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  • Festival camping virgin – what to take…
  • Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    …and what not too take!

    Do you take your decent folding chairs or the scabby mouldy ones from the back of the shed?

    What about cooking stuff – take the Camping Gaz twin burner or just something to boil water on?

    We’re in family camping so hopefully it’ll be a little more civilised than the kids and drugs area.

    And when you arrive on site – is it a bun-fight for a pitch?

    And most importantly – how do you keep your beer cool!?



    Ear plugs, surely?


    What festival? Makes a big difference to what I’d take!

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    YNot Festival in’t Derbyshire.

    Waders and a wetsuit were needed last year!


    Some of this:

    ….. maybe not!

    Last time I camped at a festival, the car park was about a mile away from the campsite and over a fairly steep rocky hill. On that basis I would take as little as possible. Forget cooking, take enough money to buy festival food (its part of the fun) Forget taking beer, use the bar.

    Other than that, you just need a tent and some clean pants.

    Personally I wouldn’t take anything valuable to a festival as it will only get trashed or stolen. Last time I was at Glastonbury (ahem quite a while ago) there were large gangs of scallies ripping open tents and nicking anything they could carry.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    If you’re a bit away from parking a sack barrow is worth its weight in gold. Just make sure it’s locked to something or stashed back in the car.

    Wellies, baby wipes, head torch and big roll.

    Premier Icon simon_g

    If you’ve got something light to boil water for a cup of tea in the morning then that’s nice to have. Rest of food and drink just buy as you need, as said the walks from carparks can be huge and you probably don’t want be one of the ones sitting in the campsite drinking warm lager and eating undercooked sausages for breakfast anyway. Take a seat if you need one but again, if you’re not spending all your time hanging out in the campsite then a bit pointless. We’d just go back to sleep, then get up and head straight off in the morning. One of the folding travel rugs (waterproof on one side) is good to chuck in a bag for during the day particularly if the ground is damp.

    Powerbank capable of charging your phone several times saves queuing or going incommunicado. Baby wipes for cleaning. Plenty of suncream/hayfever stuff/etc. Complete set of spare dry clothes in the car in case it’s tipping it down (unlikely for you but hey). Other than that, generally take as little as possible.

    Premier Icon jekkyl

    Half an ounce of quality grass.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Sounds perfect for family camping.

    Premier Icon andybrad

    lots of money

    the ability to carry your stuff. (backpack etc)

    shorts and waterproofs

    proper boots.

    bog roll and babywipes.

    snack bars

    phone charger

    warm clothes.

    as a bonus


    coffee for the morning, kettle etc, beer

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    No glass.  Take red wine boxes and cans of cider as both are OK when they’re warm.

    Make/get a trolley big enough to do carry all your gear (in 2 trips) over rutted ground and mud.

    Invest in a decent cool box.

    Don’t take chairs into the arena.  That’s what shitbags do.

    The handwash in the portaloos should only be used to wash your hands.  It’s very stingy used elsewhere.

    Premier Icon wallop

    I shall second the above recommendations – wet wipes, ear plugs and wine in a box.

    Premier Icon wallop

    Pro tip for when the portaloos get ‘peaky’ – stick tissue up your nose before you go in and it prevents the smell from making you chunder.

    (By ‘peaky’, I mean when they get so full you can see a peak of poo appearing above the level of the seat).

    Premier Icon midlifecrashes

    Imodium, every day whether needed or not and you can avoid the portaloos all weekend.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    We arrived at Beautiful Days fairly early last year and looked around for a tent space. (Experienced campers but first time festival campers).  Found a spot that was just big enough.  Pitched tent than went for a look around.  Came back and found another 5 tents squeezed in around us.  The more the merrier!

    As little as possible. Don’t bother with cooking gear, it’s heavy and you won’t use it. Don’t bother with chairs, unless it’s wet, just sit on the floor. Your beer will be warm, I normally mix up some really strong vodka and lemonade instead.

    Seriously,.you don’t need most of the stuff people take, and you’ll waste half a day walking backwards and forwards lugging it in.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    The wife asked if they had leccy hook-up!

    Could be a long weekend.  :-/

    Mister P

    I wouldn’t bother with the Camping Gaz stove. I take one of the small stoves that runs on an aerosol can for boiling water for tea in the morning. All other food and drink I buy there. If you do plan on taking it the check the rules of the festival. Some are funny about gas cylinders.


    YNot veteran here, I had a feeling things were going to be a bit shit last year so we dodges it for the first time in 5 years. Back this year though.

