Summer is finally here! And in addition to having to now mow your lawn, get working on your garden and break out the mosquito repellant, summer also means music festivals! It’s pretty hard to beat a whole weekend spent chilling in the grass with some close friends, listening to a whole schwack of good bands rocking the crowd, and then camping out under the stars. Summer music festival season is just gearing up, too, so now’s the time to plan out a music-filled weekend, secure some tickets and make sure you have the best gear for festival camping.
Your Home Base
The most important thing you’re going to need is a tent. Whether you’ve been out in the sun all day and need some place to snooze before the night’s big acts, or it’s after the final band’s encore and you need to crash … you need a good tent. It’s got to be rainproof and have a rainfly, in case you’re at something like the Pemberton Music Festival on July 14 to 17 in Pemberton, B.C. The weather often changes fast in British Columbia, and the area is known for rain, so I’d definitely look for something that is versatile. If I was driving my truck to a festival, I’d totally want the Sportz by Napier Full Size Regular Bed 2-Person Truck Tent. It’s got the full rain fly, and you’re not sleeping down on the wet ground, but rather up in the safety and comfort of the truck bed. It kinda turns any truck into a camper-trailer.
You’re also going to need a few comforts for your little festival home-away-from-home. In addition to a good warm sleeping bag, like the North 49 Mega 3 Oversize Rectangular -15-Degrees Celcius Sleeping Bag, you’ll need a couple of camping chairs. Something like the World Famous Swivel Chair With Speakers is ideal for festivals, because it’s portable and can be used both out listening to the bands, or back at the camp site. And when you’re at a festival this summer like Amnesia Rockfest on June 23 to 26 in Montebello, Quebec, you’ll want a comfortable chair to take in the insane line-up. Afterwards back at your camp, the chair’s integrated speakers make sure the music never stops all weekend long. Alternately, you could opt for a cheaper camping chair, and go for a portable speaker for your after-show tunes, like the Braven BRV-1s Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Speaker. It’s rugged enough to survive rain or a carelessly spilled beer, plus it has 14-hours of playback time on a charge, and it can even act as a powerbank for your smartphone. It even lets you take calls using a built-in noise-cancelling mic.
One last thing you’ll need to make trick out your festival camping digs is a good, solid cooler. Sure, you can buy all sorts of yummy things at the food trucks, carts and booths scattered throughout the festival, but you’re also going to want something back at the camp site for when you’ve got to quench your thirst, or quell the sudden onset of munchies. I like the Koolatron Travel Saver Hard Sided Cooler, because it has a 42-litre capacity so it can hold lots of stuff, and you can stand it up to act like a little mini-fridge.
I’ve Got the Power
Okay, now that your campsite has all the bells, whistles and mini-fridges, you’ve got to find some way to power the whole thing, right? I’d definitely pack the Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator on my next festival outing. It’s portable and gas-free, and sports USB ports to charge all sorts of devices, such as smartphones or tablets, as well as a 12v output that powers and charges laptops or coolers. You recharge the generator by plugging it into a wall outlet, your car’s 12v output, or from the sun. You definitely need something like this when you’re checking out the classic Canadian rock at CannaFest in Grand Forks B.C. on August 5 and 6. You’ll want to make sure you’ve got your phone all juiced up so you can Tweet pics of you rocking out to groups like Helix, Headpins and Honeymoon Suite.
So, what festival are you most looking forward to attending this summer and what do you consider your best gear for festival camping? How are you going to enjoy the outdoors this summer? Let us know in the comment section.