Five festival essentials 

The growing popularity of festivals means you can find one that caters to every hobby, including music, food and books.Whether you are attending your first festival or you’re a seasoned festivalgoer, knowing exactly what festival essentials to pack for the day or weekend can be overwhelming, regardless of how much experience you may have.  

From choosing the right bag for your festival needs to packing the essentials as efficiently as possible, a definitive plan before you go can make or break your festival experience.  

If you are limited on storage space and looking for a safe home for your festival gear, our short-term storage plans are secure and easily accessible, for when you need to get your hands on your festival kit again. 

1: Choose the right bag 

The perfect festival bag will be different depending on the length of time you are going for. No matter the time period, you want to ensure you have something practical and comfortable. For a day festival, a small backpack should be enough to fit everything you need.  

Longer weekends, in which you are likely to need camping gear, will require a larger and heavier duty bag. You can get camping backpacks in different sizes, measured in litres, so you can tailor to your needs. With this you can carry your tent, sleeping bag, clothes and more on your back. 

If carrying your belongings on your back isn’t suitable, shopping caddies or pull along trucks could be an option. Just be cautious that these will only work on dry ground and are likely to get stuck if it is muddy. 

2: Know what to prioritise 

Although you have carefully selected your bag for the event, just like on a regular holiday you are going to have limited space. Make sure you start with a list of the essentials before considering packing more luxury items. Your ticket, ID card, phone and wallet are going to be some of the most important items to pack, as well as camping gear such as a tent, sleeping bag, waterproof clothes and comfortable shoes. 

Once you have the festival essentials organised, you can see how much space you have for bonus items. For example, do you now have room for an inflatable mattress to make your camping experience more comfortable? You might also have space for more outfits and accessories such as hats, but these shouldn’t take priority over camping items and toiletries. 

Here is our festival camping essentials checklist: 

  • Ticket 
  • ID  
  • Phone 
  • Portable charger 
  • Tent 
  • Sleeping bag 
  • Torch or lamp 
  • Waterproof clothes 
  • Comfortable and waterproof shoes 
  • Toiletries 
  • Toilet Roll or Tissues 

3: Be savvy with toiletries 

When camping, it is easy to feel unhygienic and, especially at festivals, people tend not to shower during the weekend. If you are hoping to keep up a good self-care routine, it’s important to bring the right toiletries. Remembering that there is still limited packing space, it can be useful to buy miniature or travel versions of your everyday toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrush and deodorant, so they take up less space.  

If you are planning to use showers whilst you are there, make sure to pack a travel sized shampoo, face wash and body wash. Or, as some festivals charge extra for shower facilities, you can just bring baby wipes and wipe yourself down each day, so you smell and feel fresh. A dry shampoo will be perfect for removing that greasy hair feeling, and if you have the space, a touch of makeup might be up your street.  

Don’t forget to bring any medication you might need, including allergy tablets, paracetamol or ibuprofen. Suncream and a travel size first aid kit are going to be a handy addition to your toiletry bag, too. 

4: Plan your food and drink 

Before you head off to your festival, decide whether you are going to take your own food, buy from food vendors or do a bit of both. This will determine whether you need a camping stove and what food to pack. You will also need to establish how much you plan to drink.  

If you are planning to do your own cooking and save some money, make sure you have all the equipment you need for each meal, such as cutlery, cooking knives and plates. For ease of transport, packet foods such as instant noodles and pasta are a simple option. You can then bring fruit such as apples or oranges, so you are still getting the nutrition you need. 

As well as water to stay hydrated, tea or coffee is a great drink choice to give you the energy you need over the long weekend. If you are bringing in alcohol, remember that most festivals don’t allow glass bottles, so choose your beverages wisely. 

5: Pack like a pro 

The final step to the process is packing everything you need. It’s easy to put this off until the last minute, but making sure you get a head start means you can have time to make any last-minute decisions or shopping trips. Check what your friends are taking to the festival beforehand, so you can avoid doubling up on camping essentials that could easily be shared, such as a camping stove. 

When it comes to clothes, roll your clothes up rather than fold them. You will find you have a lot more space and that they can be moulded around each other. You can also stuff socks and underwear into shoes to save space.  

Enjoy a stress-free festival weekend with this must-have essentials check list. If you’re in need of packing and organisation tips in other areas of your life, our house move checklist is essential for those making the next big transition in their life.