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THE ULTIMATE FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE


Summer weather and weekend music festivals are made for each other. From the well-known festivals like Glastonbury and Reading, to smaller more niche festivals such as Secret Garden Party and Lovebox, the UK festival scene is buzzing. But with worries of getting washed out by the rain and less than homely shower facilities, there's a few things you need to think about before you just rock up. So 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.


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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. 

Backpack

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 to save adding bulk and weight to your backpack, and check out how easy it is to put up or take down the tent before investing. The last thing you want is to be working out how to pitch up on site when you could kicking back with a nice cold one.

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. Although down sleeping bags have a better warmth to weight ratio, synthetic is probably your best bet for a festival as if down fill gets wet (and let's face it chances of split drinks are high) it loses its insulating properties. 


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Sleeping Mat

Good news is there's no need to settle for an uncomfortable foam roll-up mat any longer! Self-inflating mats are much more comfortable and provide better insulating properties against cold from the floor, yet are lightweight and pack away pretty small.

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.

Camping Stove

There's usually loads of different types of food on offer at festivals, so even the fussiest eaters can find something to fill them. But if your budget is tight or you just want a brew in the morning, a compact and ultralight camping stove can be an invaluable asset. Plus, you'll quickly become the saviour of your group.

Portable Charger

From smartphones to speakers, electronics always need topping-up during a festival weekend. Carrying a portable charger means you'll be able to keep charge topped up.


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Water Bottle

We know that water isn't the first thing on your mind when it comes to drinks (beer anyone?), but to make the most of a festival it's best to stay hydrated.

 

Our top tip is to stash a full reusable water bottle inside your tent before heading out for the day so you're not queuing up after you’re exhausted. For extra rehydration add an electrolyte tab to keep you feeling your best. 

Pillow Case

Getting a good night's sleep is important, but pillows can be bulky items to add your pack. Instead of trying to stuff a pillow into your rucksack, try a packable pillows which 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.


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12 Festival Survival 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, Reading and Leeds Festival and manyothers all have apps available, 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.

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