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Music festivals are a rite of passage for all teenagers, young adults, 20-somethings, 30-somethings, 40-somethings and beyond. They’re full of live music, drinking, fun, laughter, frolics, adventures and making memories that will last forever (or until you wake up tomorrow, at least). But, apart from all of that, you still need to take care of your basic needs during a weekend of debauchery! That means, you need to get a good night’s sleep! So, if you’re looking for tips to sleep well at a music festival, this post is for you!
It’s all very well and good saying that you’re going to be on the sesh for 5 whole days, but the reality is that you’re going to need to sleep at least once or twice during the festival. There’s no shame in it, that’s why everyone brings a tent and sleeping bag.
The thing with music festivals is that they’re outdoors, in a field, in British Summertime. That means it could be boiling hot, freezing cold, pissing with rain, blowing a gale, hailing, thunder and lightning or blue skies and sunshine. Hell, it could even snow. Who knows?
You need to be prepared! It could be lovely and warm during the day and freezing cold at night. So, here are some tips for sleeping well at a music festival this summer.
1. A double-skinned, dark coloured tent
If getting a good night’s sleep at a festival is really important to you, your tent choice is vital. Regular tents don’t block out light at all. A tent that’s bright orange or blue, or event light grey or pale green will let in a tonne of light, enough to keep you awake anyway.
What you need is a tent with a dark lining. The Fresh and Black range has a near blackout lining, with a white exterior for blocking heat. These tents block heat and light, making it perfect if your weekend is going to be a scorcher!
Here are a few suggestions for you (click on the images to open these tents in a new tab)
2. Ventilation in your tent
Besides light, tents are notorious for getting hot and stuffy. It’s the greenhouse effect but the internal condensation is your own sweat and breathe. If it’s damp or dewey outside then your tent will leak and feel wet inside.
This is why you need a double skinned tent, with the top skin pulled right and not touching the inner layer. This allows air to circulate in the gap and stop condensation inside your tent.
If there are any mesh Windows or air vents in your tents use them! You don’t want to sleep on a wet air bed with everything getting wet inside your tent, that will make you sad.
Any tent that’s double skinned will prevent condensation. Remember to take your tent (and everything else) home with you afterwards! A good tent will last for many years. Invest now and enjoy many a festival to come!
3. Inflatable Sleeping mat
You need something between you and your tent’s ground sheet. Some people choose a yoga mat, hey, if you’re young, go for it. But if you need that extra bit of comfort then go for either a self-inflating sleeping mat or a camping air bed.
Both have their own pros and cons.
Self-inflating sleeping mats don’t take up much space in your bag, they’re very lightweight and portable. However, they’re usually not very thick, especially if you choose a budget sleeping mat.
You should leave the valve open when you’re away from your tent to let it inflate, then close the valve immediately before you lie down. If you leave the valve closed, air will escape, which will happen during your sleep too. However, even a budget self-inflating mat will give you that extra bit of comfort.
If you go for a camping airbed, these are much heavier and bulkier, they take up more space in your bag. You also have to inflate them using either a foot pump or a battery powered pump. I usually use a battery powered pump, but it takes 4 fat D batteries – that in itself is not light!
An airbed does lose some air, but you can easily pump it back up again for some extra comfort.
4. Warm blankets
You’ll definitely need a couple of warm blankets for a good night sleep at a festival. You need more than one blanket so you can layer up on cold nights, or shed layers on warm nights. British summers can be unpredictable and rural locations can feel a lot colder.
If you’re sleeping on a mat or airbed, the material they’re made of is not pleasant to sleep on, so you’ll probably want a blanket or bedding between you and your bed too.
5. Proper pillows
Camping pillows are OK. Travel pillows are meh. Proper pillows are the best. But, they’re not waterproof. So, if your bringing proper pillows, wrap them in bags for the schlep from the car park or coach to the campsite.
Avoid feather pillows, go for hollow-fibre or similar. Most festivals will have a stall selling bedding of sorts.
6. Cosy socks
Keep your toes toasty with some cosy socks. You can double-up on socks if you’re prone to getting cold feet.
7. Eye mask
An eye mask, like you get on a plane, can help block out glaring daylight at 6am. For some added luxury, get a satin mask and feel that silky goodness on your skin as you drift off to sleep.
8. Ear Plugs
Keep all unwanted sounds and rowdiness out of your tranquil tent with some ear plugs! Forget about hearing distant psytrance or yells of “ALAN!!!” and “NICE ONE BRUVVAAAA” and drift off to dreamland in peace and quiet!
9. Before you Pass Out…
Here are a few things to do before you pass out for peace of mind and a good night’s sleep!
Wipe that glitter off your face!
You don’t want to fall asleep in chunky festival face glitter. Wipe if off before you go to sleep for a blank canvas ready for tomorrow’s glitter! Use a little mirror to get it all off with a biodegradable baby wipe. If you leave that s*** on your face, it will be even harder to get off, you could rub a chunky piece of glitter in your eye when you sleep, like I did. Ouch.
Where are your valuables?
Don’t leave your bag or valuables near the entrance to your tent! Put them somewhere safe NOW. Read this for more tips on keep your stuff safe & secure at festivals.
Go and pee now
It’s better to go now, then wait until you’re all warm an comfy before your bladder tingles. Boots on, to the toilets you shall go. If you’re the type who needs frequent toilet tips in the night, check out these travel john portable toilets which are totally odour-free! Ladies need a she-wee to use these.
Fill your water bottle
If you’re likely to wake up with a dry mouth thanks to all the boozing and adventures the night before, fill your water bottle on the way back to your tent before your pass out, then you’ll be sorted for the morning. Future you will thank you.
10. Think Happy Thoughts
You’re at a festival! Yay! You probably have another whole day of it tomorrow, so get some good rest for yourself so you can be re-charged for the day ahead.
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