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Expert Festival Packing Guide

Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned festival-goer, knowing what to pack for those long weekends under canvas can be a daunting task. Our experts have put together their essential packing list for any festival, to help you make sure you’re not caught short!

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For the Camp

Your camp is your home, for a few days at least, so making sure it’s set up with everything you’ll need is a big step towards a stress-free experience. Your tent and sleeping bag are obvious ones: nail the basics for a comfortable camp and the rest will follow. A lightweight and packable travel pillow will complete your sleeping set-up, and won’t risk getting your home pillows dirty, and an airbed will make the bumpy ground a distant memory. Camping chairs are an essential for when you’re not sleeping – you won’t want to sit around in a hot tent for longer than you have to, and it’s much nicer than sitting in mud!

For Cooking

Cooking your own food is the best way to save money and reduce waste at a festival, but you’ll need to come prepared. A cool box will keep your food fresher for longer, and let you bring some camping favourites, while a stove, pots and pans, and enough fuel to last the whole festival are all you need for a basic camp kitchen (if you’re going in a group, you can spread the weight between you and make it all easier to carry). Remember to bring your camping mug, crockery and spork to enjoy what you’ve made! Bear in mind that some festivals don't allow gas stoves, so always check before you buy.

For Around the Festival

A large rucksack is probably the first thing you think of when packing for a festival, but have you thought about something smaller to carry just the basics? A bumbag or daypack keeps your essentials and valuables close at hand, without the bulk or added weight of a full-size camping rucksack. Preparing for the unpredictable weather is key to enjoying the festival - a waterproof jacket or reusable poncho, walking socks and trusty pair of wellies will see you through the inevitable downpour and resulting mud, while sunglasses complete your festival look and will come in handy when the sun does come out! Help to protect the environment – and avoid being stranded without the necessities - by bringing a reusable water bottle and solar powerbank with you.

For Keeping Clean

Festivals are notoriously dirty places, and it’s all part of the fun, but you’ll probably want to maintain some level of hygiene while you’re there! A microfibre towel is a great option for festivals, as they’re quick-drying and super-lightweight, and dry wash is an underrated saviour for freshening up between showers. For cleaning utensils in camp, a collapsible washing up bowl will save space in your packing, and an eco-friendly washing up liquid will ensure you don’t leave behind any toxins that could damage the environment.

For Convenience

A few things you may not have thought of - but will make life at the festival a lot easier! Dry bags are great not only for protecting your clothes from wet weather, but also for separating clean and dirty and organising your packing too. A headtorch may look a little excessive, but will be a life-saver on those late night trips to the long drop, or for finding your tent after the last act finishes! Finally, don’t forget to bring a trolley for carrying all your stuff from the car to the campsite and back – you don’t want to spend all day going back and forth, or worse, have to leave anything behind!