We’re in the peak of the UK festival season, with some of the year’s biggest events still to take place through the rest of August and September.
If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people attending a festival this summer, there are a few things you can do to make life easier while you’re there, especially if you’re camping.
Here are our 10 essential tips for festival-goers.
Pack spare wellies
It’s not the best start to a day if you have to stick your feet in already-soaking wellies. If the weather isn’t on your side, there may not be much you can do to keep the water out, so take a spare pair of wellington boots and alternate them each day. This will give them more time to dry out and will mean there’s less chance of you walking around with soggy feet.
Remember the essential toiletries
Toilet roll should be high on your festival checklist, but other essentials include tissues and wet wipes, hand sanitizer, deodorant, sun cream, toothbrush and toothpaste, dry shampoo, and pain relief (for those inevitable sore heads). It’s amazing how much better you’ll feel after a quick freshening-up in a morning. Also, take earplugs and an eye-mask if you want any chance of a decent night’s sleep.
Pick your festival clothing wisely
Given the unpredictability of UK weather, picking your festival wear is probably one of the trickier things to get right. You need to pack clothes for good and bad weather, even if it’s the middle of August, so packing too much clothing is better than too little. Make sure you’ve packed hats, waterproofs and plenty of spare socks. A lot of people forget to pack clothes for the journey home. If you’ve got a four-hour drive back, sitting in the car in yesterday’s damp clothes isn’t a great feeling.
Light your way
You will find it hard to get anywhere after dark without a torch. It’s almost guaranteed that you will trip over numerous guy ropes while navigating your way between tents. Make your life a bit easier by carrying a torch with you. Wind-up torches mean you don’t have to worry about the batteries running out, and ones with lanyards are much more difficult to lose.
Only take what you need
Festival food and drink is notoriously expensive, so it’s a good idea to ease the bill of a weekend by taking your own provisions. Water bottles are a must, but there’s a balance to find between taking what you need and what you can carry.
Those ten cases of beer will feel a lot heavier when you have to cart them across three muddy fields to find a spot to pitch your tent.
By the time you’ve found a parking spot, got through all the gates and trekked through the mud to the campsite, you might be tempted to pitch your tent in the first spot you can find. But where you choose to set up camp could make or break your weekend, so it’s worth some extra walking if necessary.
If you don’t want to wake up to a wet tent floor each morning, it’s best not to pitch it at the bottom of a slope. And while it might make it a bit trickier getting back to your tent later on, pitching away from the main paths and walkways will make it feel a lot less hectic.
Make your tent stand out
It’s likely that you will be heading back to your tent in the dark most days, but it can be hard to get your bearings even in the middle of the day. Make it easier to find your tent by putting a flag up outside, or, if you’re not precious about it, paint a sign or just some bright colours on the outside of the tent before you go.
Take an old phone
The chances of your phone getting lost, or damaged, or just very muddy, are extremely high. Don’t sacrifice your shiny new smartphone for the sake of a weekend. Instead, dig an old one out of a drawer, or buy a cheap one to use temporarily. It will cost less than replacing your favourite phone, or even the excess on an insurance claim.
Most festivals these days have mobile charging points for those whose phones get low on juice. Considering this will happen to tens of thousands of people over the weekend, though, your wait to charge your phone might be a long one.
Avoid the queues by switching your smartphone off when you don’t need it. Or, if you absolutely need to take blurry pictures of your favourite performers from a hundred metres away, take a portable charging device with you so you can charge your phone back at your tent.
Be the early bird
The longest part of your weekend will be the queue to get out of the campsite at the end of it. Pack up as early as you can to beat the exodus of tired, muddy festival-goers. You can always catch up on your sleep when you make it home.
Do you have your own tips for making festival life easier? What is your best (or worst) festival experience? Let us know in the comments below.