Festival camping is probably the most varied camping you are likely to see. You will see groups with large family tents pitched next to small two-berth pop-ups. The gear you take is obviously up to you and your budget, but for the most comfortable festival possible, we have put together a checklist so that all you need to worry about is which band clashes affect your day.
While it should not need to be said, do not destroy other people’s kit; this only adds to the chance that somebody will leave it behind with their waste. One of the main reasons cited for not bringing home the tent did not know how to pack it back into its bag. The best way to learn is to practice, and we promise you that it is simple. Check out the video below for some helpful tips.
1. Getting In
The following are must-have items before the festival. Check once, check twice, and check again to make sure you take these with you.
A) Festival Ticket.
B) Money – The queues for cash machines at festivals can waste hours.
C) ID – Many festivals need to see your ID for various reasons, especially drinking.
Buy camping gear that you are proud of, gear you will want to bring home. A good tent can last for multiple festivals, which can save cash in the end. Make sure you do not leave anything behind at your festival site.
A) Tent – Always choose a larger berth tent than the number of people camping, this will give you extra space for your bags. E.g. If there are two of you camping, look at 3-berth tents etc.
B) Torch – For those late night toilet trips because nobody wants to be woken when you trip over their tent.
c) Duct Tape – You will be surprised what can be fixed with tape.
d) Folding Chair – If you do not, 10 minutes after arrival you would wish you had. They cost far more at the festival.
If you require a power source for music or lighting at night, you will benefit from silent generator hire. Silent generators are perfect for camping.
The sleeping checklist is applicable to most forms of camping; the gear may change but the items remain the same.
a) Sleeping Bag
b) Sleeping Mat / Self-Inflating Mat / Airbed – Airbeds are great but cumbersome. Rather consider a self-inflating mat to save on space and weight. Roll mats or double airbeds can add comfort and extra insulation during the night.
c) Pillow – or roll up a hoodie on your rucksack.
d) Earplugs – if you are planning on sleeping. There will be 24-hour partying.
If you want to save yourself a whole lot of money, it is best to cook your own food at a festival. Even if you have never cooked before, it does not take much to pour the contents of a camping meal or tin into a pan and heat it up.
a) Stove – First check with your festival, as many major festivals no longer allow gas stoves of any kind. If this is the case, look for a spirit burner or solid fuel stove.
b) Pan – You need at least one pan to cook with. A mess tin is ideal for cooking single pot food, and you can eat out of it. Less mess.
d) Food for meals and food for snacks – You will be on your feet a lot, so think high-energy foods to keep the party going. Avoid perishable items.
e) Water Carrier – Water for boiling, water for drinking, water for washing yourself and dishes, water for brushing your teeth – water is great!
f) Tin Opener.
g) Lighter – even if you do not smoke, you will need one for your stove.
h) Bin Bags.
We are not going to tell you what to wear and you probably would not listen to us if we did, but here’s a list of items you really should take to make the weekend as comfortable as possible. Even if the weather says it will be one thing, always expect the opposite.
a) Waterproof Jacket or Poncho.
b) Hoodie or Fleece.
c) Quick drying legwear – Avoid denim at wet festivals. Choose a quick-drying material and the chances of it drying ready for the next days’ activities will be higher.
d) Comfortable shoes or boots – Ideally you should take supportive footwear, as you will be on your feet and walking over uneven terrain all day.
e) Wellies – The great British summer will eat your trainers alive!
f) Hat – Shade at many festivals is at a premium, and if it is hot, you can make yourself ill having the sun on your head all day. A hat will also help if it rains, or if it is cold at night.
g) Spare socks and underwear – If either of these get wet, it will not be comfortable. Take dry spares.
6. Health & Safety Checklist
Look after yourself at a festival. If you are on medication make, sure you are fully stocked up. Festivals can be dirty places, especially the toilets, so keep yourself clean and safe.
a) Personal medications, plus extra.
b) First Aid Kit.
c) Sun Cream.
d) Anti-bacterial hand wash.
e) Toilet Roll.
f) Wet Wipes.
g) Fully charged mobile phone.
When the festival is over it is important to take home everything you brought with you or to dispose of items you do not want in the correct way. If for some reason you do not wish to bring your tent home, ask the festival if they have drop-off points for unwanted tents. Even if this is the case, the tent will need to be in a usable condition, so please take care of it.
While some people may think that all tents that are left behind are donated to charities, this is simply not the case, and most tents left at festivals go to waste. Discarding your tent creates landfill that is very difficult to dispose of, and we urge all festivalgoers not to leave any of their camping equipment.