Summer is upon us and the festival season is in full swing. For some, this means attending events like Falls Festival, Unify and Woodford. Camping festivals are my favourite kind of festivals. There’s nothing like partying all day into the early hours of the morning to some of your favourite artists and waking up the next day being able to do it all over again.
Now you’ve probably already covered the basics a tent, weather friendly clothes, plenty of food and of course your alcohol; but what about those not so obvious items that you wish you had thought of bringing? I’ve put together a list of essential (but often forgotten) items that every festival goer needs.
- A portable music player
Festivals are all about the music, so why not bring the music to your campsite? Keep the party going whilst you’re chilling in between sets or kicking on into the night long after the last artist has finished. You can pick up a decent portable music player for around $10 from most department stores. I recently picked up one from Kmart for $20 that I can connect to my iPhone with wifi and the sound is great for the price!
- Portable phone charger
Whilst we’re on the topic of portable devices, one of the items you definitely don’t want to leave the house without is a portable phone charger. Most festivals these days have charging stations however be prepared to pay up to $10 / hour to use this service. Save your money and keep your phone on you whilst it’s charging with a portable phone charger. You can pick these up for around $50 however I would recommend spending a bit more and investing in one that’s going to give you a few charges worth. This way you can keep your phone charged the whole weekend and know you won’t run out of charge.
- A tarp for your tent
This is often an overlooked item, and its no wonder why. Tarps are big, bulky and hard to fold. However, they can be your best friend when it comes to the weather. Have you ever been to a festival and it starts to pour down rain or the sun is shining so bright you turn into a red lobster within minutes? I have and trust me when I say, it’s not a fun time. Of course, you can’t avoid the weather the entire day especially if you’re watching an artist but you can avoid it for the times you are just chilling at your tent. It will also prevent your tent being prone to leaking water or heating up from direct sunlight so you’ll be guaranteed a great nights sleep.
- Lantern or Torch
Unless you’re lucky enough to get there early and put your tent up right near the entrance to the arena you probably won’t have a lot of light to navigate your way at night. Bring along a lantern or torch (don’t forget the batteries!) for those 3am toilet trips or simply to light up your campsite.
- Toilet paper
Don’t festivals supply toilet paper with the port-a-loo’s? Yes they do, but when you have 1000’s of people across a 2-3 day festival consuming copious amounts of alcohol, food and other substances and only a handful of cleaners attending hundreds of portable toilets there’s bound to be a time when one (or a whole row) is going to run out of toilet paper. This can leave to backed up lines or hiking to the next toilet block. Don’t be caught with your legs crossed trying to hold it in whilst you wait in line. Pack a few spare rolls in your luggage and you’ll be laughing as you walk past those anxiously waiting with your brand new triple layer soft Kleenex toilet tissue.
- Plastic zip lock bags
These are great for keeping your phone and valuables dirt and sweat free. They are also a great substitute to carrying around a bulky wallet. Place your ID, phone and money into the bag and away you go. Just make sure to get the zip lock version so it’s sealed tight.
- Face wipes/baby wipes
These aren’t just for females. At Coachella this year between 3 people (2 girls, 1 guy) we went through 3 large baby wipe boxes over the 3 day weekend just from wiping dirt and dust off our face, arms and feet. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sleeping in a dirty sleeping bag and unfortunately most festivals don’t come equipped with showers. Pack a few packets of makeup or baby wipes and keep yourself feeling fresh.
- Dry shampoo
Do I really need to say any more? Dry shampoo is a lifesaver for days you can’t wash your hair.
- Solar shower
This isn’t really a must have but it can be handy if you’re camping for a few days and the festival doesn’t provide or has limited showers available. No one likes to be the smelly guy and no doubt you’ll be covered in dirt and every other substance by day 2. You can pick up a portable shower from most camping stores.
- Walkie talkies
Reception can suck at festivals especially those in remote areas. Need to find your mates? Then a walkie talkie is your answer! You can pick them up for pretty cheap and they run on batteries so you don’t need to worry about charging them. They’re also great for car convoys to the festival to communicate to your friends when you need to make a fuel or toilet stop.
What are your must have festival essentials? Leave a comment below if you think I’ve forgotten anything!