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A festival tent must survive some difficult conditions, and as such should be chosen specifically for this purpose. The article focuses on 5 main points: ease of pitching, waterproofing, price vs quality, size, and the importance of porches, as well as how to distinguish your tent in a field of thousands!

Festival Camping: 5 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Tent

If you’re used to traditional camping, festival camping can come as a bit of a shock. You’ll probably have to carry your camping kit a long way from the car to your campsite, and finding a suitable pitch when you get there can be almost impossible. Often tents are cramped in together, and with adverse weather conditions campsites can quickly become quagmires. A festival tent needs to meet all of these difficult conditions to ensure that you still have a fantastic time!

Here are the golden rules for buying your festival tent:

1. It should be easy to pitch. The last thing you want is to spend your entire first day trying to work out where poles A-K should go when your favourite band is playing on the main stage. The most popular festival tent, the dome, is usually very easy to pitch and is a solid choice for the average festival camper. If you want minimum effort, consider buying a pop-up tent. Ideal for the lazy or inexperienced camper, these tents ‘magically’ erect themselves when they are thrown in the air, and have gained in popularity over recent years. Most specialist outlets and camping fairs will have people on hand to demonstrate the tents to you — ask if you can try them out for yourself. Before you leave for your festival, why not have a trial-run in the garden?

2. It needs to be waterproof. No forecast is 100% certain, so even if the weatherman says it’ll be sunny, best stay on the right side of fate and bring a water proof tent! To have even a chance of staying dry, you need a double-skin tent with an inner tent and outer flysheet. Very cheap dome tents are often single-skinned, as are many low-range pop-up tents. If you want to be certain to stay dry, look for a tent with a hydrostatic head of 1000 mm or more, which should be enough for most festival weather Situations.

3 Choose a tent with a porch. Even if it’s a very small one, this will provide a place for you to take off and store your muddy boots and therefore prevent the inside of your tent getting filthy.

4. Size is everything. Every tent comes with a “person” capacity rating, but these rarely take luggage into account. When you are festival camping, each person may well have a large backpack that will need to be kept inside the tent, so you should therefore allow for an “extra” person to accommodate this. For example, if there are two of you, get a three-person tent. if there are three of you, get a four- or five-person tent. Having said that, if you are planning to arrive late to an event, the smaller the tent the better. This will mean that you can squeeze into a tight spot rather than be forced to spend the weekend next to the toilets.

5. You need to make a balanced judgement on price and quality. Don’t buy a top-of-the-range mountain tent for a weekend in a muddy field with 20,000 other muddy people, it’ll just get ruined. Equally, don’t go for the cheapest tent that you can find, as it’s unlikely to get you through to the end of the festival comfortably. Check the seams, zips and quality of the poles before you bury.

And finally…

If you choose a standard tent from a high-street store, make sure you take something to distinguish your tent by. A field of 10,000 very similar tents offers little to navigate by! Consider ribbons or even a colourful flag to adorn your tent.

Happy camping!

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