How to survive camping at festivals

First time camping at a festival? No worries. Try our helpful guide to surviving camping at festivals.

Camping makes up an essential part of the festival experience. For the few days that you are there your campsite is your bathroom (although ideally not toilet!), your bedroom and your kitchen. If you have never camped before, the fun and camaraderie of living with fellow festival goers makes this the perfect place to start.

Whilst you don’t need to go to Ray Mears’ level of preparation, there are some easy ways to help make your outdoors experience a little more comfortable and keep you a happy camper.

Before you go

Try out your tent: We’d recommend getting a tent that is quick and easy to pitch as you won’t want to waste too much time when you get there. Camping space at festivals can be restricted so check the rules before you go. You don’t want to take a six or eight man tent for two people as you’re likely to upset some people!

Check your sleeping bags: Most people don’t really use sleeping bags that often, leaving them festering in cupboards or garages. Get your sleeping bag out before you go and give it an airing or even treat yourself and wash it.

For a good, affordable option we'd recommend the Vango Soul 200 with the Vango Tranquility sleeping bag.

Plan some meals: Let’s be honest, in the excitement of the forthcoming festival you are unlikely to be thinking about sensible things (like camping food) and instead applying yourself to finding the best deals on booze. And whilst this may sound good now, you’ll soon get tired of paying £8 for a mediocre burger.


Gear up for outdoor adventures with our camping and outdoors range including tents and sleeping equipment from Vango. Shop the full range.


Useful gear to take

It doesn’t matter how big the festival you’re planning on attending is, you will still be living in the middle of a field for a number of days. This means no electricity, hot water or convenience stores. We’ve put together a list of gear that can help you survive your weekend away.

  • Phone Charger: Inevitably you will spend a lot of the weekend taking selfies and photos of your friends doing embarrassing things, as well as the sending of desperate texting to reunite later in the day. Gone are the days of taking a 3310 and an extra battery, so we’d recommend taking a portable charger (either battery or solar powered).
  • Torch: You’ll be grateful for taking a good torch when you need a middle-of-the-night toilet trip and you’re phone has died (because you didn’t take the portable charger). Not only can the torch stop you walking through anything too disgusting, it can also help you avoid injuries when play the guy lines game on the way back to your tent.

  • Toilet Paper: This doesn’t really need explaining. There are a lot of people using limited toilet resources. You’ll be glad you’ve brought your own.

  • Baby wipes & hand sanitiser: Whilst there are showers at most festivals, the general rule is to avoid. There is no soap or hot water, so you’ll all be cleaning with baby wipes. If you planning on showering, take a swim suit and flip flops.

  • Bin Bags: By the end of day two, your camp area is going to be looking a little bit messy. Bag your rubbish up as you go and you’ll feel a little better. Remember that you probably won’t have showered, so anything to make you feel cleaner and more human helps. Bin bags also make very useful emergency ponchos.

  • Money: There are often cash points on site but the queues can be very long. Save yourself time by taking money with you.

Can you think of anything else that is a festival essential? Let us know in the comments.

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