Earlier this year a lovely friend of mine called Helen told me about a small festival in Kent that is an adult adventure camp during the day (think crafts, games, exploring), and a music festival at night. Colour me intrigued! I started following Camp Wildfire on social media, and had already decided I’d go in 2018 after hearing her stories. However, I soon spotted they were running a competition on Facebook to win four tickets to this year’s Camp, along with Tipi accommodation and a bar tab. I entered, not thinking much of it, but amazingly I got a message a week or so later saying I had won! I had to do some serious begging at work to let me have the time off, as did the three friends I invited (Thom, Luisa and Nina), but miraculously we made it to camp!
Once you have your ticket, you’re emailed a link to a Sched website where you’re able to view and book all your activities in advance. There are four main activity slots during the day, and you get to choose two “Gold level” activities, three “Silver” and three “Bronze” over the two day weekend. Here’s a quick list of all the activities offered:
The advice Helen had given me was don’t do all the same activities as your friends, as it’s fun to do some on your own to meet new people. In light of this we booked a few activities together, and the rest were wildcards. We were super excited in the lead up to this festival as none of us had ever done anything similar before!
Day One – Friday
We arrived early Friday afternoon to a beautiful woodland in Sevenoaks, Kent, and immediately loved how small the festival is! Our car was parked less than 50m from the camp site, getting our wristbands was relaxed and easy, and the tipi field looked like lots of coloured pencils. Our home for the weekend had a blue cap, and was nice and spacious for all four of us plus our bags. It was the first time any of us had ‘glamped’ at a festival, and it was a lovely treat!
Once we’d settled in, we walked into the woodland where the main part of the festival was held. The location is just stunning, an arboretum with many different types of trees. The whole set up was adorable; they had a radio station, campfire stage, shop, main stage and bar, hot tubs, food vendors and little hidden areas, with each activity having it’s own space. We had signed up to Fox Patrol (chosen purely because my nickname is “The Gin Fox”, other choices were Hawks, Badgers or Squirrels) and we had our patrol induction, we were given our badges, and we watched the first round of Patrol Games.
The first night saw Craig Charles take to the main stage, and we spent our night dancing away and drinking a few passionfruit mojitos, also spending some time outside in the main communal area on the benches getting to know our fellow campers. The bar was very reasonable, £4 a pint, and even had a happy hour between 7pm and 8.30pm each evening.
Day Two – Saturday
We drank quite a bit on the first night, which was our first mistake as when our 8.30am alarm went off we were not feeling so fresh! Thom, Nina and I had also booked onto the very vigorous Wild Dodgeball for our first activity at 9.30am. Despite being up on time and only a few minutes late to the start, we decided to miss our first activity once we had seen how intense it was (the idea of a ball to our very delicate hangover heads was too much!) so we used the time to get breakfast from the food vendors. Luisa had the sense to book a more chilled start to the day, and did Acrylic Jewellery where she made an adorable dinosaur necklace. Definitely a lesson learned for next year: don’t hit the booze too hard on night one, and also book something crafty/relaxing for the 9.30am activity slot!
We’d all booked onto Tie Dye for our second activity, and got to make a custom t-shirt or bag. This was quite simple but great fun to sit amongst the trees tying knots and dipping into dyes. Here’s how ours turned out:
Also on the first day we made Nipple Tassels and Natural Headpieces, both were a good laugh and meant we had something to take home from our weekend at Camp. I made some strawberry nipple tassels, Luisa obviously made avocados, and the headpieces celebrated using natural materials found in the forest combined with faux flowers for stunning results. In the end our first day focused solely on crafts, as we’d missed our first adventure activity in the morning. Will definitely be choosing one or two more adventurous activities for next year! Paddleboarding sounded particularly brilliant.
The second night saw us get even more covered in glitter to match our newly made accessories. There’s something truly magical about dancing in these woodlands, and we had a great night watching Keston Cobblers Club and drinking ciders. Wildfire are really committed to being eco-friendly and they will only serve you drinks from the bar or food vendors if you remember to bring your mug. It’s such a great move! Difficult to implement at bigger festivals but I hope we can move more in that direction.
