Festival camping checklist: what to take to your next festival

14 June 2019, 09:00 | Updated: 14 June 2019, 09:01

Festival goers arrive at Glastonbury in 2010
Festival goers arrive at Glastonbury in 2010. Picture: Ben Birchall/PA Archive/PA Images

Heading off to a festival this summer? Need to get packing but don’t know where to start? We have the perfect festival checklist to make sure you don’t leave anything behind.

  1. Tent

    Sounds obvious, but some people can be forgetful. The rule of thumb is to buy a tent slightly bigger than you need so it fits all your stuff as well as yourselves.

    Budget: 2 man pop up tent from Milletts

    Luxury: Klondike 6 Person Tipi Tent from Blacks

    Festival tents
    Festival tents. Which one was ours again? Picture: Getty Images
  2. Waterproof coat or poncho

    Keep an eye on that all-important weather forecast as the British summertime can be a bit hit or miss. It’s always best to be prepared for some rain.

    Budget: Emergency rain ponchos 5 pack from Amazon

    Luxury: Waterproof jackets on Cotswold Outdoor

  3. Wellies

    Sturdy hiking shoes are also good, but if there’s a real downpour and the mud and rain start to collect, sometimes only wellies will do.

    Budget: Cheap wellies on Amazon.co.uk

    Luxury: Hunter wellingtons

    Festival wellingtons
    Festival wellingtons - staying fashionable AND dry. Picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Archive/PA Images
  4. Sleeping bag

    Could be a life-saver if it gets cold at night!

    Budget: Yaheetech Sleeping Bags with Hoods on Amazon

    Luxury: Berghaus Intrepid 1000 Sleeping Bag from Blacks

    Festival goer asleep in a sleeping bag
    Shame somebody nicked his tent. Picture: Getty Images
  5. A jumper or hoody

    Even at the height of summer, clear skies can mean a cold night, so always have something warm to wear in the small hours.

  6. Air mattress

    Blow-up mattresses can be a pain to inflate, so the more convenient option is a rolled up mat, some models actually inflate themselves! However, there's a wide selection of traditional airbeds to take.

    Budget: Trespass Single Flocked Air Bed from Argos

    Luxury: Easy Camp Flock Excellent Single Airbed from John Lewis

    Self inflating mat on GoOutdoors

    Can you hear us, pumping up your air mattress?
    Can you hear us, pumping up your air mattress? Picture: Getty Images
  7. Camping chairs

    Sometimes you need a good sit down: especially if the ground is wet or muddy. Extra bonus points for buying a model that features a holder to stick your beverage of choice.

    Budget: Steel Folding Camping Chair from Argos

    Luxury: Hi-Gear Vegas Chair XL from Go Outdoors

    Festival goers using camping chairs. They know the score.
    Now these lads are settled, the party can BEGIN. Picture: Getty Images
  8. Gazebo

    Useful for a dry or sheltered area by your campsite, but PLEASE CHECK that your chosen festival allows them to be erected as you don’t want to be hauling this heavy equipment all the way only to be told you can’t put the thing up. Also, be considerate to other campers and don't hog all the space.

    Budget: Argos Home garden gazebo

    Luxury: PES PopUp Gazebo from House Of Tents

  9. Picnic cooler

    Good for keeping beers, water and soft drinks cool during a hot spell. Again, check the festival’s terms and conditions to see whether coolers are acceptable on the campsites.

    Budget: Twin Cool Bag Set from Argos

    Luxury: Amara Chiller Hamper

    Campers with a picnic cooler. They've got the beers.
    They've got the beers. And maybe some sandwiches. Picture: Getty Images
  10. Portable chargers

    There are so many makes of portable phone charger on the market today, to fit all budgets. You can even go solar-powered and let the sun do all the work.

    Budget: Energizer Max Portable Power Bank from Argos

    Luxury: Griffin 26800mAh USB-C & USB-A Portable Power Bank from Argos

  11. Portable speaker

    Good for keeping the party going when the music on the main stages finish, but 1) don’t be an arse and disturb your camping neighbours and b) don’t waste your phone’s battery… in which case you’ll need one of the chargers mentioned above.

