The summer music festivals are a highlight of the year. If you’re lucky you might even get hot weather instead of rain which always makes a huge difference. However, with sun comes heat, and there’s nothing more unbearable that trying to get to sleep in a hot tent (especially if you’re a little worse for wear).
Whilst you might not be getting any sleep anyway (if you know what I mean), for the sensible amongst you, having a cool tent to retire back to after the stages have closed is key to feeling fresh the next day.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to share with you my own tips for keeping a festival tent cool. I came up with these after going to Glastonbury the only year it probably didn’t rain.
How to keep your tent cool at a festival
There are several steps you can take to keep your tent cool this festival season. You might even want to buy a different tent after you’ve read these:
- Pitch your tent in shade: when looking for your spot to pitch your tent, try look for a place with shade, under a tree, or next to a caravan. It’s not always possible at festivals, but if you’re lucky you can get a more shaded area to camp in.
- Use a reflective tarpaulin: If you can’t find shade you can block out the hot sun by fastening a reflective tarp over your tent. Just make sure you leave room for air to flow between the tent and the tarp.
- Lay blankets under your tent: the ground also generates heat, so it is a good idea to lay tarp, a blanket or some cardboard under the tent to separate you from the hot mud and earth.
- Set the tent up after dark: a tent that’s been left to bake in the sun will be like an oven. If you can, set it up after dark as the festival tent will be a lot cooler that way.
- Take battery powered fans: if you have room in your bag, bring some battery powered fans to help circulate cool air through your tent. Just remember to open your vents and windows, so the fan doesn’t circulate hot air in the tent!
- Bring a cooler with ice: Another hot (or cool) tip is to bring a cooler with ice and put some ice in a tray in front of the fan to cool down the air.
- But a thin fabric tent: first of all, consider getting a tent made from a thin fabric such as polyester. The modern ones also have a high resistance to the sun’s UV rays.
- Sleep on top of your sleeping bag: sleeping bags are designed to keep the heat in, so I wouldn’t even bother attempting to get in yours. Keep cool in your tent by sleeping on top of the bag.
- Buy a tent with air vents: tent needs vents to keep cool with small windows to allow for air to flow through. It may also be necessary to open the zip of the tent door in the hottest hours.
- Use a larger tent: a bigger tent will provide more air flow, but the more people sleeping in one tent the more difficult it is for the air to escape. If you’ve got a crowd of people in your tent, that body warmth is going to heat up pretty quickly.
How to stay cool at the summer music festivals
Over the festival weekend you will likely spend most of your time outside enjoying the music and dancing at the stages. To stay safe and comfortable in the hottest hours of the day there is some precautions you can take.
First of all, STAY HYDRATED. All festivals will have water taps available throughout the festival site. Remember to bring a bottle or other drinking vessel. A hydration pack is the perfect festival accessory. It will keep your water cool and you can store your valuables on you at all times.
Remember that when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated, so keep water on you at all times so you can hydrate throughout the day.
Protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen, sunglasses and top it off with a cap or a hat to protect your face and neck.
Also take breaks from the sun; find some shade, go back to your ‘cool’ tent for a siesta, or take a cold shower (or as they are called at a festival…. a shower).
Wear light breathable fabrics
Fashion is an important factor for many festival goers. Though, denim looks good it may cause you to overheat.
Bring clothes in light colours and breathable fabrics, also choosing flowy cuts over skintight clothes will allow airflow to your skin.
Eat little and often
The food at festivals can be as exciting as the music, with lots of exciting cuisines to choose from. Remember that a ‘heavy’ meal may increase your body temperature and even dehydrate you, so it is recommended to eat smaller meals and eat often!
Bringing snacks such as fruit and nuts will keep your energy up so you can dance and party all day, also give in to your sweet tooth and cool down with some ice cream!
Watch out for the signs of heat stroke
Listen to your body and know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include weakness, fatigue, nausea, headache, clammy and moist skin and profuse sweating with normal to slightly increased body temperature.
Symptoms of heat stroke include mental confusion, delirium, loss of consciousness, seizures, lack of sweating, hot and dry skin with increasing body temperature.
Seek help at the welfare tent if you experience any of these symptoms, they will take good care of you even if all you need is a rest and someone to talk to.
How to stay warm at a music festival
The weather in UK can be unpredictable, and even during the summer you need to be prepared for cold weather when camping. Insulate your tent with a tent carpet, blankets, cardboard or even newspapers to protect you from the cold ground. You can also place a mat on top of your airbed.
Bring a hot water bottle and some disposable heat packs to keep warm in your sleeping bag and layer up before bed!
Thermals take up little space in your bag, are very light, and work miracles for keeping you warm during cold nights.
Make sure to bring enough clothes to change when you get wet, and bring a rain coat and wellies. Treat yourself to a hot hearty meal or a hot drink before bed.
Make sure you keep your tent dry! If your tent doesn’t include a rain fly, tie a tarp over your tent. Remember to leave room between the tarp and the tent to prevent condensation.
Check the weather forecast before the festival and plan accordingly, stay safe and enjoy the festival season.
Most of the millions of people attending UK music festivals spend the weekend sleeping in tents, which in the summer weather can sometimes feel like sleeping in an oven.
If you can keep your tent cool at a festival you will hopefully get a better night’s sleep and will enjoy the next day’s acts so much more!