10 Tips For Building The Ultimate Festival Campsite

10 Tips For Building The Ultimate Festival Campsite

A sure way to enhance your festival going experience.

If you’ve attended music festivals before, chances are you know what it feels like to arrive ill-prepared in some fashion. You’ve barely unloaded your car, set up your tent and sat down in your single lawn chair before your camp neighbor to the left walks over and offers you a homemade lavender popsicle. After some conversation and gear-comparing, they wander back to their camp that somehow looks more like a castle—three canopies, shimmery wall coverings, and solar powered lights. They even have blow-up mattresses and a generator.

If you want your camp to be the obvious after-party choice, this list of tips will help you prepare. Perfect your festival camp routine, just in time for one last fest of the season.

1. Have plenty of seats.

Always bring extra chairs, twice as many as you think you’ll need. I like to set up rugs around my campsite so I can walk around barefoot, and to add some color. Bring an old blanket that you don’t care about for sitting on inside the festival. And a hammock too, of course.

2. Lots of solar powered lights.

Bring some cheap, solar powered lights to keep your camp bright at night. Garden stake lights work great, but there are tons of options to choose from.

3. Bring a lock for your tent.

Most people you meet are probably trustworthy, but don’t take any chances. It doesn’t need to be big, after all, your tent could be broken into very easily regardless of how strong your lock is. No matter how small, I promise it will be enough security to scare thieves away.

4. Canopies are crucial.

During the day they block the sun, during the night they block the wind. Either time, you’ll be happy to have them. Most people tie up tapestries to create additional shade, which is a great idea. But if you’re looking for more protection, try a canopy shade cover. They are thicker, and actually designed to block heat. I put my coolers under the canopy, under a table, up against the shade cover and my ice lasts twice as long.

5. Use dry ice.

Another ice tip, use dry ice. Festival ice is overpriced and it melts quick. I recommend hauling in your own combination of frozen water bottles and dry ice.

6. Bring double of the basics.

Calculate how many baby wipes it will take to cleanse your pits and other bits for X amount of days, and multiply that by seven. Chances are, someone else will forget to bring some and you don’t want them stinkin’ up your sweet campsite. Bring double TP, paper towels, regular towels, Pedialyte (guaranteed hangover cure), sunblock, batteries, water, bread or buns, beer, and most importantly socks.

7. Prepare for rain.

Put your camping supplies in plastic bins so you can easily lid everything and keep it dry. If possible, try to set up camp on higher ground. Too keep your festival space mud-free, I recommend building a porch area next to the canopy for dirty shoes (I bring a few wood planks from home). If you’re expecting serious rain, dig a small moat around your tent.

8. A candle or two will keep the bugs away.

They make candles with bug repellent in them, which work great, but normal candles do the trick too. Do not put them inside your tent or light them when it is windy, obviously, but a few under the canopy won’t hurt.

9. Make it distinguishable.

Getting lost on your way back to camp is a nightmare. Use a flag, totem, or something tall to make your site easily distinguishable. For your own crew or for new friends you make along the way.

10. Bring extra amenities to make your camp a cozy and comfortable oasis.

Make your campground as cozy as possible! Extra pillows, decorations, lights, etc. make for an ideal central meeting place. You want a relaxing getaway from the stage areas, and a spot to unwind after several tiring sets.

If you do forget something, never underestimate the generosity of your neighbors. Plus, it’s an easy way to introduce yourself. Otherwise, plan on paying double the average cost for anything you buy inside. So don’t leave home without double checking your well-planned travel checklist.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia

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To The Girl Who Hasn't Been Herself Lately

Your spark return, and you will shine like you were meant to.

Life gets tough. Life gets too much to handle sometimes, and those times make you stronger. However, right now, it seems like you have lost yourself.

It’s difficult when you catch yourself not being you. When you do something or act a certain way and just wonder, “what did I do to deserve this? Why is this happening? When will it get better?” The way you’re feeling is not so much that you’re unhappy, you just feel weird.

Your day will come. I promise you. This is just a phase.

The day you realize how much you have grown from this point in time will be your reward. It is so hard to see now, and I feel your pain.

Your light will return to you. Your pure bliss moments, they are seeking you. Your laughter where your tummy aches is in your reach.

Our moods change far too often for us as humans to understand why, but the encounters you make every day have this effect on us.

You must remember the pure happiness you experienced before your first heartbreak, before the first friend became someone you thought they weren’t, before you lost your innocence. That was a time of true joy as you had not a care in the world for the things that would harm you. Better yet, you didn’t have the option to experience them because you were just a child.

The world can be an ugly place, and your attitude towards life can change every day. One thing is for certain: you did not lose who you are internally. We all put on a face for the world. For the people who we try to impress. For the life we want to live. For the things we want to achieve.

Your definitive personality is still in the works. Believe it or not, it always will be. Times like this change us for the better even though we can’t see it.

Your happiness will return. You will be a better, stronger version of you. In fact, you will be the best version of you yet.

Once this phase is over, you will be okay. This I promise you.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Sutton

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My Future Is Unpredictable And That's Totally Alright

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations.


For six months, I had plans to study abroad in the Dominican Republic during the fall semester of junior year. Filling out what seemed like endless applications and paperwork, searching for travel ideas on Pinterest, and writing a class research paper on the DR's relationship with its neighboring island, Haiti, I was prepared to live and learn about Dominican culture hands-on.

Then on the Thursday before Finals Week last spring, I read my email. My study abroad program in the DR had gotten canceled. In the span of 30 seconds, my future had taken a new course. Less than a week later, I was submitting papers to study abroad in a new country where another adventure awaited: Ecuador.

If there's anything I've learned in the past year, it's that life is unpredictable and we can't control it. The future is unknown. But-

Who wants to know exactly what's going to happen in the next few years? I mean, I believe it's good to have a direction, but you don't have to have the entire journey pinpointed straight to the core. You meet people, you get inspired, you see things, you have experiences. And you go from there. (Though, I totally respect people who have clear ambitions and stick with them their entire lives.)

Where I was a year ago was a completely different path than where I find myself today. Last summer, I worked four different internships/jobs in the span of three months. A year ago, I would never have guessed my following summer unfolding with an immersion trip to India, a solo adventure to Taiwan & Hong Kong, and becoming a certified yoga instructor. A year ago, I hadn't met half of my best friends. A year ago, I hadn't seen poverty in a third-world country. A year ago, I wasn't even sure I wanted to major in Environmental Studies.

Just because I don't know what the future holds doesn't mean I can't set goals. I have a destination, an idea of where I'm headed and where I want to go. While abroad in Ecuador, I want to learn about sustainable development and coffee production as well as enhance my Spanish skills.

As I prepare for study abroad in Ecuador, I'm going in with no expectations. I know the format of the program. I'll be taking classes and living with a host family and then doing an internship at a farm. Otherwise, I have no idea what's going to happen. And that's what I'm looking forward to the most. The spontaneity. The unexpected. As one of my good friends would say whenever he doesn't have formal weekend plans, "I'm improvising." And you know the one rule of improv: Always say yes.

¡Hasta pronto, Ecuador!

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