Over the years I’ve become pretty accustomed to packing for festivals. It’s never something I’ve particularly enjoyed, and something usually spent being planned with absolute military precision and endless ‘last minute’ trips to the mega Tesco down the road, in sight of 3-for-2 on hand sanitizers and overly oaty cereal bars.
But alas, the time has come again (a certain Turner and Kane once said) and here I am sat surrounded by all of my worldly good the evening before heading off to the Isle of Wight festival with Hunter wellies and two of my favourite gal pals, going by the names of Jazmine and Rebecca. I’m excited, and for once- I think I have this whole packing malarky sorted. Additionally with Glastonbury on the drizzly and incredibly muddy horizon I thought I’d share some of my top packing tips which have seen me through messy Reading festivals, dry and sun burnt Benicassims and hopefully now Isle Of Wight…
Disposable cameras and ‘retro’ phone-
It’s a nice idea, taking your iPhone and DSLR to a festival, but it’s not sensible. Whether you’re sleeping in a tent, jumping about until you sweat to Biffy Clyro or running from field to field in search of the next big thing, it’s not worth risking it. Plus, if the ’90s are really back then what better way to make a statement than this? Plus, at about £10 (phone) from aforementioned Tesco, you can’t go wrong.
A good ol’ pair of wellies-
I’ve tried the Dr Marten thing- really I have. But with the game of ‘if I step here, will this be a puddle or steady ground’ game played year in and out at festivals- I don’t like taking risks. I need something easy on, easy off and up to my knees- and I ain’t talking about the mud.
Mini ‘beauty’ Products-
Let’s be real here. The only thing you’ll really need are obscene amounts of wet wipes and antibacterial hand gel, but, if like I always am (and you’re off to Benicassim where the showers are surprisingly refreshing) than it’s nice to pack mini shampoos/washing bits to try and keep clean.
Oversized hat/Dry shampoo-
Need I even explain? With hair as thin as mine (you’d be surprised) over a period of 4 days, it’s left greasy, a little pongy and probably home to a bit of mud (charming, I know). Dry shampoo and a hat are the only ways for me to keep looking relatively ok when it comes to those final dancing days.
Dry foods and secret snacks-
I’m not specifying bananas and butterscotch biscuits (although they won’t go amiss), but dry foods are always nice to have handy when curled up in a field- think cereal bars, dried fruit, crisps (cough, Kettle chips, cough) and basically anything that won’t look grim if neglected.
A bright lipstick-
If ever in doubt, and when you have had less than 4 hours sleep- lipstick will always lift you. I’ve been told how ‘much of an effort I’ve made’ before at a festival for just wearing this master of disguise, and since them it rarely leaves my handbag…
Not the best clothes you own-
I usually like to pack things I don’t mind getting a bit grubby/ruined/dropped/stolen etc- so think last minute trips to Primark, basics that can be replaced, and only a few staple statement pieces (even think about buying some cheap accessories to get ‘funky’).
A fat fail safe loo roll-
There. Is. Never. Any. Always have some handy.
Something to keep you dry-
It’s not an urban myth that it rains at festivals. Although it’s nice to think it won’t pee it down at a festival, in reality it probably will. I’ve been to festivals without a hooded item/sensible coat and have always ended up with matted wet hair, and feeling freezing about an hour later- it’s not worth it (plus umbrellas aren’t crowd pleasers, so go hooded).
But don’t forget the obvious…
Tent, roll mat (and pillow, dry ground is hard), sleeping bag, tights and leggings for night time (even in August, nights are way colder than one will ever comprehend) and festival tickets. Also! If you can- take a Clash Finder, with big festivals it’s hard enough as it is to see the bands you want, but by printing one off beforehand you can save yourself the programme money too ; )
Happy camping folks- you can follow this weekends antics by using the hastag #beaheadliner!