It is that time of year again where the festivals are in full swing and many of you are looking for a good festival tent to buy.
But what are the things you should consider before making a purchase?
Tents left behind go to charity!
There seems to be a myth that all those tents that are left in fields by festival goers are given to charity but that is not the case!
There are some volunteers who will try to collect a few tents, but it is only a few. The rest of them simply go to landfill. A staggering 900 tonne worth of festival tents end up in landfill each year as festival goers leave them behind.
Leaving your tent lying in a field is simply littering on a large scale and festival organisers are trying their hardest to change this. Some events will even have donation stations for you to take your tent to if you do not want to carry it home.
Your tent is only single use!
Firstly, there is no such thing as single use tents. I know many companies and high street retailers advertise small, lightweight tents as single use. This is another area that festival organisers are trying to change as they want the term single use banned when it comes to tents.
The only single use tent I know of is from a Dutch company called Kartent. These tents are made from a heavy-duty cardboard and are waterproof for 3-4 days’ worth of rain. Apart from being waterproof and able to stand up to great British weather they will also stay dark in the early morning light while you recover from the evening before. You can draw on them and style them how you like if you wish to stand out from the rest and ensure you head back to the right tent at the end of the night.
Once the festival is over they can simply be recycled. The company is hoping that festivals will start promoting such tents to cut down on all the plastic waste created at their events.
If Not Single Use, Then What?
Well if you are a regular festival goer it would be worth investing in a good festival tent that you are able to use year after year. There are some great tents out there for such occasions and one that I can highly recommend is the Coleman Festival tent I have a review of it here.
Check out this seasons festival tents here.
I know that it may seem a right pain to pack up with a hangover or if extremely tired. But if you are using the same tent time after time you will soon be able to take it down really quick and throw it in its bag. You can sort it out at a later time once you get home and recover from partying.
Always make sure you dry your tent out completely before properly packing it away for storage. This will save mould and mildew forming on damp spots. You can dry it out by re-pitching it in the garden or simply drying over a airer or banister for a few days.
As with all good festival tents you want something easy to pitch and take down.
Something that is going to protect you from the weather. A tent with good Hydrostatic Head (HH). This is the amount of rain it can withstand in mm before it starts to let in. So, if it is 3000HH it can withstand 3000mm of water on the fabric before it starts to let in.
Good ventilation. There is often a build up of condensation inside tents during the night and most is caused by our breathing. Each person can produce around 1 litre of condensation just by breathing while sleeping, never mind if you go back to the tent sweaty and damp.
Make sure your tent has good ventilation and keep ventilation panels open at all times. Most tents are designed to let air in while keeping drafts to a minimum. Where possible if you are getting soaked in the rain try to keep those wet clothes out the main tent or sleeping areas. If the tent has a small porch area keep wet stuff here.
What if I Don’t Won’t to invest In A Good Tent?
Well if you want to continue to just buy cheap tents to be used on one trip there are ways that you can dispose of it without leaving it pitched in the field.
Donate at a Festivals Recycling Point
Look for a recycling stall or point at the festival, these are becoming quite common now. Simply take your tent down, pack it in its bag and drop it off when you are leaving.
Check the festivals social media pages for information about recycling points as many will allow you to donate more than just your tent. Many will take chairs, gazebos, unwanted and unopened food and they may even take some broken stuff too that they can use to make recycled items.
Take It Home and Donate It to Charity
There are charity shops in most towns and cities that will take your tents and sleeping bags, especially those charities that help the homeless.
Some large bus stations and supermarkets will also have collection points throughout the festival season.
Make sure to pack it away as best as you can before donating.
Take it home and arrange to have it collected from your home by a charity. If you can’t be bothered doing the legwork to get it to a shop you can simply go online fill out a form and have your tent collected from your home address. You can do this by following this link – http://giftyourgear.com/tent-reuse-and-recycling-gift-your-gear/
Gift It to Young Children as A Play Tent
Surely you know a child that could maybe use this in the garden over the summer as a play tent. Younger siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews or even the neighbours down the road have kids. Children have great imaginations and would love something like and unwanted tent to play in. I’m sure that they could turn it into an array of places from castles to hideouts.
Always make sure to ask the adults permission to gift it first though. You don’t want to give it to the child/ren and then have the adults confiscate it and upset them. Many adults will not have a problem if they have a garden in which the child can use it. It will give the child hours of fun and the adults some breathing space while they are out playing.
Enjoy Your Festival
Now you hopefully have a better understanding of ways you can be more responsible and environmentally friendly when it comes to choosing your festival tent all that is left is to go out there and enjoy your festival or festivals that you are attending this year.