Whether you're a festival veteran or relatively new to camping at events, there are several ways to make your camp comfortable, fun, and sustainable over a long weekend. You've probably got the essentials down - water, food, and camping supplies - but here are some tips to take your camp to the next level and add some flavor!
Anyone who has experienced waking up in a tent-turned-sauna at Coachella or Burning Man understands the importance of shade at your camp. The blaring sun can beat down much stronger in the desert, causing a rude awakening after a long night of dancing. However, you don't need an expensive canopy to create shade. You can create your own structure by using light, inexpensive poles that are used for pop-up flea markets. These poles can be found online or at a local swap meet. Bring a tarp to create a ceiling for the structure, or another covering that will shade the top of your camp.
Once you've created shade, you'll want to add some color to your camp in order to emit pleasant vibes all weekend. You can find dozens of creative ideas on Pinterest, but the easiest and fastest way to decorate is by hanging colorful tapestries from the top of your camp. Not only do they filter the sunlight, but unique tapestries immediately add personality to your space and can be a conversation starter for other campers walking by. Plus, you'll have some dope art to stare at while you are chilling at your camp (sober, of course...).
Like weary shepherds following the North Star to find their way in biblical times, you and your crew will need a way to spot your camp in crowded corners or in a state of inebriation. A tall totem or flag serves as a marking signal for your stomping grounds, and can be taken into the festival to navigate through crowds. Get creative - we've all seen totems that made us laugh or epic flags that unite our crew through marathon weekends. You might even get random stragglers flocking to your flag, so get ready to make some new friends.
When the sun goes down, all the colorful tapestries in the world won't light up your camp. Grab battery-powered Christmas lights from online or a hardware store, and you can brighten up your camp in the middle of nowhere. Christmas lights will do the trick, but if you want to go above and beyond, you can find strobe lights or spinning disco lights online. Just remember to bring extra batteries if you're staying for more than a couple nights.
If you're not a fan of sleep, you're going to want to bump music loud all weekend. A cool way to keep the music loud and long-lasting is by getting a Block Rocker, a powerful speaker than can last for days on a single charge. Batteries can provide backup no matter where you are, so put on a ten hour mix and you won't have to change the song til sunrise. Keep in mind the Block Rocker is heavy, but having loud, quality speakers provide music for big groups all weekend makes carrying it in worth it. Hopefully your camp neighbors are cool with it!
Many music festivals, whether they are at a popular venue or off-the-grid, have little to no cell service. If you make the trek back to your camp in hopes of meeting up with people, but can't find anyone when you arrive, you might reconsider leaving the stage next time. A fun way to solve this problem is by creating a make-shift mailbox at your camp to leave notes in. Made popular at Burning Man, personal mailboxes allow your crew to leave notes about what stage they will be going to, where the meetup spot will be, or when they will return to camp. Often times, strangers even leave notes and presents, so be sure to leave a couple pens and a notepad in the mailbox.
Post your photos on social media with the hashtag #eventvibe and #eventvibecamp and we'll post the best ones in an upcoming article!
Photos by Yee Yang and Courtney O'Connor