinda soft right” it’s actually surprisingly not at all especially if you have been up and about all day you are gonna want something nice to sleep on. I would recommend a foam roll up mattress or if you want something a little more comfy you can also buy self inflating mattresses from Kmart or Big W for cheap prices.
Again this may seem obvious but since we are blessed to live in a country where water is so accessible in our homes we forget that when you are camping water may not always be available. You can buy 10 L water containers from Coles or Woolies with attached taps at the end. I would recommend bringing a few of these as it is so important to stay hydrated at a festival where you are exposed to heat and sun for long periods of time.
Jumper and Rain Jacket
You may have checked the weather already or it may be the middle of summer but remember the weather is UNPREDICTABLE and you do not want to be stuck in the cold or rain without something to protect you! PLEASE regardless of the forecast bring a jumper or rain jacket, sometimes it gets super cold at night even if it’s hot during the day! You will thank me later.
When you hanging around the campsite between acts or after the night ends you will be thankful to have somewhere to sit down and relax whilst still being able to socialise with your fellow campers outside the tent.
There are no power outlets in the bush! Make sure you bring a few portable chargers depending on the length of the festival as having your phone charged and working is particularly important when camping for safety reasons and keeping in contact with mates. You can buy cheaper ones from Cotton On but if you want a higher quality try JB HI-FI. If you forget a portable charger you will probably be able to use a charging booth within the festival but these are usually quite pricey.
When you are constantly outside as well as talking or singing along to your fav acts, you’d be surprised how dry your lips get. Lip Balm is honestly a life saver…bonus points if it has got SPF too!
Panadol or Nurofen
Sometimes standing in the heat of the crowd for long periods of time with the music blaring makes your head or feet sore. It pays to have some Panadol or Nurofen handy so you can keep enjoying the day without pain. Remember to always be safe with medication, taking only when required according to directions and dosages.
The Items You Learn to Bring From Experience
Like with anything practice makes perfect, I have been to a number of camping festivals now and these are the items I have learnt to bring from having a bad experience without them!
Gazebo or Marquee
Festivals usually lack a lot of shade hence you can get very hot especially when you are watching acts back to back in the crowd. Setting up a Gazebo or Marquee at the campsite gives you a place to put all your camping chairs under so everyone can relax and socialise in the shade.
This may seem a little strange but there is nothing like the feeling of a cool mist on your face when you have been dancing and sweating in the mosh!
When you are sitting at the campsite, eating and drinking can be a little difficult without a table. You can buy tables that fold down flat so they can easily fit in the car from Kmart or Aldi at a low price. As a side note for anyone planning to do their makeup having a table makes life much easier!
At a campsite there isn’t always a rubbish bin close by, hence the clean up will be much easier if you bring some rubbish bags. This way you can throw all your trash straight into the bag which can then be carried to a bin once it is full. This much more convenient and will ensure you don’t leave litter around the campsite after you leave.
Festivals are often extremely dirty, be prepared at almost any festival you will without a doubt get muddy, messy and sweaty and when you are camping there is a high chance you won’t have access to a shower. Therefore I would recommend bringing a packet of baby wipes so you can wipe off any dirt or sweat at least from your face before bed (l also wipe down my chest, legs and underarms). This will help you feel more refreshed, remove any odour and also ensure less chance of having a breakout after the festival.
Most people would not think to bring thongs and I would strongly advice against wearing any open toed footwear into a festival however around the campsite thongs are great! They are much cooler for your feet and are also super essential if you are going to be using any public showers or toilets at the campsite.
A Good Attitude
This last one is little more conceptual however I believe it is very important to ensuring a positive experience. When attending a festival your body is often pushed to the limit. You have little sleep due to late nights, you are exhausted from standing and dancing in the heat all day and the food choices aren’t often the greatest, hence you need to be patient and kind to people even when they are not to you. Camping does not always go to plan, be prepared that some things will go wrong, regardless of the situation you need to stay positive and support each other as camping can be stressful for some at times. Remember the crazy experiences you have will turn into memories which you can share with your friends forever. The things that go wrong will often be laughed about in months to come because you experienced them together!
Hopefully this list has helped you to feel ready and prepared for camping at a music festival! Tell us about your experiences in the comments below, what items are essential for you?