There is something rather special, we think, about camping in early autumn. The days are often warm and sunny, the nights longer with a bit of chill, and the colours spectacular…
For the first time, in 2018 we are offering camping tickets for Into the Trees. A weekend camping ticket allows you entry to the stunning grounds of Pippingford Park, in the heart of the Ashdown Forest, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, for two nights of wild family camping.
Entry for weekend ticket holders is from 2pm on Friday 14th September. You will have full access to all the activities and demonstrations on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th September. Our food vendors and bar will be open in the evenings after the day ticket holders have left, and at least one food vendor and, importantly, coffee stall will be open for breakfast each morning. In addition, we will be providing a large communal campfire with an evening performance on both Friday and Saturday nights, just for weekend ticket holders (see more about the Evening Campfire Sessions here).
The focus though, is not on entertainment, but on getting some quality family camping time, in a stunning natural location, so pack some blankets and enjoy connecting with nature and the thrill of sleeping under the stars!…
Into the Trees is the perfect first camping trip and an altogether different festival experience, but planning can be a bit overwhelming. This beginner’s guide should give you a good idea of what to bring and what to expect when you get here.
Before You Leave
Before you leave home, in fact right now, there are a few things you can do which will help your festival experience be more fun.
Firstly, book into activities. Many activities at Into the Trees are drop in and free, which means you just need to check when and where they’re happening in the schedule (which you get given when you first arrive at the festival) and then turn up. Some activities do carry a small charge and a few activities you need to book online and pay for in advance if you want to take part at the festival such as Mountain Boarding, Kayaking and Tree Climbing.
Another thing you might want to consider before you leave home is accommodation. The best way to experience Into the Trees is under canvas – there’s really nothing better. We keep the campsites quite dark, so with clear skies you’ll get a spectacular starry display thrown in for free! If you bring your own tent and pitch in our family camping area then there is nothing extra to pay once you have your weekend festival ticket.
Some people however prefer a little more comfort and if the thought of having to put up a tent terrifies you, why not hire a beautiful, pre-pitched bell tent and you can also hire bedding if you like. Full details on the glamping page here.
What to Pack
Tickets? Check! Children? Check! It’s tempting when packing for an outdoor camping trip to bring everything just in case. But remember, you’re going to have to lug all of that stuff from the car park to the campsite and back again! We can’t emphasise enough how much easier your experience will be if you pack light… And if you forget anything essential, there’s always the festival shop.
Here’s our list what to bring and what not to bring.
Tent. Obviously. But if you’re thinking about bringing your lovely canvas bell tent, do remember you’ve got to get it from your car to the campsite and back again.
Mattresses and bedding. Sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and roll mats. Nothing is worse than feeling like you can’t get a good nights sleep and it can be surprisingly cold in the middle of the night in September. It’s also a good idea to keep spare blankets in the car, just in case.
Torches / lights. We intentionally keep the campsite a dark so that everyone can enjoy the stars! Bring torches to help avoid tripping over other people’s guy ropes and maybe a lantern for inside the tent.
BBQ’s & fires. Small, contained fires which are raised off the ground are allowed. This means in a fire bowl or similar. Fires, bbqs or stoves directly on the ground are not allowed. Please DO NOT take wood from the site, even if it is fallen and dead. This provides vital a habitat for wildlife. If you want to have your own fire, you must bring your own firewood with you.
Food and Drink. Our food and drink vendors offer a huge selection of fantastic quality meals for the whole family. It’s not a bad idea to bring a few snacks and drinks for back at camp, but you don’t need to bring food for the whole weekend. Take a look at the food and drink page to see what’s on offer this year…
Water bottles & hot drink mugs. This is one of our top tips – bring your own good quality drinking bottle or camelbak and fill up with water from the taps around the site. This year you won’t be able to buy single use disposable bottles of water from our bars or vendors so don’t forget to bring your own reusable water bottle, if you do forget do not fear, the Outdoor Shop will be selling reusable water bottles on site.
Safety & Hygiene. There are free hot showers at Into the Trees, but they get super busy in the mornings. Our advice is head there mid afternoon or very early if you want to avoid queuing. You could also consider no-rinse body wash and dry shampoo. Or, dare we suggest it, not wash for a day or two… Do make sure you pack sun cream and a potty if you have small children. Toilets and hand wash stations are located across the site.
What not to bring. If you bring any of the following items, you’ll either have them confiscated or be asked to leave the festival so don’t get caught out! Glass – decant before you leave home. No glass whatsoever is allowed on site because it can be so dangerous to barefooted children and animals if broken. No Chinese lanterns. No pets or animals. No sound systems. Make sure you check the festival terms & conditions for a full list of what is and isn’t allowed.
When You Arrive
The chances are, if you’ve got kids, camping gear and supplies for the weekend, you’ll be coming by car. Plan your route using the festival postcode: TN22 3HW. As you approach the festival on the A22, keep an eye out for the yellow AA signs which will direct you to the site entrance.
Plan your arrival time.
Weekend camping ticket holders.
The site opens at 2pm on Friday 14th September. Please note that the site gates will close at 7.30pm so please arrive in time to park and pitch up (you don’t want to be putting up your tent in the dark anyway!).
Once into the festival site, you’ll be directed where to park. From there you’ll need to walk with all your equipment to the campsites. The car park is only a few metres from the camping areas at Into the Trees (unlike at Elderflower Fields for those of you that have been), so it’s relatively easy to make a few return trips to and from the car.
Once you’re at the campsite, find a spot to pitch up and then find a visual marker so that you the kids can find where the tent is. Use flags, trees or other structures to help identify your spot.
Other useful stuff
Lost & Found. If you lose a child, parent or possession, the place to go is the Info Tent. We’ve got a great team of stewards there who’ll help reunite you. Take time when you arrive to locate the info tent on the site map and explain to your kids that’s where they should head if they get lost.
Phone charging. We know what it’s like – you’ve just lined up a killer selfie for your Instagram and your phone dies. Fear not, there is phone charging available at the info tent.
Babies & Toddlers. We try to make Into the Trees the perfect first festival for small kids, but be aware, it’s a hilly and in places a rough and wild site. Prams and pushchairs can be especially difficult to get around the site, unless you have one of the three wheel off road variety. There will be a breast feeding and nappy change tipi next in the centre of the site where you can breast or bottle feed and relax in relative peace.
Money & Security. There are no cash points on site, but most of our food and drink vendors this year will accept card payments. We recommend you bring both cash and cards. Please do not bring valuables or leave them unattended in cars or tents.
And that’s pretty much it. From there on, it’s up to you to explore and find your own wild adventure!… You’ll get a site map with more info when you arrive (you can also pick these up from the Info Tent) which will have full listings of what’s on when and where, so have a browse and then relax and enjoy Into the Trees 🙂