Greetings from CIT ChickenHeadFan Jason! With each tick of the clock Summer Camp is getting closer! Like most of you, I have been working hard the last few weeks gathering all the necessary toys and equipment that it will take to make this Summer Camp the best one yet! My friends and I have been to many festivals and have learned a lot along the way. Each year our campsite gets better and better so I would like to share with you some tips I have learned to make sure your site is eggsellent (chicken pun intended).
First you need to buy (or borrow) the right equipment in order to be prepared for anything the festival life will throw at you. Here is a list of what I think is necessary to make your campsite the best that it can be. After all it will be your home for four days.
Tent – This will be your only shelter for a few days in case you plan on sleeping. I have a three-season tent that can get a little hot, but protects you better from the weather. It can get hot around 10 am so if you want to sleep a little after your late night shows you will want a tent with proper ventilation. Also it has been known to rain at Summer Camp so a tent that is waterproof and has no holes is ideal.
Comfortable camp/lawn chair - You will need a place to rest your buns after raging all day. It is also a good place to catch a quick nap in the afternoon. Cup holders are nice, and the smaller it collapses the better. You can even bring it to a show if your legs are feeling weak from all the dancing you did the night before.
Canopy - The sun is HOT, especially if you aren’t lucky enough to camp in the woods. The canopy is a necessity in my book. It will provide you shade in the afternoon sun, and shelter from the rain. It also looks cool when you cut open glow sticks and splatter them all over the canopy! This year we are going big, a 10×20 portable car-port shelter! I have already practiced setting up. Being able to set up camp quickly makes all the difference.
Hammock - This might seem like a luxury to some, but nothing will help you relax at Summer Camp more than a hammock. It also can be a lot of fun if you have a friend swing you around in it! Bringing a hammock does make the search for a campsite a little more difficult, but the woods are full of trees that are the perfect distance apart. Hammocks also attract many people. Do not be surprised if you wake up to find a random person sleeping in the hammock every morning. Great way to meet people!
Cooler - You will need to drink water sometime, this will keep it cold. Coolers also make great benches. One lesson I learned the hard way is that a 200qt. cooler holds a lot of stuff, but is a pain in the ass to carry to your campsite. Two smaller coolers do just fine!
Grill – Grills or other camp stoves are nice to have as well. Portable propane grills are the easiest to use because you do not have to bring charcoal or worry about hot coals. If you need that charcoal flavor it is permitted but remember to be safe and smart when disposing of your coals.
Food/Drink – You can bring food into the festival. In terms of food, unless you are a chef the easier to prepare the better. Hot dogs and hamburgers are Summer Camp staples. For lunch sandwiches like PB&J and ham and cheese are the best choice. There is food available from vendors at the festival (I suggest trying the brick oven pizza and breakfast burritos), but bringing your own will help save some money. For drinks, first and foremost, WATER. You can’t get enough! Soda, juice, tea, lemonade are also nice, but bringing your own alcohol is not allowed, so don’t even try!
Wagon – This is one of the most important things you can bring to Summer Camp. Getting the prime camping spot (I prefer somewhere in the woods) is key to having a good Summer Camp experience. The right wagon will get you to that spot quicker and easier than the competition. This year we bought a gardening wagon with air filled rubber tires that can climb mountains and the ability to hold 400 pounds. The standard “red wagons” have never held up for us.
Decorations: Decorations are not only fun, but they can serve a practical purpose too. Ifyou want to find your campsite again you need to make it a landmark.You can string lights up, fly some balloons, throw streamers around, or you can duct tape a mouse mask to the tree and light off smoke bombs in it. Whatever you do just make it your own!
These are what I believe to be the most important things to keep in mind when planning your campsite for this years Summer Camp Music Festival. If any first times S Campers have any questions or if any crafty veterans would like to chime into this discussion online follow the links below.
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See you soon,
Every year, it seems like Summer Camp is so far away, and then these last few weeks fly by in no time. Can you smell it? It’s almost here! Here are a few things I’m super excited for…
- The entire Campfire Stage line-up. It is sick. Chicago Farmer, Greensky Bluegrass, and then Hot Buttered Rum in the wee hours of the morning? I just saw them at the Vic with Cornmeal on 4/20 and I truly fell in love with this band. They are not to be missed. For what is thought of as a smaller side stage, the Campfire Stage is pulling some pretty serious weight this year.
- Weir, Robinson, and Greene Acoustic Trio. I am beyond excited to hear these guys collaborate, and I can’t wait to hear what kind of set they put together. Late afternoon on the Sunshine Stage is the perfect slot for this set. Also, if you don’t know Jackie Greene, click here and check him out – he’s (in my opinion) one of the best lyricists around right now.
- Morning yoga at the Soulshine Stage. Confession: I’ve planned to do this every year and have never actually gone. I’ve even brought my yoga mat and everything… but let’s admit it, 10am is a tough time to be up and moving at a festival. Everyone that goes says it changes your day – gives you energy, and re-centers you for another day of raging and music. So this year, I will make it happen. (Probably.)
If this is your first time at Summer Camp, or a festival in general, here are some tips:
- Don’t forget your ticket. Really. Every year I see sad people in line realizing they forgot it and are 3 hours from home. Triple check it, people.
- Bring baby wipes. Showers are available, but baby wipes will save your life.
- Print out the schedule! Yes, they give you one at the gates, but every year by Friday afternoon there are 10,000 people asking to see a schedule. I don’t know how thousands of them get lost every year, but they do – print out a backup, and you will be everyone’s best friend.
- Forget about a map. You’ll figure out where you’re going in no time, and there will always be a friendly face to point you towards the next stage. Just let go, and you’ll figure it out.
- You cannot pack enough of the following items: bottled water, glowsticks, hair rubber bands (for girls or long-haired boys), sunscreen, an extra pair of party pants (in case you dance yours into oblivion), and smiles.
- If you forget any of the items mentioned above, there is a grocery store right down the block from Three Sisters Park. If you’re traveling from afar, I’d suggest stopping there for your ice & perishable food right before you head in to the greatest weekend of the year.
That’s all! So start packing and get pumped, because I have a feeling this might be the most epic Summer Camp yet…
Abby Mager, CIT 2012