Hey all! Mike Hauk here. Before I became a folk singer, I used to be just like you. Waiting in massive line ups to see your favorite singer and get their autograph, camping out overnight to see your favorite band, going up to who-knows-where for a weekend long festival. I’ve done it all, and as of recent years I’ve been on the other side watching it all happen before my eyes. Fans are the greatest aspect of being a musician, we would be nothing without you guys! So I wanted to share a few tips with you about the best camping gear and how to camp safely and properly!
Finding the right tent can be a long and expensive journey if you don’t do it right. Start out by doing a bit of research on the kind of tent you need and what attributes best suit your needs such as amount of people, weather resistance, and more (try checking out www.campgearhq.net for some pretty unbiased info on camping gear). Seeing what your options are and weighing your needs is the first place to start. There are tons of awesome tents out there, some specialized for camping, some tailored to families. My best suggestion for a more than 2 person tent to bring to festivals and camping would be the Coleman Sundome 4-Person Tent. It’s affordable, easy to set up, and fits 4 people pretty easily.
Comfort is key when you’re tent-camping. Generally you won’t be bringing a mattress (unless you happen to have an inflatable one on hand), so you want something that make your nights sleep as cozy as you can get under the circumstances. There are tons of different styles that run at all sorts of price ranges. Finding something that will keep you warm, is easy to transport, and washable is important. If you’re just using it for summer camping and festival-going, you won’t have to worry as much about keeping warm in cold climates. Summer nights can get chilly though, so don’t cheap out too much! If this is you though, I’d probably pack something like the Wenzel Conquest 25-Degree Sleeping Bag. It’s very affordable, pretty cool looking, and you can curl up pretty well in it.
Let’s face it, you’re going to have to eat during a festival. Sure, most will have food carts and the sort, but why blow all your money on food when you probably spent a decent amount to get in there in the first place? Picking yourself up a little camping grill or stove will save you tons of money in the long run. You’ve got gas powered, propane, coal, and butane to choose from. Basically whatever best fits your needs and is easiest to manage for you will be the right one. I don’t suggest cheaping out too much in this category though. Cheaply made stoves can be have a short life and possibly be dangerous if not handled with utmost care.
If you’re more of a backpacker and want to carry it all yourself, there are tons of great backpacks out there for travelers and outdoor overnighters like you. Some small, some massive, make sure to pick one that is not oversized for your frame. You can do some damage to your back and legs if you’re carrying too much! Just make sure when doing your research that you take into account everything you might need to bring with you (food, water, sleeping bag, supplies, etc).
Have some fun at your next festival!