How To Pack For a Festival

June 24, 2014 · 6 comments

in Adventuring

What To Pack For A Festival

This year marks 16 years that I’ve been going to Glastonbury festival (which is in fact half my life – showing my age here!) and being from the West Country, it’s somewhat of an annual pilgrimage for us Somerset-folk. Since my very first visit aged 16 I’ve gone to all but three and having clocked up a fair few visits to Worthy Farm – along with an assortment of other festivals as well – I’ve become pretty adept at knowing just what to pack to make the experience as hassle-free and comfortable as possible. With Glastonbury but a mere few hours away, I thought I’d share some of these tips with you, because if you’re anything like me you may well have left it to the very last minute! This is by no means an exhaustive list of what to pack, think of it more as a list of things that you may not have considered before along with some handy tips, tricks and hacks that I think make for a more enjoyable festival experience! Oh and if you are off to the festival then have a peek at this guide from First Great Western with train times, a site map and all manner of useful tidbits – enjoy!

My Five Top Festival Packing Tips

1) Pack in outfits in bags. Don’t try to cram as much of your wardrobe into your rucksack as possible. Instead pack per day and then pop each outfit into a plastic bag; that way you can easily locate what you want to wear when you’re out of your brain on festival-strength cider turning your tent upside down and inside out in the dark. (I speak from experience) You can then use plastic bags for rubbish – always Leave No Trace – or as a ‘laundry bag’ for your dirty washing. Pretty handy as waterproof socks when you have leaky welly boots too. Oh and if it rains then you have something to sit on too. Plastic bags are evil but when it comes to festivals they’re extremely useful

2) Only take with you what you can afford to lose. I’ve ruined countless favourite items of clothing from accidental red wine spillages, mud that JUST WILL NOT COME OUT and a whole manner of assorted unmentionable feral activities. If you love it, leave it

3) Don’t scrimp on your skin. As my skin instantly stages a dirty protest if I don’t take my makeup off, one thing I never sacrifice is my cleansing routine (my dignity and sanity I leave at home!) so I always take moisturising face wipes (my favourites are by Klorane as they contain soothing cornflower ), miniatures of all my favourite beauty products, a refreshing toning water spray (Lush’s Breath Of Fresh Air is divine!) along with earbuds, an orange stick (to clean the mud out from under my nails!) and a hairband to tie my hair back when I have a wash. This may seem over-the-top but believe me feeling clean can make all the difference

4) Hangover Cures. If you’re not a Bloody Mary fan then ignore this bit but if you are then this is for you … The night before you leave make a Bloody Mary mix – essentially everything that goes into a Bloody Mary bar the vodka – in a 2 litre water bottle and whack it in the freezer. The next morning wrap the frozen-solid Bloody Mary Mix in a towel and it will stay cool for a fair few days. Just add vodka and there you go – instant hangover cure!

5) Leave the picket fence at home! One year I was thrilled to find a white picket fence in the 98p shop in Dalston and, despite the fact that it was yet another cumbersome thing to carry, I decided that I absolutely MUST HAVE IT for the tent. That year was one of the muddiest I’d been to and the picket fence stayed in the bag and I then had to carry it home. Moral of the story. If it’s not useful then leave it at home.

