At Hulaween 2021, I was dancing in the crowd when I spotted the most hilarious totem that made me spit out my drink laughing. It read: Back & Body Hurts - in the classic Bath & Body Works font. I know the feeling all too well. The longer you’re at a camping festival, the worse it gets - achy feet, neck cramps, and don’t even start about the back pain!
Muscle soreness at festivals is incredibly common, especially at multi-day camping fests where you have to live without the comfort of your Tempur-Pedic mattress. If you’re the type of person who wakes up on day 3 in excruciating pain, try these tips to prevent body aches.
Before the festival:
In our home lives, many of us work desk jobs and live inactive lifestyles. If you want to avoid physical aches during a festival, try preparing your body leading up to the event.
You’d be surprised at how much physical activity you’ll do at the festival! From walks to and from camp, to adventures around the grounds, to long days and sleepless nights of non-stop dancing - your body probably isn’t used to this level of exertion! If possible, try “training” yourself by taking long, daily walks.
This will also help you determine if you have the right shoes to keep your feet from hurting at the festival. Test out your footwear to make sure you’ll have proper support, so you’ll be pain-free and ready to dance all night long!
Before the fest, you can also prepare your sleeping arrangements to minimize body aches. Figure out if you’re most comfortable in a camping cot with a mattress pad, an air mattress, or even a hammock - everyone is different!
At the festival:
Be mindful of any pre-existing injuries you may have throughout the festival. Take note of where the medic tent is located in case you experience a flair-up.
When you’re setting up camp, be careful lifting heavy things and ask for help if you need it.
It’s crucial to stay hydrated to avoid muscle cramps and potential injuries. Try carrying a water bottle or bringing a hydration pack into the crowd. Remember, your body will need extra water if you’re in hot weather, drinking alcohol, or exerting a lot of energy on the dance floor.
It’s also important to take time to stretch before heading to your favorite sets. You can organize a group yoga sesh with your campmates, or just take some time for yourself and stretch your body. Some festivals will have massage therapists or yoga classes on site, so look into your options. If you have a foam roller or massage gun, your body will thank you!
Rest between sets. If you’re standing and dancing the entire weekend, you will definitely feel some soreness by the end of the festival. Find a comfortable place to sit down and rest your body whenever possible.
After the festival:
Continue to hydrate and stretch after you get home, plus, eat well and get plenty of rest!