7 TIPS FOR CAMPING FOR SHOES! - SNEAKER TALK
How to Camp out Overnight in Line
Whether you’re looking to buy the new iPad on Black Friday, be one of the first customers to get free food, or earn a spot in the first row to your favorite band’s concert, you might need to wait in line for long—even for an entire night or a few days. If you’re willing to brave a night of camping with an enthusiastic crowd, make sure to prepare in advance and gather your supplies. You can have a successful campout by sleeping, staying warm, watching out for pre-sale tickets, and taking strategic bathroom breaks, and it’s likely to become a fun story to tell your friends afterwards!
Preparing in Advance
Call in advance to ask about release details.If you want a concert or event ticket, check the release date online and call the ticket office to make sure it’s general admission rather than pre-assigned seating. If there is a specific item you want, call the store, confirm that they have it, and ask how many of the items they have. In any case, ask if they let camping out in line, and if yes, when they allow people to start camping.
- Even if you just want to go for a sale and see what you can buy, ask what time the store opens, and whether it will be first-come, first-served or they will be handing out pre-order tickets to avoid chaos. If there are only a dozen game systems available and you are the 20th person, it's not worth your time to stay out all night.
- Try to get tips on the release by asking a lot of questions, so you’re not underprepared.
Pick an outlier store if you’re looking to buy a popular item.If there are multiple stores selling the item you want, try to search for those that are further away from the city center since those might have shorter lines and wait times.
- Find an outlier store on the brand’s website and call to make sure they have the item you want. If not, you might need to stick to the central store that does have the item.
Find what time the past campouts started and pick your time.Given the limited amount of tickets or items available, timing is a crucial factor in planning a campout in line. Search online for the past campouts at your selected ticket office or for the item you want, and see what time campers arrived to form a line. If you want to play it safe, plan to go one hour before that time.
- It’s also wise to drive by the store/ticket office in the evening to see how many people lined up already. If there is over 20, you might want to consider joining them soon rather than waiting for the morning.
Plan ahead and arrange the next day’s commitments accordingly.As soon as you know which night you’ll need to camp out, try to free the night before and the day of release. If you have school or work the next day, you’ll most likely be too exhausted to go after an all-nighter outside, so try to free that day.
Gather together supplies in a backpack.Regardless of season, it will most likely be cold overnight. Put together a few blankets or comforters and a pillow. Foldable lawn chairs are a huge plus since sitting on the ground will make you cold faster.Also bring magazines or a book and an entertainment gadget such as an iPad, laptop, or handheld game system to relieve boredom.
- Consider bringing a space heater if it’s winter or if you get cold easily. Bring sunscreen if you’ll be camping during the day too.
- Make sure you take your phone with you as well.
- For a campout that’ll likely take a few days, you might want to add in a first-aid kit.
Bring a sleeping bag and/or tent.This depends on how long you think you’ll be camping, but having something you can sleep on or in is always helpful. If the campout might last for a few days, you might benefit from a tent. If it’s only one night, you may be able to get away with a sleeping bag or even just blankets.
Bring healthy foods.Staying up all night and waiting in line is probably only bearable if you have snacks. Take nutritious and filling foods with you, such as a sandwich, energy or protein bars, fruits and vegetables, as well as a bag of chips or pretzels and gum. Don’t forget to have a big bottle of water, in addition to energy drinks or coffee in a thermos to keep you up.
Bring a buddy.If at all possible, bring a friend, husband, wife, girl/boyfriend, sibling—basically anyone! There is safety in numbers and you will have someone to hold your place in line during a much needed bathroom break or a food run. If you can't do that, try to seek out a friend in line, though you might risk losing your spot when you leave.
Check the place out the day before.If at all possible, drive to the location the day before. Seek out possible bathrooms, coffee shops, and 24-hour locations. If nothing else, you will want some place to warm up. If there are no 24/7 grocery stores, look for convenience stores.
Dress warmly and comfortably.Before you leave for the campout, don’t forget to wear warm and comfortable clothes. Have a few layers on top, such as a t-shirt, turtleneck and sweater, plus a coat. Have two layers on bottom (jogging pants/flannel pants), a hat, gloves, a scarf, double layers of socks, and warm shoes.
