How to: survive a festival – the essential packing list

Lucky enough to have a Glasto ticket? Planning on moshing at Reading or Leeds? Taking the sedate path at a family-friendly shindig? Wherever you are heading, take heed of my definitive festival packing guide which I have compiled from the front line (a muddy field). First time camping? Try my beginner’s guide to camping too.

Festival packing guide The Girl Outdoors

Festival packing guide

Loo roll: Take twice as much as you think you need.
Tent and sleeping bag: Don’t get precious about them. They will return home covered in graffiti and smelling like other people’s wee – that is the festival law. If you have a lovely tent you take on chilled out camping trips, buy a separate festival one that you won’t cry over.
Pain killers: Necessary every morning to ensure you can actually get up and see some bands after a bit too much illegal substance abuse the night before. Not that you’d do that.
Wet wipes: They are a shower in a small, portable bag. Get medicated ones so you can keep hands clean, too.
Wellies: If you take them, it’ll be sunny. If you don’t, it’ll chuck it down and you’ll be living in mud for a weekend.
Deodorant: because you won’t shower.
Fancy dress: Obligatory. Take some with you to avoid the temptation to spend £15 on a lime green jesters hat once you’re there.
Mac in a sack: Folds up small. Again, it won’t rain if you bring one.
Glow sticks: For drunken moshing. But do not break open and apply to skin, as this hurts. A lot.
Flag: To mark out your camp in a sea of dark green tents.
Sunscreen: Heatstroke ain’t sexy.
Torch: Avoid breaking your leg tripping over someone else’s guy rope at 3am.
Toothpaste: You might pull, despite smelling like a dead goat.
Spare pants: See above.
String: I don’t really know why you should take string, but it makes me feel like a super-prepared boy scout.
Bin bags: incredibly useful for rubbish, storing dirty clothes, fixing holes in your tent…
Any other camping kit: Try my ultimate camping checklist for anything you might have forgotten.



  1. Sean Griffiths
    April 17, 2011 / 10:28 am

    Or alternatively just take as many drugs as its physically possible to carry, or let everything else take care of itself.

  2. April 17, 2011 / 10:46 am

    I enjoyed clicking ‘approve’ on this comment x

  3. April 17, 2011 / 1:35 pm

    Wine in a box with one of those taps.

  4. July 28, 2011 / 2:34 pm

    Haha this made me laugh cos it’s so true and exactly what I bring!xx

  5. annie
    August 15, 2011 / 10:03 pm

    The wine in a box is my staple item, finish the contents then blow up for an instant pillow 🙂 x

  6. June 26, 2014 / 9:08 am

    I can’t festival/camp without Taveljohns disposable urinals. Glamorous they ‘aint, but neither is queuing for an hour for a grim portapotty. These things are genius!

  7. sian
    June 26, 2014 / 9:17 am

    ooh I am totally getting one of those! great idea. 🙂