It may come as no surprise that the happiest of holiday makers under canvas are organised people, good planners, and good at packing lots of stuff into small spaces. So, I’ve consulted some experienced festival goers to see which of our camping experiences had taught us the most. From Green Man and Reading, to Glastonbury and even the Burning Man festivals, these people have done it. One even has a special spreadsheet (for Burning Man – please contact me if you would like a copy, it is for sharing).
Wheels: Bring cat litter and planks to get out of a muddy patch. Lights can decorate your bike, your body and your tent.
Food: We seemed to enjoy buying out and only bothering with snacks in our packing. But personally I can’t be without a cuppa first thing in the morning, so I’m packing coffee making arrangements even though this will significantly add to my carrying weight. This leads us to cash- having enough money to buy food and drink, and maybe some interesting festie shopping items, is essential. It’s easy to spend £ 40-50 a day at Glasto. Bringing snacks will help you stick to your budget (but be kind to yourself – you are on holiday!)
Drink: Be prepared! Bumps and bruises under the influence of a delicious cider will make plasters and Savlon most welcome. A plastic lid and straw from a takeaway milkshake on the top of your pint glass will help keep the wasps and spills under control. A cup is a must anyway. Restrictions on what can be brought onto festival sites, especially in terms of drinks, have led to some fascinating smuggling strategies! I will limit myself to the observation that it helps if you are a naturally curvy woman.
Self care: Indigestion tablets, a plan for how you will pee at night, tissues for clean-ups of all sorts, and some idea of how delicious you are to midges – these are all good. Also, if you’re offered a VIP pass to a nice loo, take it. (Working festivals, or using disabled facilities, offer opportunities with this too).
Bedding: A foil blanket on the ground beneath your sleeping area is surprisingly helpful, keeping out damp and chill. Have a big enough tent for your body and all of your stuff.
Silly ideas: “A feather headdress and sequins, and a credit card” – depending on where you are going, that is actually not so dumb an idea! It will be easier for your mates to find you in a crowd, at least!
Experiences add to our memory banks, bringing meaning to our lives, and building our resilience to stress. What’s not to love? Have a fantastic time!