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How to pack well for your next festival campsite

Camping festivals are loads of fun - a chance to watch some of your favourite musicians while surrounded by nature and mates. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a festival newbie, it’s important to organise your campsite set-up ahead of time. By planning ahead, you can avoid the stress of rushing to make avoidable last minute purchases.

As music fans, we create a huge mess over 50% of festival waste comes directly from campsites. It’s time that we party with the planet by borrowing before buying and using quality gear that will last.

Remember, it's not about packing as much as you can, but packing well.

Here are our top tips on how you can pack for the best camping experience:

Avoid the single use tent

Single use tents and gazebos are cheap for a reason. Due to their poor quality, they’re more likely to break with wind or rain. Worse yet, they leave a pretty nasty impact on the environment - one tent equals the equivalent of 8750 plastic straws!

Before buying, consider borrowing camping equipment from a friend or family member. Many festivals also have the option to hire a pre-pitched tent on-site - which means you won’t even have to set anything up! 

If you need to purchase a tent, make sure you buy a quality second hand tent or one from a camping store which is built to last. They’ll be sturdier and more weather resistant than the cheap alternative - giving you an all-round better camping experience.

When looking for a high quality tent, you might want to consider the following:

  • Tent size - Check the size of the tent to make sure it suits your needs. A 4-man tent may fit four people, but might not leave much space for other items.
  • Vestibule - A vestibule is a covered space at the front of your tent door. It can provide extra space for items - or depending on its size, can eliminate your need for a gazebo.
  • Fabric - Tents can come in many different fabrics including nylon, polyester and cotton canvas. Canvas is the longer lasting option, but can be heavier to carry. Nylon and polyester tents are more likely 
  • Quality of zips and ventilation - Make sure to look at the quality of the zips, seams and windows in the tent. A low quality zip or seam can leave your tent open to water and insects entering the tent.

Remember when you arrive, set up your campsite with care by pegging down your tent and marquees really well to prevent wind damage.

Plan ahead - and early!

Going with a group? Plan together so you only bring what you need and avoid doubling up on items - you won’t need five mattress pumps between you!

By creating a list of all the items your group will need, you can discover what you collectively own and can be shared.

Before you go shopping, discover what else you can borrow from friends and family. You’ll not only save money, but you’ll be helping the planet at the same time.

  • Camping Equipment - Quality tents, chairs, mattresses, gazebos, eskies and camping equipment will make your campsite feel more luxurious! Make sure to bring some extra tent pegs and even a tent repair kit to be prepared for weather conditions.

  • Clothing - Dig through your friend’s wardrobes to find yourself the perfect festival outfit. If you are going to buy clothes, your local op-shop or vintage store is a great place to find quality pre-loved clothing. Remember to check the weather and pack suitably - even in summer camping at night gets cold!

  • Toiletries and makeup - Make sure you pack the essentials like sunscreen and toothpaste. Where you can, green your skincare by using plastic free toiletries. Ditch the disposable wet wipes and bring flannelette hand towels to wash yourself. If you want to add some sparkles to your outfit - opt for plastic-free glitter which won’t leave microplastics in the environment.

  • Food and drinks - Plan out your meals and snacks so you don’t over purchase food. Join with your camping crew to nude your food and bring it along in reusable containers. If you’re bringing drinks, opt for aluminium cans over plastic.

  • Reusables - Single use isn’t cool. Join the reuse revolution by bringing your own water bottle, cups, plates, cutlery and other camp kitchen gear. Avoid buying single-use plastics like bottled water, cutlery and straws, they suck!

  • Miscellaneous items - Don’t forget you’ll need important items like a torch, speaker for your campsite, portable phone chargers and earplugs. Make sure to select quality reusable goods over disposable items.

Remember to check the festival website for a list of prohibited items - many festivals won’t allow you to bring alcohol, glass or gas cooktops into your camping area.

Take care of your items

Your camping items should last you for many festivals to come. 

To learn how to care for your campsite items, read our post-festival gear care page.

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