Festival season is in full swing. It seems like just about everybody is either just returning from one or they’re counting down the days until their next. You don’t need to trawl too far to find some pretty comprehensive packing lists on the internet. However, avid festival-lovers are forever innovating. Each year sees fresh strokes of genius that make it that little bit easier to have an incredible time. Whether you’re looking to find a lighter way to lug your stuff across the field, or you’re trying to make camp easier to navigate when you’re in a drunken state, we’ve got you covered.
A must-have for the all-knowing festival gurus who resent spending a tenner on a double vodka coke. Load up a wagon with couple of crates of cider and a few litres of spirits decanted into old fizzy pop bottles. Secure any precariously balanced items with cling film. Be sure to keep potential restrictions in mind, as when travelling with certain coach companies, you might find that they don’t take too kindly to passengers who fill up their boot with enough booze to put a small village to sleep.
Ladies, if you’ve been, you know. If this is your first festival, try to picture the toilet queues at your favourite club at 2am on a Saturday night. Now, swap porcelain seats and proper plumbing for a row of plastic holes over an ever-filling trench. Then add tens of thousands of people. Now, factor in the significant portion of these people that are in no state to get an accurate aim. This is your fate at most festivals, and if you don’t want to end up like your friend with faecal matter dripping down their thighs, buy one. These days, a lot of festivals provide specific places for women who bring their own female urinal. They tend to have much shorter queues and far less foul smells. Bonus!
You’re likely to spend much of your night-time at camp feeling pretty cold. Though it sounds counter-productive, we’d advise sleeping in minimal clothing as it’ll keep you a lot warmer in your sleeping bag. Especially if you’re not planning to lug an inflatable bed through camp to make a buffer between you and the cold ground. However, while you’re recuperating from last night’s antics, your tent will be swelling up with an unbearably stuffy heat. It’s like waking up, dangerously dehydrated, and being stuck in a greenhouse at the height of summer. Not cute. Invest in a decent battery powered fan, ideally a stand-alone model so that you can get ready to brace the outside world without intense discomfort.
You could argue that this is one is a little over the top, but if you’re dubious about the quality of the water dispensed from the mud-splashed water stations, it’ll put your mind at ease. If at all possible, fill one up just before bed. That way, when you wake up feeling tender, you won’t need to trek across site to buy expensive bottled water. You’ll immediately have access to fresh filtered H20 direct from the filter pitcher. Also, you’ll feel pretty smug when your friends are clambering around trying to deduce which bottles are filled with water, and which have had neat vodka decanted into them. There’s always one person who mistakes last night’s emergency urinal for a bottle of apple juice when they’re desperate for something to drink – don’t let this be you.
Will you look a bit daft? Yes. Will your campmates make fun of you? Probably. However, there will come a time, late at night, when you stagger back to the tent in search of an elusive essential for sleep. Don the head torch and you can light up wherever you look. Handheld torches are great until you’re trying to steady yourself and search simultaneously. Lamps that can be attached the top of the tent don’t tend to reach the dark corners of the tent where, inevitably, your things will end up trapped in hard to reach specs under drooping plastic (where you failed to put the guide wires of your tent up properly, if at all). If you’re confident enough to wear the head torch out and about, it’ll certainly help with navigating the pathways to the pitch-black long drops, too.
These little solutions might not be what makes your festival unforgettable, but they’ll certainly free up some time to go out and make priceless memories. When you’re living out of a backpack for a few days, it’s the little things that make a big difference. Remember the regular essentials and be sure to pick up any of these little luxuries that appeal to you. Whether it’s your first festival or your fiftieth, there’s always room for improvement. Be safe, be smart, and make the most of it!