The festival season is drawing ever closer with the Isle Of Wight Festival kicking off on the 13th June, followed immediately by the Download Festival. To help make sure you pack the best kit if it’s your first experience, we’ve listed our top 5 absolute essentials you should be packing.
1) A decent sleeping bag
By this we mean one that hasn’t cost you a tenner from one of the homestores. You can pick up a fairly decent sleeping bag from about £40 from the likes of Blacks
and they’re regularly on sale, which means you can often get a £70 one for half the price. It tops the list as the weather is notoriously unreliable and when you’re exhausted after listening to all of the acts, the last thing you want to do is spend 2 hours shivering yourself to sleep. The more expensive ones are often more compact (yet warmer) so it’s easier to lug around if you’re limited for space in the car to get you down to the festival.
2) Sun lotion
It may seem an obvious one but thousands forget every year and then spend their recovery days wishing they hadn’t. It’s one thing recovering from tiredness and an elongated hangover, but an altogether other experience if you have sun burns to contend with as well. Sun lotions cost just a few pound so it doesn’t take away from your budget and will make sure you never have to worry about spending outdoors in the baking sun (if you’re lucky enough to escape the showers!)
3) Dry shampoo
One of the main things you’ll notice if it’s your first time is the problem of trying to stay clean. There are shower blocks but many choose to avoid as they aren’t 5 star luxury facilities and being away for just a couple of days leaves enough of an excuse to avoid them. Women tend to feel the pain a little more the second day, waking up with knotted hair that’s getting you one step closer to your new castaway look. The solution – dry shampoo, which does exactly what it does on the tin and removes the need for water. It’s easy to apply and also works well for men, especially those who use product in their hair. Like the sun lotion it costs just a few pounds and is an easy thing to pack and will leave your mates envious as you manage to keep those locks under control.
Who doesn’t love a good pair of wellington boots and in recent years the choice has expanded more than any other type of footwear. Traditional, heritage brands like Hunter have taken centre stage and now sell willies in just about every colour and size you can think of, making it easier to at least attempt to do some colour-coordination with your outfit. They are pricey at around £50 but won’t give you blisters like some cheaper brands and will last for years. They’re on our essentials list as waterproof footwear is an absolute must if you end up being caught out for 2 days in the rain. They’re then easy to rinse off when you get back to the comforts of your home and can be dug out each year for the next festival.
5) Portable power
This includes everything from wind-up torches to portable charging devices. The torches are especially handy when trying to find your tent in the maze of other tents every night, as well as those late night toilet visits. You’ll be a savior among your group and won’t have to worry about batteries dying when you’re half way across a dark field. You can now also buy wind-up mobile phone chargers (as well as the standard battery-operated portables), perfect to give your iPhone some juice to make sure you can keep recording the fun. Most come in at around £10 and are also useful if you go travelling or are often stuck trying to charge up your beloved phone.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to packing for your trip, the cost for the given essentials like tents and any camping stoves should be shared between the whole group if you want to keep the cost down. No one likes having an unused tent in the garage and many end up getting trashed by the weather and the activity of the days you’re living in them. Festivals aren’t the place to take a large expensive tent due to limitations on pitch sizes so keep it simple and cheap, the sleeping bag will be your savior when it comes to sleep. Let the festival season commence!