    We always take our big 6 man tent, but get there on the Thursday, this year we’ll be taking the awning as well as gazebos/event shelters aren’t suooosed to be allowed anymore. Take all clothes and sleeping stuff in two big rucksacks. Tent and other bits and bobs get piled high on to a wheel barrow then wrapped in the pallet clingfilm. This year will see two barrows in action as I’m in my new 5 seater van so plenty of room, previously the barrow was strapped on top of the roof box.

    Basic food for a snack, pasta,hot dogs,got a cheese toasty thing from go outdoors, with two gas aerosol stoves, kettle, tea and coffee.  Loads of baby wipes, 2 anker battery packs Will take the camp kitchen thing as well as I get wound up with stuff all over the floor plus 8ts got a built in wind break. 1 storage collapsible thingy as well to keep clean clothes off the floor.

    1 pair of wellies each, one coat then shorts and tees. No trousers allowed on festival weekends.

    Water water water. Take say 6×2 litre cheapo bottles then keep refilling, if it’s hot there’s never enough water points!

    Shit loads of Stella!


    O and I also take several cool boxes, completely ram one full of as many bags of ice then wrap in a sleeping bag. If it’s stays unopened we’ve had ice for drinks Sunday morning in the past.


    I sometimes split my warm beer 50/50 with beer from the beer tent at the festival to make it more drinkable. I


    Any contraband should be rolled up inside your tent…

    rachel 😇

    Premier Icon dazh

    4 litres of 8% cider in a box* and some magic mushrooms. You won’t need to camp.

    *or in a camelbak.


    i am the opposite of wrightyson!

    bring spirits not beer. Lighter to carry all day, fewer trips to portaloos. Then treat yourself to a cold beer from the bar a couple of times a day

    bring snacks like peanuts and cereal bars but nothing more substantial, it’s too much faff

    no chairs or stoves. sleep in until lunchtime (at least) and then just crack on*

    wet wipes, bog roll, alcohol hand gel, and the most comfortable rucksack you’ve got

    old comfy trainers

    a pillow

    you mentioned being in the family area but i would recommend not bringing children, they’ll just cramp your style 😉

    *this assumes you are over 25. If you are under 25 then sleep is optional


    Water boiling device, aero press, goodcoffee.

    i am super grumpy in the morning so not in the mood to queue for coffee.


    Premier Icon convert

    I presume bin bags to take all your crap home is not part of the kit list from the state of your average festival site after it closes.

    Premier Icon Cougar

    Bin bags are always worth taking.  You never know when they might come in handy.  Rubbish bag, impromptu dry bag, liner for the groundsheet if it leaks.

    Bog roll, hand sanitiser, ear plugs, head torches.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    My tip for a morning poo-

    When queueing by the porta-loos try and use one after a lady has been in, they are less likely to have pee’d (or shat) on the bog seat.

    Premier Icon holdsteady

    in recent years I have taken these on camping trips – great for cooling down  especially after waking up in a sweaty tent and for washing.

    The withchipses popped their collective cherry last weekend.  Smallish ‘family’ festival with a very friendly vibe meant that we were pretty happy throwing shapes down the front of everything/one that was on.  Bit of an odd sensation in that the kids were up at the crack of dawn, so we saw more of the 10am acts than might have otherwise been the case, but a lunchtime nap sorted that.  minifishspecial *loves* The Orb now, having spend most of the wee hours of yesterday in front of a strobe light – I’m not sure what lasting effect that will have…

    We took a knackered stand up indoors family tent (vango eos 550), with holes in the fly and cracked poles.  I was worried about drunken fools (self included) falling over it in the night, but that turned out not to be too much of a problem.  We aimed for the far corner of the family camping, to avoid too much through traffic – like above had folk pitching in the doorway before we’d finished getting organised – that’s just odd.

    Chairs were a waste of time.  OK in and around the tent, but picnic blanket as mentioned above would have been a better bet.  Red Wine in a box (free pillow!) and spirits meant no cooling issues, supplemented by beers from the bar as necessary.  Basic approach to sleeping bag/mat/tent will see you right, so long as you are moderately happy in your own squalor.

    Spare keks, wet wipes, hand gel, battery pack, tea and coffee making facilities would be sufficient.  No glass on site so don’t bother.  Wide range of grub, drink and other substances available.  Ear plugs might have been a good idea in retrospect (both for chatty neighbours and the pit).

    Surprises for me were quite how fragrant some of the crusties get, quite how fragrant some of the tents got (zero tolerance my arse, but that’s part of the fun I suppose – don’t mean to be a prude about it but more than i expected in the family camping), and quite how old I’ve become.  All good – you’ll have a blast.

