It’s time for your first festival of the season! You’ve got your ticket in hand, your camping kit and other gear is packed, and an awesome road trip playlist is queued up for the ride in. The lineup is absolutely epic and you’re going to party with old friends and make some new ones.
You imagine the festival to look like this:
But then you check the weather report and see this:
But don’t worry! You're going to have everything you need to turn a potentially dreary weekend into an awesome one. The key to enjoying yourself at a rain-soaked festival is to take your preparation seriously. Remember: you’ll probably be completely cut off from civilization, unable to stop in to a store for supplies. You will have to rely on yourself and work with your neighbors. View it as an opportunity for growth and a little creative problem-solving!
You’ll need to change up how you dress (unless you're one of those people who loves the mud), and you’ll need to be a little more mindful in setting up your camp. Here is what we recommend:
Bring adequate rain gear. That happy girl in the picture above is doing it right! Make sure to bring the following:
- A breathable, waterproof rain jacket. Give it a once-over with some waterproofing spray to be sure it does its job.
- Rain boots - the big, rubbery kind. You can get these in your size at a local big-box store. Remember to add some shoe inserts to make them more comfortable!
- Waterproof pants - have you ever gone swimming in jeans? Yeah, wearing them at a rainy festival will be like that without some extra coverage. We recommend getting a pair of dedicated rain pants. You can just slip these right over your jeans (or whatever else) to stay dry. Or go to the thrift store and find some sweat pants made of nylon or polyester - those won’t absorb a drop, but they’ll still let some moisture through.
- Rain suit - this is more of a suggestion than a requirement. These have kept us super dry in the worst festival conditions. They don’t look super cool, but you will be super dry and comfy! And remember to treat your rain gear right! You’ll be wearing it for several days, so hang it up to dry when you can and wipe off mud and dirt.
- Pick up some polyester, nylon, or spandex underwear and t shirts. You can find some good workout shirts and polyester blends at thrift stores (polyester/cotton blends are ok as long as there’s at least 40-50% polyester).
- Bring a fleece sweatshirt or two to stay warm at night. We also recommend a fleece-lined base layer if you think it’ll be cold (mountain festivals, anyone?). This set served us well for skiing with nothing but a jacket over it! Check out Outdoor Gear Lab for more tips on layering!
Design your camp for a storm!
- Scope out your camp site
- Are there trees nearby for hanging overhead tarps/hammocks? This makes it super easy to set up a big, sheltered camp.
- Are you at the bottom of a hill where water will pool when it rains? Try to find a different spot.
- Rainproof your camp.
- Stakes, stakes, and more stakes! Make sure your tent stays put.
- Put a tarp under your tent to prevent water from seeping in. But make sure that water can run downhill, or you might get a puddle under your tent.
- Attach your tent’s rain fly properly (taut, attached to the frame, and staked down). You can also give your tent and rain fly a coat of waterproofing spray so the droplets just roll off.
- Set up your pop-up canopy outside the tent entrance if you have one. This will give you a great place to hang out with friends, cook food, etc.
- Tarps, tarps, tarps! Make walls on your canopy in case it rains sideways, throw one over your tent if it’s really pouring, or cover your entire camp in one if you have the means.
- Set up the inside of your tent with rain in mind.
- Keep clothes and electronics in trash bags for waterproofing.
- Have a place to put wet clothes and shoes. A rubber mat and/or trash bags work well.
- Keep your bed away from the edges of the tent. Water can accumulate on the walls and make your sheets damp.
Bring lights! Lighting up yourself and your camp is important on clear nights, but it’s even more vital when it’s raining. Putting distinctive lights on your camp and yourself will let your friends find you and let you find your camp after the festivities. Make sure to bring the following along with your Equippr camping kit:
- A bright LED lantern to light up your campsite at night
- A backup flashlight or two - tripping on a mid-night run to the bathrooms sucks!
This is a lot to be mindful of, but you’ll be glad that you’re prepared when you want to be comfy and dry. But most importantly, have fun! Even if you forgot a thing or two, your neighbors will probably pitch in to give or share what you need. One of the things that keeps us coming back to festivals over and over is the type of people you encounter - giving, compassionate, conscious souls who just want everyone to have a good time.
Tell us your best festival survival stories below!