Everything You Need to Know About Camping at a Music Festival

By: Elizabeth Enochs
Image Source: Caitlin Mogridge/Getty Images
  TAGS:   Article, Exclusive, Festival

It’s that time of year again, friends. Festival season has begun! Music lovers from all over the country will be road-tripping their way to various dirt fields and mountain meadows with the common goal of rocking out. Those of us who normally never wear fringe or hats will don both simultaneously and showering without shoes on will become a luxury.

So, with festival season just beginning, and Sasquatch! just around the corner, I feel it is my civic duty as a seasoned festivalgoer to share the many dos and don’ts of festival camping with all you humans reading this. Trust me, you’ll be glad I did.

Want to put our tips for camping like a pro to use? Download the 7-Eleven® app and scan it every time you buy a Slurpee® for the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip and VIP passes to Sasquatch! and other summer music festivals around the country.

Don’t Try to Live Off of Food Trucks
I know funnel cakes and gyros are somehow even tastier when prepared in a truck, but they’re also super overpriced. I’m not saying you shouldn’t splurge on festival food, but how hard is it to throw some snacks in a tote? Stay cool and hydrated with a free Slurpee® when you flash your 7-Eleven® app at the truck and bring a few groceries so you can save your money for merchandise. And henna tattoos.

Don’t Bring a Cheap Tent
Don’t buy the most luxurious tent you can find, but don’t underestimate the importance of a quality tent, either. You may think any tent will do since you’ll probably only use it for sleeping, but a good night’s sleep is a must! Also, the wrong tent makes any unexpected rain showers positively miserable. So, pack a dome tent with a rain fly and plenty of mesh panels for maximum breeziness. And be sure to assemble your tent on top of a tarp for extra protection from unwanted moisture. Without it, morning dew can seep through, and waking up in soaked clothes is never fun.

Flip-Flops Are a Bad Decision
Do you prefer your toes without bruises? If so, leave the flip-flops in your tent. Between the inevitable crowds and the likelihood of mosh-pit runoff, you’ll want to stay clad in closed-toe shoes. Flip-flops should be used as shower shoes only. Otherwise, do your feet a favor and stick to sneakers or moccasins.

The Early Bird Gets the Best Camping Spot
I realize showing up to the party before it’s even close to starting can be super boring. But if you want the best camping spot (which is always the spot in the shade) and you want to avoid colossal lines at the festival gates, then you need to arrive at least one day early. Even then, you’ll probably have to wait in line for a bit, but it’ll be nothing compared to what you’d have to deal with on opening day. So, take advantage of the fact that most festivals (including Sasquatch!) open their gates to campers at least one day before they officially begin, and snag the good spots before it’s too late. This is going to be your home for several days, don’t get stuck in the campsite everyone else passed up.

Embrace Your Natural Beauty
There is no better place than a music festival to rock a fresh face and your natural hairstyle. Forget the foundation and leave your hair dryer at home to give your skin and hair a break.

Unplug (Sort Of)
You should def Instagram the heck out of your festival adventures, but don’t overdo it. Save your phone’s battery life and live in the moment.

Be Aware of Critters
Since most music festivals take place in the middle of nowhere (Sasquatch! definitely does) you need to camp with wildlife in mind. Remember, you’re nature’s guest in this scenario. Pick up your trash and don’t leave food out overnight unless you want to share it with local raccoons.

Give Fanny Packs a Chance
I know you don’t want to look like your mom does when she’s at Six Flags, but you should really bring a fanny pack. You’ll be able to carry all your necessities from concert to concert without burdening your back and shoulders. Think of all the piggyback rides you’d be able give! Plus, have you seen the neon colors fanny packs come in? I’ll say it. Fanny packs are awesome.

Ear Plugs Will Keep You Sane
You know how gloriously loud festivals (and festivalgoers) are? Well, all that ruckus is a lot less awesome when it’s four a.m. and you’re desperately trying to get some sleep. Plus, if you’re sharing a tent with your buddy, you need to be prepared for the possibility of snoring, sleep talking, and noisy klutziness. Don’t even think twice about it: Pack earplugs.

The best thing about music festivals isn’t even the music. It’s the feeling of community. For the most part, everybody helps everybody out, and it’s great. So, don’t be afraid to invite passing strangers to join in your music circle or bonfire. You just might make some amazing new friends.