Top 10 Festival Essentials
1: A great tent
The tent is a key feature that you’ll need for a music or VW festival – but many people go for cheap and flimsy over quality. Do you really want a tent that will leak and break? Or do you want something high quality, waterproof and that you can re-use time and again? So many people leave tents at festivals thinking that they’ll be recycled – however most of them are simply sent to landfill.
2: A comfy bed
Nobody likes waking up to a deflated airbed. Skip the airbed altogether (who has that much lung power, anyway!?) and invest in a SIM. No – not the phone chip – a ‘self inflating mattress’. Lighter, more compact, and easier to inflate, these are thinner than the old airbeds but will give a comfy sleeping surface. Here are a few of the best.
3: A sleeping bag
Even in the summer, it can get chilly at night, especially if you’re sleeping on the ground. A sleeping bag is a must-have. It’s best to go for one you can unzip and use as a blanket or picnic mat, too, and that can be zipped to another one to create a large double sleeping bag – in case you make a new festival ‘friend!’ No need to get a winter one – it’s not THAT cold – go for a 3 season one and you’ll be fine. Ideal for impromptu sack races, too. This one ticks all the boxes.
You can either spend inordinate amounts of cash at the food stalls, or keep yourself topped up with your own collection of snacks. If you’re avoiding plastic use, take along some reusable snack bags and pre-fill them with trail mix, nuts, and dried fruit. You can even make your own protein and energy balls with a simple mix of dates and nuts blended to a paste, rolled in cocoa and refrigerated. Perfect to keep you going until it’s time for cheesy chips at 2am. You can find some fab ideas for portable, healthy snacks here
Gone are the days of phone batteries dying and you being stuck in a field alone, vainly searching for your mislaid group of friends for hours on end. There are a range of great battery packs now, that will give you several charges and last all weekend. This one from Juice has two USB ports so can charge two devices simultaneously, and has enough power to last you a long weekend – it’s not cheap but it’ll last you for ages and take away any worry about being out of touch.
6: A reusable cup
Some festivals have introduced reusable cups that you can buy at the bar for a few pounds and have re-filled over the course of the festival – a great idea and also a nice souvenir of the weekend.
However, some still issue disposable plastic cups and so it’s a good idea to take a reusable cup with you for both hot and cold drinks. This one is made from recycled rice husk and holds plenty of fluids. Available in a rainbow of colours, it’s a bargain at £9.00 and will see you through several festivals and still be great for work afterwards.
7: Camping Accessories
Don’t underestimate the usefulness of a few little handy gadgets when you are stuck in a muddy field. We all know how grim festival toilets and showers can be. A better solution is to have your own way of keeping clean! Happy Camper have a range of useful accessories including this camping mirror with an inbuilt LED light, a packet of hand-shaped wash mitts (think hand-puppet baby wipe) or this fantastic waterproof toilet roll cover. Have a few of these bits to hand and you’ll stay clean, dry and dignified over your festival weekend!
8: Sun Protection
Sunstroke isn’t pretty. Neither is sunburn. And by the end of the weekend, you’re more likely to want to hide your hair and reddened eyes behind a hat and a pair of shades, than have everything on show. So sun protection is a must. A decent suncream (at least factor 30) will mean you’ll stay safe and be the one laughing at your lobster-like mates, rather than the other way around. A good hat will help you to prevent sunstroke as well as looking awesome – and hiding the barnet once the dry shampoo can’t do the job any more. A good pair of shades can hide a multitude of sins too!
Let’s face it, with the Great British Weather being what it is; you’re very likely to need a pair of decent wellies. The Independent has done a couple of handy roundups of the best men’s and women’s wellies for festivals – take a look here and save yourself hours of trawling through the internet! Whether your headed to Reading Festival, Leeds, Wireless, Glastonbury or Download - you'll need your wellies.
10: Dry shampoo
It’s absolutely essential to give you a boost and eliminate the grease, sweat and grime that comes from being down the front to see your favourite act. Take some of this and your hair will stay gorgeous. The Independent reviewed the top 10 here, but if like us you’re trying to cut down on your environmental impact, this volumizing powder from Schwartzkopf will do the same job without the aerosol.