    Budget: GOJI Mini Portable Wireless Speaker from Currys PC World

    Luxury: LG XBoom

    "Calm down Sean, I'm sure the entire campsite will love my Razorlight b-sides playlist"
    "Calm down Sean, I'm sure the entire campsite will love my Razorlight b-sides playlist". Picture: Getty Images
  12. Bin bags

    Not just for rubbish, of course - you can put dirty clothes in ‘em, sit on them if the ground is wet and even fashion a makeshift poncho from one if you forget your waterproof.

  13. Mallet

    You need to get those tent pegs into the hard ground - don’t knacker your hand trying to push them in manually.

  14. Lantern

    A static torch that you can hang up to light your camping area.

    Budget: Collapsable torch lantern from Regatta

    Luxury: Dimmable Rechargeable Portable Led Tent Lantern with remote from Amazon

    Remember that sometimes other people can see what's going on in your tent
    Remember that sometimes other people can see what's going on in your tent. Picture: Getty Images
  15. Torch

    In case you need to spend a penny in the dead of night and don’t want to go flying over someone's tent guy rope. Also essential for finding stuff in your tent in the wee small hours. Bonus rave points for getting a hands-free head torch. Hours of fun!

    Budget: Dial GSUF001 LED Torch from Screwfix

    Luxury: High Power USB Rechargeable Flashlight from Amazon

    LED head torch from Mountain Warehouse for the full Orbital effect

  16. Hat

    Good for keeping your noggin dry in the rain, or cool in the baking sunshine.

  17. Ear plugs

    If you find yourself camping next to the dance tent, these could save your night's sleep… or your sanity. Also useful for when the decibels start to creep up, the nearer you get to the stage.

    Budget: Foam earplugs with carry case from Boots

    Luxury: ISOLATE MiNi Aluminium Ear Plugs

    Festivals can be noisy places. Or maybe she shouldn't try and make a call by the rave tent?
    Festivals can be noisy places. Or maybe she shouldn't try and make a call by the rave tent? Picture: Getty Images
  18. Duct tape

    Tape of a thousand uses. Can fix tent poles, rucksack straps, punctured airbeds, the lot.

    Budget: Wilko DIY tape from Wilkinson’s

    Luxury: Gorilla Glue cloth tape from Screwfix

  19. Suncream

    You could get wet… but you could equally get burnt if there’s a sudden heatwave. Lots of festivals have very little shelter, so stay safe in the sun.

    They weren't expecting it to be THIS hot.
    They weren't expecting it to be THIS hot. Picture: Getty Images
  20. Wet wipes

    There’s no showers where you’re going (unless you’re “glamping”, of course).

  21. Hand sanitiser

    It’s always worth keeping your hands clean when hitting the festival toilets, but don’t wipe your eyes or lick your fingers!

  22. Car jumper cables

    In case your car battery is flat come Monday morning… or if somebody else needs help and you want to play Good Samaritan.

    Car battery jump leads from Amazon

  23. Toilet roll

    They don’t always supply it at the festival. Be prepared. Unless you’re not planning on “going” for four days.

    Things are relatively civilised at this point in the festival.
    Things are relatively civilised at this point in the festival. Picture: Matt Crossick/PA Archive/PA Images
  24. Festival tickets

    The most essential thing of all = otherwise the weekend will be over before it’s even begun!

  25. Photo ID

    Can be useful if you look 12 years old and want to buy some beers, and check if your festival ticket requires ID to gain entrance to the site.

  26. Money

    Some festivals have ATMs, lots have contactless and card-reading machines at the bar, but it’s always good to have some cold hard cash on you to buy, you know, stuff.

    Time to stock up!
    Time to stock up! Picture: Ben Curtis/PA Archive/PA Images
  27. Reusuable Water bottle

    Stay hydrated - most festivals have free running water for you to refill your bottle.

    Budget: Sistema Twist 'n' Sip BPA Free Water Bottle from Amazon

    Luxury: Joe Wicks Stainless Steel Water Bottle from John Lewis

  28. Waterproof picnic blanket

    Useful for if the ground is wet, but not churned up into mud.

    Budget: Linens Limited Stripe Foldable Waterproof Fleece Picnic Blanket

    Luxury: THROW Waterproof Blanket in Navy Stripe from Trespass

  29. Microfibre towel

    If you manage to get a shower, or simply get soaked due to a downpour, a microfibre towel will dry quicker than a regular one.

    Budget: NABAIJI Microfibre towel from Decathlon

    Luxury: Dock & Bay quick dry towels