This year was our 5th at Camp Bestival in Dorset.
Being Dorset residents, we often boast of our own mini-microclimate and any bad weather seems to avoid us, even when the rest of the country is suffering with storms. On the run up to Camp Bestival, however, I was checking BBC Weather daily and by the time it was ready to pack, it looked increasingly likely that it was going to rain at some point, so we needed to be prepared.
We arrived to beautiful sunshine on Thursday and went about exploring the site to see what was on offer this year.
By Friday though, the weather had changed and we were battling not only rain but 45mph winds.
Camp Bestival is littered with tents and marquees filled with things to entertain the kids, but during rain showers they were heaving with people trying to shelter, so it is best to try and get on with it and embrace the rain.
How we survived the rain at Camp Bestival
1. Take Waterproofs
The kids have wipe clean rain coats /puddle suits which are perfect for keeping them dry and my poncho from The People’s Poncho was ideal for keeping me cool and dry.
2. Large Bin Bags
Large bin bags were perfect for covering the trolley to keep the inside dry, for using as chair covers to prevent getting damp bottoms, for keeping things dry inside the back pack, for wet clothes, as ponchos, as a mat for the wellies in the tent etc.
Lulworth is set on chalk and drains really quickly, however, when faced with thousands of people walking over the same area it turned into an extremely muddy sea, even when the sun did eventually show its face (also make sure they actually fit before you go).
4. Flip Flops
Take flip flops to wear in the tent as the floor will get damp and leave your muddy boots at the door.
5. Extra Clothes
Rain = Mud and not matter how careful you are, you will get splattered. The kids still wanted to take part in all the activities available and did not care about getting wet and muddy, but once back at the tent wanted to change into clean clothing to warm up.
6. Pitch your tent securely and take spare tent pegs
45mph winds and heavy rain are not fun in a tent and we saw quite a few tents that got flattened. If possible, set up your tent on higher ground where water won’t pool and avoid the bottom!
Bring along a ground sheet or tarp that you can sit under your tent. Fold the edges away to stop any water building up and prevent moisture from leaking through. If you can, set up your tent’s porch or set an area aside where you can leave wet clothes or boots before getting into your tent. Guy ropes, if pinned out correctly, will keep your tent sturdy in the wind, and help to keep the tent fabric stretched. This means that water should run off easier, rather than puddle up but take some spare tent pegs, just in case.
7. Bring wet wipes and toilet roll
We are very lucky that Camp Bestival has warm showers, however, wet wipes and toilet roll are another must have for cleaning yourself up after a muddy day in the field. They’re also great to have on hand when the portaloos run out of toilet paper.
8. Take Duct Tape
Duct tape is there as backup for any tears/leaks that may spring up in your tent and it is also great for broken tent poles.
9. Stay away from the edges
Do not put anything up against the sides of your tent. Tents are designed to let the rainwater run off in a certain way, so if your stuff creates a bump in the side it may cause rain to pool up in the wrong place. Putting all of your bedding, clothes, and valuables in the middle of the tent can be helpful.
10. Have fun!!
Experiencing a festival in the rain has a different dynamic to a sunny one, however it does have its advantages. We probably saw more at this Camp Bestival than ever before as the rain kept us moving, rather than finding a spot and settling down and the kids don’t care about the weather!
Do you have any wet weather tips for festivals?