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Hello! Welcome to my ultimate festival pack list! Today’s blog post is going to be the first in a mini series of blog posts all about music festivals. I’m going to advise you on what to take and tips for having a better time. Festivals are really fun and I promise you it will be one of the best times of your life. The only problem is that they can be quite hard going if you’re not used to camping/ sleeping in dirt. If you prepare well they really aren’t that bad.
I’ve seen a lot of these festival pack list posts but I’m quite stuck up and I think they are all bad. I want to make my own because I really feel I am very knowledgeable about this. I have been to 4 full music festivals, plus lots more for 1 day only. I’ve been going to at least one every year since I was 15. This year I’ll be going to 2 more. I used to go to army cadets where they would make us sleep in our full uniform underneath a bit of tarp in the rain. As well as that, my dad is a camping expert and I’ve been camping almost every year since I was born. Trust me, I know my stuff. This wasn’t written by someone who went to Glastonbury one time.
This is going to be really long and I apologise. I could have made it shorter by not rambling on about my festival stories all the way through. I just want you guys to learn from my mistakes okay.
This post misses out stuff only girls would need to take. I did another post about that you can read it here.
BASIC STUFF YOU REALLY NEED.
Money- as the BARE minimum I’d recommend £100- £125 spending money. Food can be pricey, t-shirts will cost £30 each and you also need to allow for emergency purchases, but if you are well prepared then you shouldn’t have too many of those. If you have the money you could eat in fancy places and go shopping every day though so the sky is the limit. Take more if you are going to Glastonbury because it’s full of rich people and the vendors take advantage of it.
Phone- I lost my phone at a festival once and ever since I’ve always taken a £10 Nokia one. The charge lasts ages and nobody would want to steal it.
List of emergency contacts- In case your phone gets stolen/lost it’s good to have a list of phone numbers with you.
Contraception- If you need it. If you’re on the pill take spares.
Rucksack/ Burgan- This is my method of choice for carrying everything. Get a huge rucksack for carrying all your clothes/ essentials. We used to use these when I was in army cadets. They make a really heavy load seem quick light as all the weight is on your legs, back and core muscles not just your arms. You can carry additional bags with food & stuff in them then.
Sack Trolley- these are useful for carrying crates and other heavy stuff. Take some bungee cords to strap things to it.
CAMPING EQUIPMENT & other random essentials.
Tent- PLEASE TAKE A GOOD TENT. This is the most important thing. Don’t take a pop-up tent. They may seem cheaper and easier to put up. But they will ruin your weekend if it rains, and there is a 97% chance it will rain. At download last year, it rained very very heavily on the Friday night. Me and my boyfriend’s tent, was WARM and dry, and definitely worth the £100 I paid for it and the 20 minutes it takes to put up. Our friend had a pop-up tent, it flooded, he slept in a puddle and went home Saturday morning. He left it and we used it as a toilet for the rest of the weekend. It was hilariously tragic. It’s definitely worth the investment to buy a good one.
Mallet and spare tent pegs- The floor can usually be hard to put tent pegs into so it helps to have a mallet and spare pegs in case you bend some.
Roll mat/ self-inflating air mat– You need a barrier between your body and the floor while you sleep for insulation. If you don’t the floor will steal all your body heat and you will be really cold #ProCamperKnowledge.
Sleeping bag- a high-quality one so you don’t get cold.
Mini pillows- not necessary but nice to have. I made some last year and they were very comfy.
Blanket- again not essential but I like having a blanket to wrap around me when I’m cold.
Towel- a really small one is handy if you can manage to pack one.
Bin bags- for rubbish and makeshift ponchos.
Torches & batteries- for finding things in the tent in the dark.
Gaffa tape- for patching up your tent if it breaks.
FOOD & DRINK
Alcohol- try to go for stronger drinks you can drink less of, just don’t over-do it. If you can’t drink vodka straight don’t plan to the entire weekend to save space. I like taking wine in little plastic bottles. Or Sourz mixed with a bit of lemonade. Remember you can’t take glass bottles so tip it into plastic bottles. Cans are fine but heavy so if you are taking crates buy a sack trolley.
Water & soft drinks- there are taps for you to fill water bottles up but it’s still good to take some full ones for the first day. Also, take soft drinks because they cost £2.50 each at the festival.
Snacks- Cereal bars are a good choice, as are crisps. Take things that won’t go off.
