The Out & Wild Festival is all about taking part in new experiences, there will be dozens of them across the three days and nights. But for some, the first new experience may well be camping! So if you have never camped before but want to join us and 400 queer women, allies and those who are non-binary, we have some great advice from some seasoned campers. Who know you may find a new hobby (and a bunch of friend to enjoy it with).
Plus don’t forget all those that get their tickets get 15% off from Cotswold Outdooors.
This article is from Claire, part of the fantastic The Camper Gurlz Facebook Group
First time camper? Heard the stories of being wet and cold? As a seasoned camper, I never understood the stories, until I went to Leeds Music Festival… then I understood it. Tents put up incorrectly, guy ropes not being pegged down, or put down so they could be tripped over, which will rip the tent, belongings touching the outside of the tent. It was like a horror story for me and my friends had to stop me from re-pitching every tent on the site! I was glad that I left my £300 tent at home and “invested” in a pop up tent. Or a cat tent as my wife calls it!
However, this was pre-wife and I was grateful for this Decathlon pop up tent, when the drunk passer by, just bounced off my tent whilst I was trying to sleep! So don’t take an expensive tent. I went to the Green Gathering in a bigger tent and we had more space, tents were set up properly, so my festival tent inner peace has been restored. This looks like how the Out and Wild Festival will be.
Getting the right tent?
This leads into what size tent, always go for an extra person size maybe even double. So if there are two of you go for a three or four person tent. It gives you a bit of space to move and put your kit in. Do not have anything, including you touch the side as otherwise your belongings and you will be wet and damp. Keep your kit bag closed, it will keep your belongings dry. Whilst proof reading this my wife kindly reminded me the importance of being able to sit up right in the tent as being an essential factor, as whilst in the “cat tent” moving, getting dressed or anything else was “challenging”. Putting up a tent before you go will help, there will be less distractions and you’ll know if you have everything that you need, tent pegs, inner/outer (depends on the tent that you have). If you have a pop up tent it will be the putting it away that you’ll need to master – top tip, figure of 8 and YouTube. With pegs put them in with a mallet (special tent hammer) at a 45 degree angle. This will prevent the wind from lifting them. It’s worth checking your tent during the festival because the weather changes the tension so you may need to re-peg the tent, especially if you have an inner and outer section. You do not want the inner touching the outer, because you will get wet and cold! Avoiding wet and cold… okay I can’t change the weather for you. but you can be prepared for the weather.
Bringing the right clothes
Footwear… wellies but with extra socks as they wellies don’t retain heat, if you have waterproof trousers put them over your wellies to stop the water dripping through. Flip flops, sliders, crocs are handy for when you really need a wee in the night! Slide them on quick and then dry your feet when you get back to the tent. Trainers will just absorb all of the morning dew or rain! Trainers but remember if it rains they’ll just be like walking in puddles! Now I sound proper boring but lets face it you’ll be on your feet all day, walking, dancing, etc having some footwear that have grip and support your ankles will help prevent injuries and be less tiring for your feet. What to wear / not to wear, I am definitely not a fashion icon, however a practical one, which as much as my friends mock me, are grateful for when they need something! Top tip; avoid jeans, they get heavy when cold and wet. Shorts are practical because you can dry your legs quicker than trousers. You can also pack more because they are take less space. In the evenings it will get colder so jogging bottoms and jumpers are a must (you’ll thank me later), as well as winter hat because the heat escapes from your head. I always pack an extra jumper for if it is cold during the night. Raincoats are really helpful too, not only does it stop you getting wet they are also great at cutting out the wind and cold. Bonus points for waterproof trousers, there are a lot more improved looking waterproof trousers nowadays, or get a basic pair for about £10.
The right kit
What to take? Work as a team if you are going as a group, you don’t need to duplicate items because you will need to carry it. camp stove (make sure you have enough gas and know how to use it). Cooking utensils, plate, spork, mug. (Mugs are helpful even if you don’t take a stove, someone may have the kettle on!) food / drink – emergency snacks – extra water – what meals, do you have enough money (cash)? I tend to have extra in the car just in case of an emergency, I am unlikely to need it but you never know!) Sun cream medication Wet wipes/hand sanitiser Torches (one each – extra batteries) Solar charger (mobile phone, if you switch off data, location, wifi, etc your battery will last longer) A real camera – saves phone battery Having a camping chair is nice to sit on in the morning evening, a picnic blanket to carry around if it is a bit damp. Festival Cart – I love ours it has so many uses! Clothes for each day (I take an extra set… just in case). Towel – personal care stuff! Bin bags because a camper never leaves a trace, take everything home; your rubbish, your tents, absolutely everything! Plan your activities because you may need to take specific items, for example, swimming kit, towels, or maybe just plan to do them so you can be a bit more spontaneous!
Check out the FAQs for Out & Wild Festival for more detail.
Camping etiquette, you can tell camper from a non camper, we say good morning, afternoon, evening, etc and we are generally helpful and polite. Obviously it’s a festival so slight rule change but if you do get the camping bug, then on campsites it’s quiet time after 22:00. When you arrive, work out where the water is in case of a fire, toilets and key landmark points so you know where to find your tent when you get back from the activities/music, etc. Now for the boring bit, probably because I don’t drink alcohol, however, if you do, you will need a designated driver, a festival tends to mean alcohol, however, you still need to get home safely. So have discussions before you go, because you want you and your friends/family to get home safe and with a full driving license.
Most of all, embrace the experience and make sure you are signed up
to Festival updates and you have joined the Out & Wild Festival Community Page where there will be lots of people who can answer your questions.