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How to pack for a music festival

How to pack for a music festival

It’s Great British festival season. You’ve booked your tickets, made your playlist and checked out where all the best bands are going to be and when. Now there’s just one more task – PACKING. It can seem daunting trying to pack everything you’ll need for a long weekend of outdoor living, while still being able to carry it on your back for the long journey to and from the festival grounds, but I’m here to help. I’m going to the Isle of Wight festival in a few days and have scoured the internet and quizzed friends and family to bring you this comprehensive guide to festival packing.


Step 1: Get yourself a backpack. You’ll want it at least 40L if you want to fit everything inside it. Those of you who have done a Duke of Edinburgh award will be familiar with these. While you’re looking at hiking equipment, grab yourself a cheap sleeping bag and a roll mat to make the ground a little more comfortable. A hoodie will do as a pillow.


Step 2: The tent. Go to a camping store and try out all the tents you can find. Get in and out, lie down, sit up, and make sure you and your bag will fit in there comfortably. Remember you have to carry everything you are bringing, so try to get the lightest tent you can, and make sure when it is packed up it is compact. If you’re shopping on a budget, note down the measurements of the tent you want and see if you can find a similar size cheaper somewhere else. Don’t be afraid to shop around!


Step 3: What to bring. Obviously you will need clothes. As with all camping holidays, the temperature will fluctuate day to night, so bring lots of light layers, make sure you don’t bring anything that will take hours to dry if you get caught in the rain, and definitely bring a rain coat. Wellies are also a good idea for late in the weekend when the field has become a bog. Spare socks and underwear are also essential.


Step 4: Food. You won’t want to cook or wash up when there is so much going on so stick to cereal bars and dried fruit, or anything that is light and compact that will give you energy. Do not bring raw meat such as sausages – a barbeque is a good idea until you get food poisoning from unrefrigerated meat. If you really want to avoid buying food when you’re there, bring a compact camping stove such as a Trangia and stick to powdered or dehydrated meals like instant soups, noodles and pasta. This is not a time to be health-conscious. Avoid bringing cans at all costs – they are very heavy and will quickly weigh you down as you run for your train/coach/ferry.


Step 5: Camping essentials. Make sure you have wet wipes, dry shampoo, ear plugs, duct tape and a torch. You’ll thank me later.


Step 6: Your day bag. As well as your backpack you will want a small zip up shoulder bag or bum bag to keep some cash, festival and travel tickets, keys, lip balm, tissues, hand sanitiser and anything else you’ll want easy access to while you’re travelling or that you don’t want to leave unattended in your tent.


Step 7: Actually packing it all in. Before you start, write down a list of everything you are bringing. Then think about what you will need during the journey and when you first arrive. Keep this towards the top of your backpack – so pack everything else first. Roll up your clothes to make them more compact and wear your wellies on the journey – this will save having to pack them. If you can, strap your roll mat onto your back pack to save space.


Now you’re ready to go! Enjoy the music, have fun with your friends and stay safe.


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