You could take a whole cooking set up if you wanted, it might save you money, but I’d rather spend the extra £20- £40 it would cost to buy it there and have more time to enjoy myself.
Anti-bacterial hand wipes– you can buy them in big packs on amazon. I prefer these to hand sanitizer because they are less bulky and you can use them to disinfect things too.
Tissue paper- get them in those plastic pouches of 10 because they are more portable.
Travel Johns– they are a bag that you wee in and it turns your wee into an odourless gel. Nice for when it’s raining in the middle of the night but not essential.
Bed Bath Wipes or Baby wipes- I highly recommend getting a pack of Clinell Bed Bath wipes. Nurses use them to bathe patients and they are the next best thing to showering. They are really cheap. If you can’t find them baby wipes will do.
Sunscreen and aftersun – take lots because you never know. I really needed it last year. Also, put some on before you queue. I had a red, sore, crusty, sunburnt face last year just from the queue. When I got home everyone laughed at me. It wasn’t even sunny the rest of the time it rained constantly.
Tooth paste, Travel toothbrush, Mouthwash & fresh breath spray- I like Lush Toothy Tabs for festivals because they are really small. Get one of those tooth brushes with a cover.
Dry Shampoo- I never use it but if your hair gets greasy easily you might want some.
Take a mini shampoo, conditioner & shower gel just in case you need to shower. I don’t recommend showering, but if someone throws a pint of wee at your head you probably should.
Lush Foot Deodorant– This is a little extravagant but lush has a product called T is for Toes that I like to sprinkle in my wellies. This stops my feet from smelling throughout the 5 days. I don’t want to camp with my boyfriend if I have smelly feet.
Painkillers- It’s good to take a combination with you as they all do different things. Paracetamol is good for headaches, Ibuprofen is good for muscle pain. Co-codamol is good for when you’re in a lot of pain.
Allergy tablets- if you get hay fever.
Heat pack- I get bad stomach cramps so I usually take adhesive disposable heat packs with me but obviously not everyone would need these.
Emergency Foil Blanket– These are useful for if you are absolutely freezing and cannot warm up at all. I wish I had one 2 years ago at reading.
Other than this any other first aid needs you have can be dealt with by festival staff. There are usually first aid tents everywhere so if you need something else ask them.
Period stuff- It’s not a medical condition but it can feel like it. I’ve written more about this in another blog post (read it here). I did download on a painful period once, so chill, you can do it.
I’m going to do another post about clothes specifically for girls because I am a girl & have more advice to give. But here are some general ideas of what everyone should take.
Wellies/ boots- boots look cool but wellies are definitely better. They are light and you can rinse mud off them very easily. Take high-quality ones and make sure you do take some with you because buying them there is really expensive.
Trainers- wear ones that fit perfectly and won’t come off. One of my vans came off my feet during slipknot last year and I had to crowd surf out and then walk back in the rain with one shoe.
Comfy socks- lots of them.
Rain ponchos – You can get multipacks of disposable ones on amazon, or you can get a durable fabric one. It’s up to you. If you have a fabric one I’d still recommend taking the disposable to carry with you when it’s sunny just in case because they are really small.
Underwear- take more than you think you need
A warm jumper/ hoodie
Swimming costume in case you need to shower.
A combination of warm clothes and light clothes. Take things that can dry out easily if they get soaking wet. T-shirts are a good and obvious choice for tops, wear jeans at your own risk because they will stay wet for hours after it rains. If you are a girl, leggings are your best friend because they are good for warm and cool weather and will dry really quickly if you get wet.
This is obviously subjective, take whatever you want to entertain yourselves.
UV Body paint/ glitter- Get it on amazon before you go because it’s more expensive there. Sometimes I take a pack of washable felt tip pens so that my boyfriend can write Taylor Swift lyrics all over himself (don’t ask.)
Pack of cards/ card game- A pack of cards is good for drinking games. You could also take some other type of card game. We like to take a frozen card game I got for free in Morrisons one day. Anything is fun when you are drunk.
So that’s about all I can think of right now but I will add to it as I remember. I’ve kept this one as gender neutral as I can. I have a whole load of other recommendations for girls as we have extra issues and needs to deal with. I’ll deal with that in my next post. If you think I missed anything comment below and I’ll add it. I really hope this helped somebody.