Festival packing as a woman just isn’t fair, guys can throw together a pair of jeans, shorts, a few tops and some wellies and they are done. We, on the other hand, seem to have so much more to think about! After spending many a festival regretting not packing that one item and every year trying to remember exactly what I packed last time, I decided to compile my complete girls guide to festival packing. Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned festivals goer, I hope this list helps!
- Tent – This should be the most simple item on your list, however, it is also the most crucial to get right. There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a tent and often the cheapest option isn’t the best in the long run. First of all, how many people are you planning to share with? This will help determine how big a tent you require, I always find it helpful to count backpacks as people as they take up almost the same space! So if there are two people I would recommend getting a four-man tent. Don’t be afraid of staying in a tent alone, you can get some good two-man tents and you have more room and freedom with your friends right next to you. Second most important, (if it’s a UK festival) how waterproof is your tent? You would be surprised how many tents are only showerproof, the last thing you want is to spend a weekend constantly soaked with a flooded tent. You need a minimum of 1500 mm waterproof to survive that torrential British rain. My final tip would be to get a tent with a porch, it makes life so much easier to keep your muddy wellies and rubbish out of the way.
- Backpack – This is the easiest and most festival-friendly way to carry everything. At the very least it needs to be a bag you can carry, suitcases are never a good idea! Please don’t be one of those idiots that tries to wheel a suitcase through multiple fields of mud.
- Food – Keep it simple, nothing that could go off or needs more than hot water. Things like Cereal bars, chocolate, cup of soups and pasta cups tend to be the best.
- Matt – Tents are not designed to be slept in without a matt. Trust me after one night on the floor you will really want a mat, you can get the simple roll out or for a little more money a self-inflating one.
- Pillow – I take a blow-up one to save on space if you don’t take one or forget a hoodie can be a good backup.
- Sleeping bag – The most important thing after your tent, similarly the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Make sure it’s a good thermal one for those cold nights.
- Wellies – Whatever the weather these are a festival staple. Don’t think you can get away with just wearing converse no matter what the forecast says, there’s nothing worse than being one of those idiots stuck knee-deep in mud.
- Raincoat – this for me is the same as wellies essential no matter what the weather forecast says.
- Bin bags – These are great for just about everything, from rubbish, to dirty clothes, sitting on instead of a chair and at the end of the festival when you’re getting a taxi home and the taxi driver won’t let you in the car, they are great for sitting inside.
- Torch – I know phones have torches but when your batteries out and you need a wee in the middle of the night you will be great full or just for getting changed in your tent on an evening.
- Festival phone/phone – I still take my designated festival phone as I’m terrified of losing my real one but this is optional.
- Money & card – Assume you won’t be able to pay for anything on a card but it’s a nice back up to have it. Take as much cash as you are planning to spend and have a budget for each day.
- Water bottle – Most festival has free water taps both inside and outside and are worth taking advantage of stay hydrated!
- Ticket and ID – pretty obvious but you would be stuck without them.
Camping extras/Party extras
- First aid kit – because you never know what will happen, my key things here are plasters and paracetamol.
- Chair – this may seem a bit of a luxury but after standing for hours and sitting hunched over every day this is the best thing imaginable.
- Mirror – this was a newer addition to my list after struggling to use tiny mirrors in makeup sets, I decided enough was enough and went and bought a cheap bathroom mirror on a plastic stand from Wilkos. I snapped off the plastic and use it as a cheap handheld mirror, it really is a lifesaver trying to do your hair.
- Alcohol -I always bring my own to avoid the extortion prices in the arena.
- Hip flask – these are particularly good for slipping down wellies to avoid paying for the overpriced arena alcohol.
- Plastic bottles – these can be used for many things from shampoo to the water. For me, they work as a backup hip flask, if yours is confiscated or if you don’t have one try my bottle technique. Get an empty bottle and squish it flat getting as much of the air as possible. Then fill up with your desired spirit, and screw the lid back on. You won’t get as much as in a hip flask but they can be much more discrete and slide down shorts or just about anywhere.
- Plastic cups – always a good one to have especially if mixing drinks.
- Portable charger – This one is getting less important as more and more festivals have free charging points dotted around. However, by the last day, they are a bit worse for wear and struggle to reach 2%.
You need to think to be prepared for all weathers here. The key is layers.
- Warm clothes to sleep in- onesie/hoodie and fluffy leggings this is not the time for sexy PJs.
- T-shirts x4
- Thick socks – to fit under wellies
- Underwear x4
- Makeup – none that you would be devastated about losing
- Dry Shampoo
- Hand gel
- Wet wipes
- Towel – if they have reasonable shower facilities most of the time it’s better just going without.
- Flip flops – To use as shower shoes.
- Travel Shampoo, conditioner and body wash
- Camera –doesn’t everyone use a phone now anyway? But if your retro or wanting to save battery.
- Watch – can be useful when your phone dies so you don’t miss your favourite bands.
- Earplugs – if you struggle to sleep with background noise but personally I like falling asleep to the hustle and bustle.
- Duck tape – this is often on people’s essential list but honestly, I always take it and never found a use for it other than tying people to chairs as a joke.
What’s on your festival packing list? Anything you festival frequent festival-goers think I should add?