Tip 1. Camping Location
It is essential that you choose an appropriate site to pitch your tent, avoid a number of elementary schoolboy errors. Unless you are three day x 24-hr Jack McSocial, stay clear from camping right next to the path, all that will result is a incessant stream of people / noise and perhaps even worse, late night / early morning pranksters enjoying urination sessions on your tent and perhaps even ‘borrowing’ your things. Ear plugs are a good buy or perhaps even better use the ipod with some appropriate easy listening. Avoid natural dips and areas that look like they will hold or carry rain water, its better from a drainage perspective to be on the side of a slight hill (sleep with your head up the hill unless you do like feeling light-headed). Shelter in terms of shade and wind protection is good to look for – a cheap pop-up festival tent is a sweaty nylon shelter in direct sunshine and a poorly performing piece of equipment in medium, gusting wind. Use natural windbreaks, fences, vans, other tents, additional pegs / guidelines if the weather looks slightly dodgy. Pitch your tent within sight of landmarks you’ll remember and that will still be visible when you wake up to a field covered in thousands of other tents.
Tip 2. Makeshift Pillow
If you’re camping in the main field, packing your favourite goose down, brilliant white 100% cotton pillow for the festival is not really an option – far too bulky and leaves you well exposed in terms of ridicule from your mates for being a big wuss. Go the makeshift pillow, in the privacy of your own tent, just before sleepy time, stuff your fleece with spare clothes and snuggle down with head resting on soft padded fabric, job done zzzzzzzzzzz.
Tip 3. Sleeping Mat
An absolute essential, a sleeping mat will provide you with insulation from the cold ground at night, helping to give you a good night’s sleep. A must for any festival goer the mat is perhaps even more important than your sleeping bag. You are more likely to lose heat through the ground due to conduction that you are through the air. An important investment to keep you warm, even at the summers festivals.
Tip 4. The Unpopular Toilet
Everyone uses the end toilets on toilet row; go for the one that is the least convenient and the hardest to get to, especially later on in the day and after the turd truck has well finished its round. It’s a simple fact that the most inconvenient toilet in the block is likely to be the cleanest due to least usage. However, this may not always be the case ….. if in doubt, use the one where the person that has just vacated has the least guilty expression!
Tip 5. Personal Hygiene
The use of wet wipes, a supply of your own personal toilet roll, a small mirror, chewing gum, mints and deodorant will keep you feeling human even if the shower queue is into double figures. A three day rotation of sleep, sunbathing, drinking and dancing can make even a babe smell like a polecat by Sunday night – shower or improvise!
Tip 6. Food
Enjoy the culinary delights on offer at the Festival. It’s true; you won’t die from malnutrition through not eating enough ‘proper food’ and surviving the weekend on cider, crisps and chocolate, however, no need. Now at many festivals, the days of the dog burger with greasy chips and the equally greasy hot dog van owner have now long passed. Festival food is big news, with the selection and offerings both culturally diverse and widely appealing. French, Italian, Greek, Thai, Mexican – it’s all on offer. Recommendation after a night on the booze leaving lowered blood sugar levels and a dodgy stomach would be a quality, delicious offering of pie and mash (mashed down with 2 litres of aqua). This is the ultimate festival food for those who know how to recover as quickly as possible for the next night – for evidence, check out the queues for Pieminister.
Tip 7. Utility Belt
If you’re not prepared to lose an item at a festival then don’t take it. Unfortunately, some festivals attract a tiny minority of semi professional sticky fingered weasels that are focused on relieving you of your possessions whilst you’re distracted by having a great time. Anything in the tent, whilst you’re away, is ‘fair game’ for these dregs, so leave them disappointed by taking valuable items with you. Use a utility belt (or equivalent) to ensure that you keep all valuables on you at all times i.e. keys, money, cards, camera, phone, lighter etc
Tip 8. Pace Yourself
A festival is more akin to a marathon than a sprint. It’s likely to be a 3 or 4 day affair, more like a mini holiday than a solitary big night out. You can easily wipe out a whole day and be in a ‘world of horrors’ by really overdoing it the night before. Drink plenty of water, try and drink between two and three litres of water each day and it is especially wise to follow these quantities whilst being at a festival. Get a plastic water bottle and fill it up every time you pass a drinking tap – and make sure you have a good supply back of water back at your tent (first thing in the morning you could be gagging for a drink). This is even more important if you’re on the lash, as the alcohol will dehydrates. Try alternating each alcoholic drink with water – the perfect recipe for happy times during and after.
Tip 9. The Festival Experience
Have a festival ‘experience’ by exploring the periphery, speaking to lots of interesting creative warm people, share and be generous in action and spirit. Get involved and participate in your festival, indulge in the random and bizarre. If your highlight is watching U2 or Coldplay on the main stage then you may have missed out on something slightly more interesting and better that is going on at the same time and somewhere else.
Tip 10. A Furry Festival Tail
In a selection of random, carefully controlled, non-scientific experiments we have probably proven over the last five years and on several different continents that it is a certain fact – Festival Tails are an aid to increased fun, shenanigans and an accelerator down the road of general misbehaviour! We’ve discovered that ‘swinging your tail’ taps into the very essence of festival fun, knocking down social inhibitions and fostering pleasurable interactions between random people. We have personally witnessed examples of tails improving dance technique, increasing the attractiveness of the individual, being used as a tool for deep communication and finally as an exciting aid to love making.