The ultimate festival survival guide


THE ULTIMATE FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE

Summer weather and weekend music festivals are made for each other. From the well-known Glastonbury and Reading, to smaller festivals such as Secret Garden Party and Lovebox, there are plenty to choose from in the UK alone.  

 

But with worries of getting rained out and less than homely shower facilities, don’t let the idea of camping get you down. Whether you’re heading for a weekend of chilled out vibes or partying it up here is everything you need to know to survive camping this festival season. 


The Festival Camping Essentials

No doubt about it you’re there for the music, but you won’t be able to fully enjoy yourself if you forget essentials like a tent, sunscreen, or water. 

callumbakerphoto.com

Hauling your weekend essentials through muddy fields on a trolley is not the way forward.  

 

Instead, choose a comfortable 60L + backpack to accommodate your festival itinerary. You’ll still have two hands free to carry a crate of beer!

 

 

TENT

It sounds obvious but you’d be surprised by how many people forget their tent. While you won’t need an expedition tent, investing in a well ventilated and waterproof tent is essential.  

 

Go for a lightweight tent that stands out the in the crowd like this FieldCandy Original Explorer 2-person tents weighing just 4.8kg. 

 

SLEEPING BAG

A three-season sleeping bag with a 0°C to -5°C rating is ideal. If you feel the cold easily, choose a bag with a slightly warmer comfort rating.

 

HEAD TORCH

Although walkways are usually illuminated in-camp, tracking your tent in the dark while negotiating around debris and people can be tricky. Take a head torch and some spare batteries for hikes back after headliners and midnight toilet trips.

INFLATABLE SLEEPING MAT

Don’t settle for an uncomfortable foam roll mat or a heavy and bulky pump-up mattress. Weighing only 350g the Therm-o-Rest NeoAir X-Lite packs up as small as a 1L bottle. 

CAMPING STOVE

For beans on toast or a brew, a compact and ultralight camping stove can be an invaluable asset to your group.

 

 

From smartphones to speakers, electronics always need topping-up during a festival weekend. The Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme weighs only 460g and charges a smartphone 4-6 times.

WATER BOTTLE

Before you head out for a day of music, stash a full reusable water bottle inside your tent instead of queuing up after you’re exhausted. For extra rehydration add an electrolyte tab to keep you feeling your best. 

PILLOW CASE

Instead of trying to stuff a pillow into your pack, packable pillows like the Therm-a-Rest Pillow Case can be folded up into a shirt pocket en route then filled with your festival clothes at night.

WARM HAT

Even in summertime temperatures can drop; pack a woolly hat to keep toasty around the camp fire.

 

FIRST AID KIT

Leaving a first aid kit in your tent for your group is never a bad idea. You can even use the pouch to store your other toiletries.

12 Festival Survival Tips

Whether it’s your first festival or you’re a seasoned veteran, it’s always worth recapping the best tips.  

  1. Your footwear will get ruined. Wear either wellies or some water resistant hiking boots with ankle support and toe protection.
     
  2. Print out the line-up before you leave or (even better) download the festival app for schedules and site guides. Glastonbury, Download, and Reading and Leeds Festival all have 2016 apps, so there are no excuses for being disorganised!

  3. Sun cream may be one of the most important items in your backpack. If you plan to be out from sunrise until sunset this is absolutely essential.

  4. Don’t forget your waterproof jacket. Embrace the elements, but ensure that you’re protected.

  5. Pack toilet paper. This is worth its weight in gold at festivals, especially when portaloo supplies start to run low by Sunday. 

  6. Baby wipes are also paramount; especially if you’re not a fan of communal showers.

  7. Never camp near walkways, because of the noise; toilet facilities, because of the smell; and rivers and at the foot of downhill slopes, just in case of flooding. 

  8. Make a note of where you’ve camped (and parked). Everything from landmarks to decorating your circle with bunting helps your pitch stand out in an ocean of mostly green and black tarps.

  9. Meet your neighbours – you can make new friends while increasing the security of your camp! 

  10. Controversially, clamping a padlock on your tent only makes it more attractive to potential thieves.

  11. Always remember to stuff a couple of bin liners into your pack for stashing wet, damp, and muddy clothes at the end of your weekend. 

  12. Save a spare pair of dry, comfortable clothes for the journey back. If you’re driving leave them in a car to you’re not tempted to wear them over the weekend.

Related Articles