Day Three – Sunday
Typically, we didn’t learn our lesson from the first night, and woke up with stonking hangovers again on Sunday. We were determined to not miss our 9.30am Gold activity though, which was Zorbing. Keen to get there early, we set off at 9.15am in the direction of “Adventure Valley”, not the usual area where most of the activities were held. Unfortunately it was not meant to be, as because we’d set off early, we missed someone coming to tell us the location had changed last minute. Our group of four, and 5 or 6 others walked down to the Astronomy tent as the map said, and the astronomy guy said he had seen the Zorbing guys setting up at the bottom of the hill. We walked for 50 minutes in the blazing sunshine, unable to find them, and by the time we walked back up to the start and found them there, we were all very warm and tired and had missed most of the session. Luisa, the least hungover, decided to still give it a go, but Thom, Nina and I got breakfast instead. The irony is, if we’d have left our tent on time rather than early, we would have seen them. It’s a shame, but Luisa said Zorbing was really good fun, so we’re going to sign up to it next year!
Sunday afternoon was spent at Projectiles, which was easily the highlight of my weekend! We got to throw axes, shoot crossbows and bow and arrows, and air rifles. Turns out I am pretty boss at axe throwing and crossbows, I feel like I could be the new Katniss in the Hunger Games! The staff were so helpful and professional, and everyone got loads of time actually using the equipment. I really want to take up archery now!
Luisa and I ended our final day at Camp Wildfire at Wildfire Apothecary, where we learned all about natural ingredients and essential oils, and made “bath teabags” – which are exactly what they sound like! Little tea bags filled with herbs and salts that you hang over the side of your bath, and different combinations give different effects. I’m not a fan of lavender, so I went for a more invigorating mix of orange blossom and lemon grass. We then had the choice of making lip balm or shimmering body oil. Being the glitter queen I am, I obviously went for the body oil! We used shea butter, almond oil and bronze mica powder, then finished off with our choice of essential oil for scent. Again I went for a citrusy Sweet Orange with just one drop of Rosemary.
We stayed for another couple of hours Sunday evening to enjoy some food and the announcement of the Patrol Winners (which was of course Foxes! wooo!) but decided to leave Sunday evening as Thom, Luisa and I had Glastonbury Festival just two days afterwards and an extra night of sleep in our own beds beforehand seemed like a good idea.
I know people love to know what the festival food options are so I thought I’d pop a quick paragraph in! Being a smaller festival there were less options, however it’s safe to say Wildfire had all bases covered. The Rattling Pan was a beautiful dedicated vegetarian and vegan van, with yummy stews and breakfast options too. There was also Pizza of Dreams offering fab woodfired combos, they had gluten-free and vegan options on the menu, and when Luisa brought with her some vegan cheese they happily made up a pizza with it on for her. For us meat eaters, there was Westlands BBQ, which did a great breakfast bap with amazing thick bacon, sausage and egg in it, and also offered pulled pork wraps and brisket amongst usual barbecue fare. Also on offer were Fellows Bakery for pastries, cakes, pasties, sandwiches etc, and Routes Coffee for perfect flat whites and matcha lattes!
All round a great selection of food catering for all. Prices were very good for a festival, with a proper bacon sandwich coming in at £3.50, Cornish or cheese & onion pasties also £3.50, and pizzas from £6. Sadly I have absolutely no photos of food from Wildfire! But I’ve pinched a few from the vendors websites so you can get an idea.
Lessons for next time
I am so looking forward to coming back to Wildfire next year! It was such a great experience, something completely different to anything I’ve been to before, and so much fun. Combining adventure camp with a music festival is a fantastic idea, well done Jules and Lee! I do have a few things I’ve learned from my experience that I’ll remember for next year though, and those are:
- Book a showers wristband! – we stupidly thought “oh it’s only two days! We won’t need to shower!” but we didn’t take into account that doing activities means running around, and it was particularly hot this year! Showering is necessary!
- Book activities early, and choose wisely! – we won tickets quite late on this year, so didn’t have long to choose our activities, and a lot were already full. I’ll be booking on early for next year, and I know a few activities I must try having seen them! Those being: Paddleboarding, Zombie Run, Swing Dancing and Escape & Evade. Also choose chilled crafty activities for the first slot of the day to ease you in!
- Get more involved in Patrol Games! – we only watched vaguely from the sidelines on the first night, but having seen videos and photos since I’ve been home, these look like some of the most fun of the festival! I’m annoyed we didn’t get more stuck in.
- Stay for the Sunday night! – with no Glasto next year, there’s no excuse. I will plan properly and make sure we can stay for the Sunday. Helen tells me this night is the most fun, as people don’t have activities the next morning so they stay up later and go a bit more crazy. Plus, I hate not getting the most out of something!
THANK YOU SO MUCH Camp WILDFIRE FOR THE EXPERIENCE!
I can’t wait to come back next year!
GO FOXES! xx
If I’ve peaked your interest, keep an eye on the Camp Wildfire website for when tickets for 2018 are released!