Securing Your Spot in Line
Find your spot on arrival.When you arrive, chances are you won't be the first person there. Find out your place in the line and say hello to everyone. Remain kind and respectful to your fellow campers—you'll go through a lot together that night!
Set up your tent, sleeping bag, and/or sitting space.If you brought along a tent and/or a sleeping bag, set them up upon arrival. If you don’t have either, put out your foldable chair or lay a blanket on the floor to sit. This will mark your spot, making it easier to find your spot after a bathroom break, and make for a comfortable start to your campout.
Locate a restroom nearby.If you haven’t done this earlier, it’s important to locate the nearest bathroom as soon as you set up your spot. If you’re with a friend, leave them in line and look for a restroom. If you have no one, ask the others in line for the restroom, and when you need to go, kindly ask someone to save your spot.
- If there is no restroom nearby, you should be very careful for the rest of the night as to minimize bathroom needs. Try to drink little water or liquids, and avoid eating a big, greasy meal.
Passing Time in Line
Try to sleep.Sleeping would be ideal not only to pass time but also to avoid disrupting your daily routine (unless you pull all-nighters regularly). If you’re using a sleeping bag, wear a few layers but not too many, since that might prevent the sleeping bag from warming your body and make you feel colder.Use earplugs if it’s noisy. Try to disconnect yourself from the fact that you’re sleeping on the ground outside, and focus on getting some rest.
Walk around to stay warm if you can’t sleep.If you absolutely cannot sleep and are decided on staying awake, drink caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee or energy drinks. Remember that staying warm is crucial, so walk around without leaving your spot.If you're with someone, take car or bathroom breaks, do a snack or food run, and keep an eye on the time.
Stay hydrated but watch your bathroom needs.It’s important to avoid dehydration while waiting outside, particularly if part of it involves waiting in the sun. Try to drink water throughout the night such as one cup every two hours to keep your body healthy. But remember that if you don’t have a buddy or if there is no bathroom close by, a bathroom break will not be easy. Try to keep breaks to a minimum by watching your liquid intake.
- Another solution is to prepare by adjusting your pre-camping diet for the 24-36 hours before you start camping. By minimizing your intake of greasy foods beforehand, you might need fewer bathroom breaks during the wait. However, this depends on the length of camping; if it’s under one day, you might not need to go to that extreme.
Meet other enthusiasts in line.Although your eyes might be on the prize, there is no reason you shouldn’t enjoy camping out with a crowd of hardcore customers or fans who have the exact same goal as you do. Without losing your spot, socialize with the people around you and get to know their stories. This will not only help you pass time but also make for a good memory to recall for years to come!
Play games.If you brought a handheld game system or your iPad, you can always try playing games on your own to pass time. Another option is to talk to your neighbors in line and see if they want to play a game together such as charades. With a paper and a pen, you can create your own Taboo game too.
Focus on a hobby like reading or writing.Even if it’s not a very social line, you can still find things to do by yourself. Think of this time as your personal time to focus on a hobby you have. You can read the book you left on page 23 last month, or write on your journal for the first time after a few busy weeks. You can also just listen to music with your earphones and meditate. Enjoy and appreciate this free time!
Wake early and stay alert.As you near an hour until opening, stay awake and definitely do not leave the line! If you’re waiting for a sale, the manager may hand out pre-sale tickets, and you do not want to miss this—you have been camping out all night for these!
- You need to dress warmly, this cannot be overstated! You may find a fellow shopper who is happy to help you and lend a blanket or buy you a coffee, but you will be in for the coldest night of your life if you don't plan ahead!
- Do not give up hope, and stay patient and civil throughout the wait.
- Bring chairs to avoid sitting on the ground. Wrap blankets tightly around you to trap in heat.
- Carry a cell phone for time, safety, and in case you need to call a relative or the hospital.
- Make sure all of your electronics are fully charged. Bring extra battery if available.
- Don't carry cash. Use a debit or credit card, or pay by check. Leave your purse at home.
- Do not start fights or arguments with people who drive by. Some may drive by and joke around by saying they are the manager and that you are too late. Just ignore them.
Video: HOW TO: camp for a concert!
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