    Premier Icon CountZero

    For the last three festivals I’ve done I used a folding trolly, sack-truck kinda thing, which is ok, but they’re very unstable on rough ground, and WILL fall over sideways! Bungee stuff in place, then wrap completely in cling film, or preferably industrial pallet wrap, which you can get from Amazon. It’ll hold stuff in place and help keep crap off if the ground is muddy and it all inevitably goes sideways. In future I’m going to get a collapsible four-wheeled trolly, more stable, but with pallet wrap over the top.

    I’ve never bothered with any kind of stove for festivals, just can’t be arsed with the phaff, I just take a few bottles of water that I can fill from the standpipes, festivals charge the earth for bottled water.

    Food and beer I buy on site, festivals like Greenman have their own beer festival, so bugger taking a load of tasteless canned fizz when you can sample the very best that Wales has to offer, and there’s lots.

    Bog rolls, a couple of kitchen rolls, wellies, a waterproof of some sort, I’ve found cheap ponchos work best, camo ones are great, you have a groundsheet and rain gear all in one, and it doesn’t matter if it gets covered in mud.

    High capacity power packs, for charging phone and camera are essential these days.

    A decent hat, with ideally some sort of brim to keep sun and rain off yer head, this does not include hats with horns or other stupid adornments!

    Premier Icon llama

    Assuming you are family festival and its your kids…..

    If they are little, write your phone number and in some way attach it to them in a permanent and water proof way. Have a what to do if lost plan.

    If they are not little and you still want to be able to contact them at some point do not rely just on mobiles. Have meeting point/times.

    Bulk buy glow sticks or similar are a lot of fun for kids, and you can give them out to your neighbours.

    Have the ability to make a cup of tea in the morning. Cooking beyond that ime depends on your budget. Kids multiply your spend considerably. If you want to keep your spend down do some big family meals and or breakfast. If you are prepared to spend don’t bother. For reference with 2 kids under 10 we used to easily do £100 a day for the 4 of us once you factor in ice creams and moderate shandy drinking.

    Wet wipes and sanitiser

    Spirits are better than beer/cider in that it is less to carry and importantly to men of a certain age does not result in excessive loo trips.

    Basic chairs but leave them at the tent.

    Ear plugs

    Refillable water bottles

    Walking boots not wellies

    Something heavy duty to cart it all there from your car.


    Muffin man it ain’t Glasto, it’s not that far at all from car to family camping. If you’re you’re going on the Thursday as we are a few luxuries are worth the extra run to the car. One tip worth noting if you can get a fenceline pitch it’s so much easier to find you’re tent. One of those big festival poles with flag on is also a help. If youre coming friday for god sake dont come late as youll spend hours trying to find a pitch. Do not camp at ynot in general camping, come Sunday it makes Syria look homely


    Sounds like hell on earth. I’d take along a booking confirmation for a nearby hotel.

    Premier Icon breadcrumb

    Be wary of camping next to a fence, it’s a prime location to empty ones bladder!

    Premier Icon CountZero

    Regarding chairs, many festivals sell cheap ones on site, and it’s not at all unusual to find them abandoned at the end of the first day’s programme, just grab a couple, use them for the weekend then dump them; I think they were £5 at IoW several years ago.

    Torches, good ones, and head-torches. As Wrightyson sez, try to get there for as soon as it opens, as close to the front of the queue as poss. At IoW I tramped a fair distance because I couldn’t get there earlier, and found a field which was still fairly empty, and pitched right on the edge between two larger tents. It was perfect, dead easy to find, (I did wrap some solar-powered fairy/Christmas lights around the tent lines, which helped, and helped stop people tripping over them). At Greenman I got there fairly early, and found a spot few had noticed about a hundred metres from the entrance, at the top of a slope against the fence, a few yards from the portapotties, not far from a water source, and far enough from the path at the bottom of the slope to not have people stumbling around all night. Found the same spot last year as well, it was ideal.

    @rene59 – yeah, right, good luck with that, what with having to travel backwards and forwards from the hotel, pay inflated room prices on top of the ticket price, etc.

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man

    Thanks all – and thanks wrightyson.

    Yes we are going up on Thursday, so hopefully getting a pitch won’t be too bad.

    I’ll be honest the only reason we are camping is because of our 15 year old daughter and her friend. She would normally camp with some other friends but they aren’t going this year.


    This is the first year dear daughter is going with her mates hence us going again, quite happy to go but that was the catalyst this year. Almost guarantee my daughter knows yours as she’s 16.

    Hopefully it will return to some of its older style this year as it used to be brilliant and proper family friendly.

    Enjoy, and I’ll see you at the bar 😉

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