What To Pack For A Festival

What To Pack For A Festival

What to Pack

  • Wellies. Always. Even when the forecast is “glorious sunshine all weekend”
  • Blanket. When night falls it can get extremely chilly at festivals; a blanket will keep you warm in your tent when you’re calling it a night, but if you’re someone that likes to stay up until sunrise then a blanket draped around your shoulders is another much-needed layer of warmth.
  • Waterproof. When it comes to staying dry then you really do get what you pay for. Invest in a decent waterproof and you’ll keep it forever. Mine is a Karrimor jacket from Sports Direct
  • Flipflops. When it’s muddy you don’t want to be putting your welly boots on every time you need to leave your tent to go to the toilet or pop round to your friend’s tent for an impromptu tent-party for that matter
  • Leggings. Great to sleep in and perfect to pop under a pair of shorts or as an extra layer under jeans
  • Bikini top. Every morning I try and have what I like to call ‘a bird bath’– basically a wash in one of the sinks – it instantly revives me no matter how heavy a night/day/night I’ve had and wearing a bikini top means that I can have a proper wash and my clothes don’t get soaked in the process
  • Scarf. Come day three my hair usually looks like it’s inhabiting a family of small fieldmice. A scarf is a quick and easy way to get it up whilst (trying to) look presentable
  • Festival phone – As much as I’m an Instagram addict I’m also a total pro at losing my belongings! To avoid any mishaps I use a Festival Phone, this is basically a phone so old it has an aerial and a wind-up battery. I jest but you get the gist
  • Camera. But leave the DSLR at home. One with a strap is also preferable as prevents you (me) losing it
  • Spare pair of sunglasses – As well as being Top-Of-The-Class when it comes to losing things I’m also an ace at breaking them too. I’ve now learnt to bring a spare pair in case (read – when) this happens
  • Bumbag. An across-the-shoulder bag keeps you hands-free yes, however it still ends up giving me shoulder ache after FIVE DAYS of lugging it around. Bumbags mean you really are hands-free and it’s also the best deterrent to pick-pockets
  • Packs of pocket-tissues. Taking a whole toilet roll is a pain in the bum (no pun intended) to carry and invariably it will only get wet, shredded and/or used as a pillow. Go for the easier-to-carry option instead
  • Hand towel. To use when having my birdbath but also on the one occasion I wash my hair. It will dry within a day hung up inside your tent (bring a wire clothes hanger to do this on – also perfect for any wet clothes you need to dry out) or, if it’s sunny, on the roof of your tent
  • Dry Shampoo. My hair is baby-fine and the next day has about as much volume as a deflated blow-up mattress. Batiste adds that much-needed bit of oomph. I love the stuff
  • Perfume. Covers a wide range of sins. Invaluable
  • Tangle Teezer hairbrush. I’m a recent convert to Tangle Teezer and I just know this is going to come into it’s own at Glastonbury. No matter how mud-soaked, cider-marinated or bramble-infested my barnet gets this will glide through those tangles like a dream
  • Suncream. Even when the rain is thundering down in biblical proportions I’ve managed to ‘catch the sun’! Suncream is a must
  • Plastic glasses. For making cocktail hour drinks and to double up as a beaker for cleaning your teeth with so that you can then swerve the huge queue for the taps
  • Lucozade tablets, diaoralite and Berocca. These are the Holy Trinity of hangover cures. Failing that a Bloody Mary does the trick nicely. More on this later ….
  • Painkillers. See above
  • Handwipes & Hand Sanitiser. Keep these in your bumbag for mucky-pup moments
  • Handsoap. Dispense some of this into a squirty bottle (Boots do one) and you won’t be cursing that there’s no soap left at the taps
  • Latex gloves. This is a weird one I know but have you ever tried to remove a mud-caked welly boot when your ankles have swollen up to the size of golf balls? You get absolutely covered in mud. Wear these and avoid filthy paws. A little Princess-like I know!
  • Earplugs. Call me an old lady but getting at least a few hours kip every night has now become essential. These ensure I block out the sounds of overenthusiastic (read – eyeball-bleddingly infuriating) festivalgoers shouting “Alan!” “Steve!” “Alan … Steve!” over and over and over and over again
  • Glitter. Absolutely loads of it! However it’s no fun getting it off the next day. My saviour is Lush’s Ultrabland, it’s a creamy beeswax-based cleanser that removes even the hardiest of ‘Festival Face’

What To Pack For A Festival

I’m now going to go ‘off grid’ and spend the next five days in one of my favourite places in the world, Glastonbury Festival. I can’t wait to spend the weekend rolling around in the fields with my friends covered in glitter. See you on the other side!

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