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A Guide to Camping Festival Survival

With Yours & Owls Festival just around the corner, it’s time to sort your outfit, slap on your tan and up your scissors, paper, rock game to get out of the hellish role of being the designated driver. Music festivals are in their own realm of party stamina.

The day often starts early enough to dowse yourself in glitter and do a last-minute run to the bottle-o for some cheap drinks and (for me) ends right as the headline act is starting and I must call it a night.

Camping festivals are in a league of their own. Think of everything above, multiply it by two or three days and throw in the ability to set up a tent. In preparation for the weekend ahead, I present you with the five absolute musts for surviving any camping festival.

  1. Plan your trip with plenty of extra time

If you’re camping at a festival, it’s very likely you’re driving more than an hour or two to get to your intentional destination. If it’s going to take you two hours to get there, allow for four. You never know what could happen on the road. You could break down, get a flat tyre, or be towing a boat from Sydney to Byron Bay, only to get to Falls Festival for your volunteer induction, realise you can’t bring the boat in to the campground, then have to cross the border to leave the boat at a mechanic in Queensland. I know this could happen, because it’s happened to me.

I also once ended up in the ER the morning of a festival after tearing all my ankle ligaments the night before. I can’t stress enough how much you should allow for extra time, please trust me on this.

  1. Double-check your bag for everything, then check again

All your outfits? Check. Spare shoes? Check. Toiletries? Shit. Don’t get stitched up like this. While the thought of communal showers right next to a row of drop toilets is awful, it will only be made worse by washing all the sweat and glitter out of your hair to realise you forgot your nourishing coconut oil shampoo and conditioner and are now left with a wet clump of knots and regret.

This could be you if you follow these steps. Source: Yours & Owls.
  1. Prepare for wet weather, no matter the forecast

Pack gumboots, a rain coat, and for the love of God, know how to correctly set up a tent to be weather-proof. I thought I had a clear New Year’s weekend and not a worry in the world at Falls Festival, until the torrential rain hit and a lost all my dry clothes, my motivation and my pride in the fact that I am unable to put up a tent correctly.

  1. Sort out your music

Whether it’s the playlist made by the festival, So Fresh Hits of 2007, Avril Lavigne’s comeback single or The Veronicas’ ‘Untouched’ on repeat, make sure your speaker is charged and that one mate who always changes the song half way through is isolated from the aux chord.

Having the perfect playlist for your campsite pre-party can determine your mood for the rest of the day. If you’re lucky, you’ll be camping next to a fun-loving group with an even better audio set up than your own and don’t have to worry your Bluetooth not working. But if all else fails, do everyone a favour and do not start a drunken rendition “Hey Baby”.

  1. Stay! Hydrated!

I don’t want to act like your concerned mother sending you off with a packed lunch, but I also want you to get your money’s worth and make it through the entirety of the festival without going too hard on the first morning and ruining the rest of your weekend.

Because you’re in it for the long haul, eat enough food, drink plenty of water and watch your mates.