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Get sorted - your top festival tips this summer

July 5, 2012
by Laura Canning | guides

Get it right at this summer's festivals Getting lost, getting stuck in the mud, getting soaked, your phone dying, not being able to find your tent at 4 am…ah, the festival experience. If you’re planning to go to a festival this summer, bypass any disasters by following our top festival tips:

Get your bearings : Yes, it’s tempting to go straight to the bar, but once you get to the site have a look around for the main things you might need, like the nearest loo, the first aid station, security HQ, phone charging spots and the food areas. A lot of the bigger festivals now provide maps of the site, so grab a couple if you can and keep them with you.

Get under cover : Pitch your tent first! (See above re temptation to go straight to the bar.) You don’t want to be putting your tent up in the dark after an evening sampling the local brews.

Get high : Camp on as high a spot as you can – you’ll be glad you did if/when it rains. If there aren’t any high spots available, somewhere lower should be fine as long as you pitch up away from any dips and ditches that could easily overflow.

Get back to your tent #1 : If it’s a big festival, there’ll likely be a few different camping fields – mark on your map the name of the one you’re staying in, and have a look around for landmarks nearby.

Get back to your tent #2: Bring a tent marker – a windsock, flag or something else you’ll be able to see from a distance. Remember this may not be effective if you’re coming back in the dark and/or from the beer tent.

Get a Plan B : Choose a point where you can all meet up or where you can make your way to if someone gets lost. It’s easy to think you can just ring someone if you haven’t spotted them about for a few hours, but your phone battery could have died or you could lose mobile reception. Make like it’s 1990 and agree in advance a designated ‘Come and get me, I’m lost’ spot (aka, the beer tent).

Get packed : You’ll definitely need at least one change of clothes and something warm for evenings, but don’t bring too much stuff and don’t pack anything you wouldn’t want to lose. Don’t bring credit cards either if you can help it.

Get unpacked : Once you’ve pitched your tent, unpack your rucksack and strew your stuff around. It’ll be much more hassle for an opportunistic thief having to gather all your gear up, instead of quickly lifting a still-packed bag.

Get charged : If you really need to stay charged, bring an extra battery for your phone. There are phone charging stations available at most festivals now, but if there’s a queue or it’s late you mightn’t want to bother going to them.

Get comfy : If the ground does end up under mud, you’ll be all fine and dandy with your foldable seat. You can get basic versions of these in pound shops that should at least last you the festival weekend.

Get smart : Bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag so you can leave the tent in the morning and not have to go back for water, sunscreen or other essentials.

Get lit : Bring a torch. You can buy keyring or travel torches at pound shops, so bring a couple in case one dies.

Get warm : If you only have a cheap sleeping bag bring a bed roll for underneath, or a blanket for the top – it gets chilly at night unless you have a properly insulated bag.

Get your stuff home safe : Sleep with your wallet, phone and any other valuables at the bottom of your sleeping bag.

Get prepared : It'll depend if you're bussing it to the festival or bringing your car or campervan, but if you're driving, take advantage of the extra space to pack a couple of extra sets of clothes, some waterproofs and an extra pair of shoes in the boot. A properly British festival torrential downpour can soak everything you have, especially if you're using a cheap tent.

Get funny looks : Bring wellies. I f you have to, w ear them while travelling to the site if you’re only bringing your tent and a tiny rucksack and don't have room to pack them – yes, you might look a bit daft if you’re getting a bus to the festival site and it’s 25 degrees outside, but we think you’ll probably need them.

Get nice : Pack up your tent and bring it home – or bin it if it’s really wrecked, but don’t just leave it pitched up at the site for staff to sort out . If you have a few extra quid, invest in a tent you can bring back the next year…and the year after that.

Find your festivals for this summer and any other time of the year by using the festival finder on the Pitchup.com homepage, all with camping and caravan options nearby. Need some inspiration? Try Wakestock this weekend, GuilFest next weekend, the Cockermouth Rock Festival from 20-22 July, Kendal Calling from 27-29 July, Camp Bestival from 26-29 July, Standon Calling from 3-5 August, Relentless Boardmasters from 8-12 August, Bloodstock Open Air from 10-12 August, the Green Man Festival from 17-19 August, and loads more all around the country.

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