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Summer festivals

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If you are one of the many thousands of people heading for summer festivals then at some point you will have to switch off from the music for a minute and think about what you need to take. A little careful planning will enhance your festival experience, and leave you free to enjoy yourself knowing that the essentials are well in hand.

Crafty Camping

Passing a few nights in a field requires some form of temporary home. You won’t want to carry too much stuff, but the following items are essential for your comfort:

• A tent – small pop-up versions are cheap and practical, and a test-run in the garden before you go will ensure you pop it up like a pro (and help confirm that no vital elements are missing!)
• Sleeping bag and pillow – with the UK’s unpredictable weather it’s best to plan for cold, damp and rain. Invest in a good quality sleeping bag to help you stay toasty warm at night. An inflatable pillow to rest you head on is also ideal, and slips easily into a pocket
• Quick-Dry towel – these lightweight, compact bits of fabric have amazing absorbency, and are easy to pack
• Waterproof mat – as night falls and you want to carry on socialising, you’ll be glad to have a rug, groundsheet, or any other material waterproof covering that you can spread out by your tent to sit on. There’s nothing worse than a damp bottom!
• Torch – a midnight dash to the loo through a field of tents will feel like an obstacle course if you can’t see

Perfectly Practical

Fashion takes on a whole new meaning at festivals, and you may be disinterested, or keen to fit-in with style. In either event, practicality should be your primary concern. No one is going to care if you are in designer wellies and a silk flowery dress when you are crammed in front of a stage, or dashing to your tent in a deluge. Follow these tips for the best of both worlds:

summer festivals• Wellies or Boots – maths may not be your strong point, but everyone knows that Field+Rain=Mud. Boots are a festival must-have, and offer protection for your toes from inadvertent mid-crowd stomping too
• Waterproof coat – getting wet is miserable, so make sure you have a raincoat. There are some effective, affordable lightweight ones on the market that pack up really small and won’t cramp your style
• Head cover – rainy or sunny, if you’re outdoors for a few days you need to take care of your head, so a hat or bandanna is a wise packing choice
• Spare Clothes – a fresh set for each day plus one spare should suffice – it’s very likely they will get wet/muddy/sweaty

Eat Wise

Food is generally available to buy at festivals, but can be of distinctly dubious quality, and hideously expensive. Packing a few easy snacks and meals will help you stay well, and free-up your budget for a few more drinks or souvenirs. Try taking along a few of these festival staples:

• Cheese and crackers
• Pita breads
• Cold pasta salad in a tub
• Bread and Jam
• Yoghurt tubes
• Prepacked sandwiches (from home or a shop)
• Disposable BBQ – if permitted, and provided you cook meat within 24 hours to avoid any nasty bacteria developing
• Snacks – biscuits, cereals bars, nuts and of course, chocolate
• Tinned food you can eat cold – tuna, sweet corn, baked beans, hot dog sausages, for example
• A few bottles of water are also good to have to hand

Hygiene

Festival loos and shower facilities are notoriously dodgy. It’s unlikely you’ll want to go for a full body wash, and seasoned festival-goers often stay fresh by employing the magic of baby wipes. A pack or two of these little gems can keep you ‘clean enough’ for a few days, and you can look forward to a good soak in the bath when you get home.
Toilet roll is another festival essential. Make sure you have enough to last, keep it dry, and guard it with your life! Plastic sandwich bags and a few bin liners are also lightweight and handy to have. You never know when you’ll need to store something wet and smelly. And don’t forget your toothbrush and a small tube of paste. There is no better antidote to a late night than a quick morning brush.

 

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About Cally Worden

About Cally Worden

Seasoned freelance writer Cally Worden lives with her family and dog in a quiet corner of rural France. A love of the outdoors, and a fascination with her children's ability to view life with fresh eyes provide the inspiration for much of her work. Cally writes regularly for various websites and UK print publications on subjects as diverse as parenting, travel, lifestyle, and business, and anything that makes her smile.

Website: Cally Worden

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