Festival Guide

What to Pack

With limited space, temperamental weather and limited facilities it can be difficult to know what to take. As a rule, try to pack only what you need - you may end up carrying it quite far, and leave anything valuable or sentimental at home. Here is our Festival Essentials list – complete with links to buy if you don’t have it already!

Tent – Ideally, a small, light and easy to use design which is easy to spot in a crowd.

Sleeping Bag – Warm with a small packed size

Sleeping Mat – Will keep you warm and comfortable and is smaller/lighter when packed than an air bed

Torch – Ideally a small torch with a lot of power such as a LED Lenser. For the camp look out for small camp lights - some even come with built in speakers for playing music!

Pen Knife – These are banned at some festivals so be sure to do your research before you go. They can be great for saving space, especially mini ranges

Mallet – Again, check they are not banned before you go

Bright Guy Ropes – Great for avoiding trips and falls

Duct Tape or Heavy Duty Tape – Just the job for minor emergency tent repairs!

Matches – Store in a dry place

Loo Roll – For when nature calls. Store in a waterproof bag

Bin Liners/Dry Bag – Great for rubbish, storing wet clothes, sitting on wet or damp grass and keeping things dry – they can even be worn in a rain emergency!

Water Bottle – Collapsible designs are great space savers. Try and get a small one to carry with you and a larger container for camp

Backpacks – Ideally one to carry gear and a smaller daypack or bag for during the day

Wellies/Boots – Comfortable enough to walk around in all day and water proof. Pack a pair of good thick socks and keep a pair spare

Waterproofs – Such as waterproof jackets (3 in 1’s are great for temperamental weather), hooded plastic ponchos, waterproof trousers, and as a last resort – bin liners!

Hat – Sunhats will keep you cool and shaded; a warm hat is great at night. Both will hide unruly hair!

Sun Glasses – Keep the sun out of your eyes and very forgiving!

Sun Cream – And after-sun. Look for smaller travel sizes and remember to use every day, even if it’s cloudy. Don’t forget to reapply!

Wet Wipes – A great way to keep clean and remove makeup

Hand Sanitiser – Carry at all times and use after the toilet and before eating

Dry Shampoo – A must for longer hair. Look out for travel sizes

Tooth Brush, Toothpaste and Other Toiletries – Again, look out for small travel sizes

Ear Plugs or Ear Defenders – To prevent damage from very loud music (especially for young children) and great for when it’s time to go to sleep!

Medication – Be sure to pack any medication you take, and pack some Paracetamol, plasters and Hay Fever tablets just in case

Phone – Fully charged with all your mates’ numbers

Phone Charger – Car chargers, solar powered chargers and other emergency chargers are great. As an alternative pack a spare fully charged battery pack

ID – Keep on you at all times

Tickets – Including travel tickets, transport time tables, and maps

Handy Hints and Tips

Sometimes it’s trial and error with festivals. Here are some handy tips we’ve picked up along the way!

  • Before you arrive to check festival rules and facilities to be sure you only pack what you need and nothing prohibited.
  • Check directions and car parking for a straightforward and trouble free journey. Carry a small amount of loo role and a torch in your pocket or bag, especially at night! You will be thankful when nature calls - normally festival toilets do not have lighting.
  • Only carry the minimum cash you can get away with and don’t leave any money or valuables in your tent.
  • Always be ready for rain, even if it’s fine when you leave. Pack wellies or waterproof boots, spare thick socks and a water proof. If you will only be using it for the festival there is no need to splash out on a waterproof jacket – a hooded poncho should be fine.
  • Keep cool. Pack sun cream, after-sun, sunglasses and a hat, and try and find shaded areas during mid-day when it’s very sunny. Sunglasses and hats are also great for covering bad festival hair, smudged makeup and weary eyes!
  • Stay hydrated. Long days in the sun and alcohol can lead to dehydration so be sure to pack a water bottle and carry it with you. There is a massive range on the market, including insulated, collapsible, waist packs and even bladder packs! Just make sure it isn’t glass as most festivals have a no glass policy. For the camp, try a large folding or collapsible container to avoid lots of trips to the tap.
  • Pack non-perishable snacks such as cereal bars and nuts to avoid feeling peckish over the day. Food at festivals can be quite expensive so snacks will keep blood sugar levels up between meals.
  • Use hand sanitizer after the toilet and before eating. Wet wipes, dry shampoo, travel miniatures and small microfiber towels are great when showers and hot water are hard to come by. If you really cannot do without washing facilities look out for solar powered showers. These fold up small and can provide warm water throughout the day.
  • Ear plugs are great for bedtime and a folded towel is an excellent alternative to packing a pillow.
  • Pack a notebook and pen to jot down the name and numbers of all your friends, just in case you cannot use your phone.
  • Take a small daypack or bag to keep essentials to hand during the day (water, hand sanitizer, small torch, loo role, snacks, sun cream, money and phone). Avoids lots of trips back to the tent and keeps valuables safe.
  • Pack layers, not outfits – especially for UK festivals. A vest top can be great in the sun, but also doubles as a base layer at night. Remember, clear sunny days with no clouds will be cooler at night.
  • For family festivals prams and pushchairs can be impractical - getting stuck in mud and cumbersome to carry. They may even be banned at some festivals. A great alternative is a child carrier, with some models having built in storage and weather protection.
  • If possible, keep a spare set of clean clothes in the boot of your car for the journey home.
  • Be careful, stay safe, and have fun!

Check out our range of festival essentials!

Not sure about Tents or Sleeping Bags? Take a look at our handy Sleeping Bag Guide and Tent Buying Guide for more information.