Camping isn’t for everyone. Trust me, I would know. The first time I went camping, it was basically an accident. I booked a group tour to Southern Africa. Part of my trip would be spent in the African bush, and therefore, camping in a tent, but I never read the fine print (my bad). I assumed we’d be staying in hotels most nights. Instead, it was 9 straight days of camping. There were an odd number of girls on the tour, so guess who had her own tent? Yep, me, the urbanite from NYC. I learned how to pitch that bad boy after a few futile attempts. And after a day or so, I realized it’s really not that hard.
Camping at a music festival is a lot like camping in the African savannah or at the top of a mountain in the Rockies. And in saying “a lot like it” I mean absolutely nothing like it.
WHAT TO EXPECT
1) You are living in a mini utopia
Picture a place where people are free to eat, drink and be merry. Once you get to the campsite, there aren’t any cars buzzing about, just people on foot. There is lots of food, coffee, alcohol – any and every one of life’s indulgences right at your fingertips. Not the luxuries of a 5-star hotel, but the simplest pleasures life can offer. People are far friendlier here. They will offer you snacks and alcohol, and likely invite you to play drinking games with them under the sunshine – even if you’re a complete stranger.
For those of you who don’t like the idea of camping – you’re selling yourself short on an amazing experience. If you can learn to get over your unnecessary urge to look perfect for a few days, you’ll realize the charm of festival camping. Besides, they do have showers, people. Granted, I paid $10 every time I wanted to shower, but they were some of the best showers I’ve ever had. Really. You appreciate a shower so much more when it becomes a coveted experience.
2) You will be covered in a mix of dirt, glitter & sweat
3) The campsite is where the magic happens
HOW TO MAKE IT GREAT
1) Drive if You Can
2) Or At Least Carpool
3) Try Group Camping
4) Have Zero Expectations
ITEMS YOU NEED
A Sleeping Bag
- Seriously. Your body is already going to hate you for sleeping on the floor for 4 days straight. An airplane neck pillow is just not going to cut it. Find a way to bring an actual pillow with you. Your neck will thank you.
A Hair Brush
- This may sound like a weird one, but sometimes the first thing you want to do in the morning is wash your face. Too bad you have to walk to the showers and wait on a line until you’re clean. Have baby wipes on hand for moments like this.
Extra Toilet Paper
Not “Necessary” but Great to Have Around:
A Deck of Cards
- Kings is a great way to pass the time.
A Portable Speaker
Glitter and Body Paint
- To put under your sleeping bag for more comfortable sleep. Or, at Bonnaroo, you can go to early morning yoga classes. Win win.
- It’s easy to make and is a great breakfast/late night snack all in one.
Jugs of Water
- Stay hydrated!! And you can keep refilling them at the water stations to keep by your tent. Anything for laziness after a long day of dancing.