The Ultimate Guide to Festival Camping

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  • You’ve got your ticket, sorted the ride and your friends are all in. Now you’ve just got to figure out what to take. Everyone wants to be well set-up, but you also don’t want to take a heap of stuff you don’t need. Here’s an article to make sure you pack what you need and get the most out of your festival.

  • The tent

    This needs to be lightweight, weatherproof and sturdy. If you end up parked a fair distance from your pitching site, you don’t want to be lugging anything over 6kg. Check your space allowance, it’s no good taking a 6 man tent if you’re unable to pitch it in the space you’ve got. If you do have a few people, it might be a good idea to get several 4 men tents and make a circle with them, creating your own central chill-out area.

    In New Zealand, you need to consider the weather. Even in summer, it can get gusty and at times ‘atmospheric’ (torrential rain), so bring a tent that has a high aqua rating and a bucket floor. A bucket floor has a decent lip on the entranceway that will stop mud or a build-up of water from entering the tent. Kiwi Camping Hiker tents have an aqua-rating of 3000mm – 4000mm that is double-coated, so weather-wise you’ll be fine. A vestibule is also a great idea, leave muddy shoes at the door in a protected area and stop the spread of grime inside your haven. If the ground is hard, don’t forget to pack a hammer or mallet for pegging out.

    If you’re a bit lax on the pitching side of things, a pop-up tent might be a good choice. The Speedy Pop-Up tents pack up to a roughly Hoola-hoop size and erect themselves in seconds. They also come in a ‘BlackHole’ version, which is cooler and allows you to sleep in longer. As an added bonus, they also come with LED lights inside!

    Summer 2020 has also seen the introduction of our new Ezi-Up tents, these have external poles that are already attached to the inner, so no fiddly poles! Simply pop them up in minutes and you are good to go. The Fantail Ezi-Up and Hihi 4 Ezi-up, maybe easy to erect, but they're still made from our high-quality materials, so you can kick back and relax.

    Lastly, it’s a good idea to get a fire retardant tent. Accidents happen, people carry cigarettes or sparklers and some use cookers and stoves, so for peace of mind, it’s a good idea to get a Kiwi Camping tent that has this feature throughout the tent range.

  • Setting up camp

    Choose your site carefully. Don’t just grab the first spot available, give it some thought. Angle your tent door so doesn’t face into the wind and if possible offers you a view of the stage. A clear route to the toilets is also a good idea. If possible, choose an area that isn’t right next to a pathway as you’ll find stumbling festival goers will pull-up your guy-ropes unintentionally.

    Pitch your tent properly. Make sure you’ve cleared your area of any sharp objects, otherwise you’ll damage your floor and possibly your mattress. Don’t pitch on a hill, or on a wildly uneven surface, you might get a good view, but it won’t make for a good tent pitch or a comfortable nights sleep!

    Use all the guy ropes and make sure the fly isn’t touching the inner, otherwise, condensation will run down your inner and you may get damp. In a sea of tents, it might be a good idea to ‘pimp’ your tent. A flag, some bunting or an unusual item at the front entrance will help you navigate back when you’re festival weary. You may want to consider security or at least a deterrent. A simple numerical digit lock might be enough to stop people ‘accidentally’ stumbling into your tent.

  • Smart gear to bring

    If you only want to bring the minimum amount of gear, make sure a lot of it is dual purpose. First up, choose a light that can double as a charge bank for your phone. Kiwi Camping has four lights that will all charge up your phone and be a light. The Aura LED Lantern with Bluetooth Speaker, also has a built-in Bluetooth speaker, so if you’re wanting some non-festival music, you’re sorted. A comfy sleeping mat is really important, but you don’t want to carry a bulky pump. We recommend a self-inflating mat like the Rover Lite Self Inflating Mat, or an air mattress that can be inflated without a pump in under 3 minutes, like the Intrepid Lite Single Air Mat. Both are incredibly lightweight (Intrepid Lite Single: 480g / Rover Self-Inflating Lite: 900g), compact and comfy.

    If you bring a lightweight sleeping bag, you can use the cram-bag as a pillow, just stuff it with clothes, and boom, you have a pillow. If the festival you’re attending allows cooking, reduce the need for a cook set by taking the Gasmate Turbo Stove and Pot Set, this Butane set nests inside itself to reduce the space used. It’s hugely efficient, boiling 500ml water in 2.5mins. There is a plastic serving bowl included, so if you take one-tin meals, you will have dinner ready to go.

    More than one festival-goer has lost their phone down a portaloo, so don’t carry your phone in your back pocket! Carry a small bag for all your essentials, or wear a weatherproof mobile armband to keep it safe and handy. Bring a weatherproof poncho, most ponchos are not that great looking, but ours comes in classic black, is big enough to fit everyone and has side fasteners so the wind won’t render it useless.

    Finally, if you're not keen on doing more than one trip from the car, the Folding Trolley is essential. This trolley fits easily in your boot, it carries up to 100kg in weight and has nice wide wheels, so it won't easily get stuck in mud or sand.

  • Chair comfort

    Lightweight and easy to carry is key, comfortable is a necessity! We recommend the Concert Back Rest, this sits on the ground and offers your back support, it folds up and is easy to carry. If you want to stay off the ground, The Event Chair and The Lowrider are both low to the ground, but won’t get in anyone’s sight-line. The Event Chair comes complete with a hidden chiller underneath, so you can keep your chilled drinks cold while you sit. The superlight Ripper Stool weighs only 700g and sits higher off the ground. If you are keen to sit on the ground, our fleecy topped, PEVA backed Picnic Rug, is a great choice. We have a whole range of bigger chairs also, so whatever your needs, we’ve got you covered!

  • Last minute checklist

    Tissues / Toilet Paper
    Hand Sanitiser / Wipes
    Small bag / Bum bag
    ID (Essential if buying alcohol)
    Cup / Drink Bottle
    Comfy Shoes
    Quick Dry towel
    Snacks (food will be expensive at events)