Festival season is finally on the horizon and that means that many newly-qualified drivers will be considering a road trip to one of the countless festivals dotted around the UK. Only two things are guaranteed at festivals: truly nightmarish toilets and grassy parking areas which descend into a muddy free-for-alls the second the last act has left the stage.
The combination of a boot full of camping supplies, a car full of very tired and sunburned friends and a car park which spends most of its time as a cow field can create some very stressful situations. The worst of which is getting your car stuck in the mud. Rather than wasting hours spinning your wheels and carving ever-deeper ruts for yourself, just follow one of our useful tips to get unstuck from mud.
1) Pack cat litter
Sounds weird, right? Odd as it may seem, the cheapest cat litter you can find at your local supermarket may be all you need to get your car out of the muddy hole it’s stuck in. Just pour the litter all around the stuck wheels and slowly accelerate until you’re free of the mud. You may need to rock the car a bit to get it started, but this surprising technique should be able to help you escape from most festival car park mudbaths. It works by adding extra traction to the wheels.
2) The MacGyver method
If you don’t have a bag of cat litter to hand, you can always bodge together a way to increase your traction on the mud. Gather up twigs, branches, gravel, pebbles or pretty much any other natural detritus that’s less slippery than the mud. Once you’ve got an armful of assorted stuff, dig some of the mud away from your tyres (sorry, you’re going to get messy) and pack the areas around your tyres with your traction-boosting rubbish. Once that’s done, just gently accelerate away. If it doesn’t work first time, try adding more materials around the tyres.
3) Drag it out
If you know someone with a 4×4 who’s willing to brave the free-for-all that is a festival car park at chucking-out time, they could tow you free of your muddy rut. However, this method can damage both vehicles and busy car parks offer little room for manoeuvre.
4) Admit defeat, call your breakdown cover people
It might leave you a little bit red-faced, but your breakdown cover people may be able to help you out.