Music Festival Camping Tips

I’m not a camper. I’ve known this for a long time. When I was 8 my family went camping at Stradbroke Island over the Easter long weekend. April is a notoriously wet month at Stradbroke Island. The first night while I stood on my Care Bear sleeping bag which was soaked under a natural awning of wet sand and twigs, holding the top of the tent to stop it falling down under the weight of a ripping monsoonal storm, I remember thinking grimly to myself, never again.

It took years of feigning campsite enthusiasm, tolerating the feeling of constant grit/dampness under foot, and listening to Jack Johnson wannabes strumming fire-side, before I finally was able to resolve within myself that I am simply Not A Camper. These moments in life where we openly accept and admit our personal weaknesses are supposed to be a carthartic experience; but when it comes to being an anti-camper I just feel ashamed and everyone else think I’m just an asshole. She can’t hack it in the outdoors, I can see people thinking while they eye off my non ankle-supportive shoes. What a princess. Scared of a little dirt, fresh air and billy tea? It’s un-Australian.

Is a preference for fresh linen and a continental breakfast over composting toilets really all that awful? I recently opined this aloud to a pro-camping friend who argued that my attitude towards camping is perhaps a little too binary. I’m going to be trialling her theory at Playground Weekender in February where camping is requisite to the experience. If you’re finding yourself in the same boat/tent for upcoming multi-day festivals this summer, here’s a few interesting and varied tips from a handful of camping aficionados off the Playground Weekender lineup for advice on what makes the perfect camping set up.

KATE NASH “Nice neighbours, good weather, a tap, nice grass patch.”

PARADES “Bring cover and something to hang it from! Whether its 40 degrees or pissing down rain you’ll be comfortable.”

HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY “I don’t have much advice. Maybe get drunk so you can sleep through anything. I suck at camping. Even at Woodford Folk Festival I drove home every night rather than camping. So I’ll probably just go one of these house boats.”

DJANIMALS “Prepare no campsite, and make it a mission to land up wherever destiny takes you.”

GRACE WOODROOFE “I’m the kind of person who likes to get in the thick of it. If you choose to hang out and sleep in a muddy tent – embrace it. It’s all part of the experience.”

BLACK MOUNTAIN “My only advice re: camping is – do it gourmet. There is no need to get all boring or dry – there’s a lot you can do with one flame. Oh yeah, and a good pad or foamy…your hips will thank you.”

Hm. House boat sounds pretty keen. Hungry Kids Of Hungary, call me – maybe we can workshop a deal.

Are you pro-camp or anti-camp? Tell us your nightmare camping tales in the comments section, or share your tips for all the wussbag sookfaces out there.

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