Mountain Mama: Festival Camping Etiquette

Dear Mountain Mama,

My friends and I are headed to Gauley Fest for the first time. This year the entrance fee includes camping Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. While we’re up for partying, we don’t want to rage all night, especially before getting on the river for our first time. 

Will we get any sleep is we camp at the festival?

Snooze Happy


Dear Snooze Happy,

The decision to camp at the festival grounds all turns on your sleeping expectations. If you and your friends require total peace and quiet for a good night of sleep, your best bet is to check out one of the other camp grounds in the area (of which there are plenty of options). But if you don’t mind a little noise and a lot of neighbors, camping at the festival ground provides lots of entertainment, and no risk of getting a DUI.

Simple festival camping etiquette goes a long to making sure everyone enjoys their Gauley Fest experience. Even the most conscientious among us sometime need a reminder, so I’ve posted some tips:

1. Chose your campsite carefully. Avoid setting up your tent downwind of the port-a-potts or on a main route to the festivities.

2. Say hello and introduce yourselves to your neighbors. That will prevent the absolute worst-case scenario of meeting them for the first time as you’re asking them to shut the heck up so you can sleep. Besides, if you get the impression that their idea of a good time differs vastly from your own, you can consider moving your tent while there is still daylight.

3. Be considerate of others and avoid late night loud conversations or drum circles right outside of someone’s tent.

4. Keep your camping area tidy, and if you are messy, at least don’t let it encroach into others’ spaces.

5. Remember where you’ve camped to prevent stumbling into someone’s campsite late at night. Remember important landmarks to help guide your way back and remember a headlamp.

Snooze Happy, bring along a good pair of ear plugs and a good book, just in case.

Hope to See You There!

Mountain Mama



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