Categorized | Festival Camping Tips, tents

Pitching a Tent at a Festival

Pitching a Tent at a Festival

Choosing Where You Should be Pitching a Tent

definition – Pitch is both the actual process of putting up your tent and also the spot on which you put up your tent.

So you have driven/trained/coached your way to the festival. It’s already been a long day and the job of pitching your tent still awaits. Did you go for a quick pitch tent or one that will take half an hour or maybe an hour for a novice to put up? Did you make the right decision? Now is a great time to put yourself in that position before you buy your tent for the festivals or at least before you set off so that you know what lies ahead.

If you are one of those people who has taken the time off work/studies to get to the festival early you might be lucky and have the luxury of choosing a pitch. If you are a late arrival you might be left with whatever bit of green you can find to pitch your home for the next few nights. The late arrivals at festivals really can get very slim pickings sometimes.

A Very Short Story

A few years back I was at Glastonbury and had turned up reasonably early and managed to get a spot for some friends and I to pitch our tents together with a little bit of space in the middle of our pitches to do some cooking and just to chill. We thought we had done well, there was only inches between each of our tents and the tents pitched near to us but that was OK because that’s what you do at many Festivals.

Later that night we were chilling outside our tents when a guy popped his head around the side of my tent and said, “Its just me and my wife and son, do you mind if we squeeze in next to yours?” I said no, wondering where he had found some space because I thought it was tight when we turned up but I guessed someone must have moved. After a few beers that night we turned in, shattered after having got to the venue, trekked from the car park with all of our kit – by the way do seriously consider taking something with wheels (trolley) to carry your kit from the car to your pitch as this can be as far as half a mile sometimes – pitched the tents, had a look around and then made dinner and chilled.All was good until…….

At about three in the morning I was wakened from a deep sleep by thunderous snoring virtually in my face. In the dark I honestly believed that someone had sneaked into my tent and fallen asleep, maybe a lost soul who couldn’t find their tent. No, it was my new neighbour!!! I got out of bed with my torch and wandered outside to try and figure out what had gone on. Then I saw it, his tent was actually pitched on a piece of grass which was less than half of the size of his tent and was overlapping four other tents! I was the poor guy who was unlucky enough to be sharing the overlapping bedroom space with him. So to cut a long story short I slept the other way around for the rest of the festival and I got on really well with this guy who was very embarrassed and apologetic the next day, but that’s part of festival life as they say.

Pitching a tent - measure the sizeSo, back to pitching a tent. IF you have the luxury of considering a number of potential pitches think about these points:

  • Flat, horizontal space is best. If you have to pitch on a slope arrange your tent so that the tilt is head to toe as you would sleep. If it is side to side you will end up in a pile at the side of the tent as you roll your way down the slope through the night.
  • Check the ground for stones or bumps in the ground. Remove any stones which will make your bed uncomfortable and before you pitch just stamp down any bumps in the ground to make the area nice and flat.
  • Know the size of the coverage of your tent. Maybe measure it out in your foot sizes before you go as it is really difficult to look at a piece of space on the ground and assess the size. Get it wrong and you will be in a bit of a mess with a half pitched tent and looking for some space.
  • Think about your guy ropes – the bits of rope which attach to your tent and poles and give it stability and structure. These will need to extende beyond the size of your tent. Take this into account when you are considering your space.
  • Do you want to be near the toilets? There are obviously the advantages – easy access to be weighed against the disadvantages – smelly, lots of people trecking by and noisey.
  • Do you want to be near a path? Advantages – easier to find your tent, not weaving through the mass of tents and tripping over other campers, easy access. Disadvantages – noisy, busy and lack of privacy perhaps?
  • Do you want to be near the stages? balancy accessibility and being in the thick of it against the noise, perhaps late into the night and the flow of people all day and night.

In summary, different people want different things from their festival experience and not everything appeals to everyone. Its personal.

A little bit of thought and preparation about your tent and pitch will save you hassle later on and make the experience more enjoyable for sure.

Have Fun

The Festival Camping Team

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