How To Pack For A Festival

flags at womadThere are a gazillion lists out there on the tinterweb telling you what essentials to pack for a weekend at a festival. But when I was frantically packing last week for my trip to Womad Festival, I couldn’t find just one comprehensive list to tell me exactly what to pack. Yeah, sometimes I like to think for myself. But sometimes you just want someone else to do the hard thinking for you. So this ‘What to pack for a festival’ list is just as much a reference point for me to look back on in future as it might be helpful to you, dear reader.

womad festival

Top Tips for Packing for a Festival

  • Before leaving on camping trip, make sure tent is in good working order
  • Freeze ice packs
  • Wrap glass bottles in tea towels, it prevents clanging and tea towels always useful
  • Roll your clothes
  • Bear in mind that the car park might be long way from the campsite – use easy-to-carry bags etc.
  • Use a granny trolley if you have one
  • If you’re a girl, tights are super useful to throw under skirts, dresses and shorts if it gets cold.
  • Remember that denim doesn’t make friends with water. If you’re wearing jeans and it rains you will be inching around rather than walking. (wet jeans = chaffing)
  • Always make sure your have clean, dry clothes for travelling home in (it could be a long journey)

What to Pack for a Festival

  • Tent
  • Mallet (we forgot this an jamming tent pegs into hard ground was … well, hard)
  • Spare ground sheet (for sitting on outside tent – blankets will get soggy on dewy grass)
  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets, lots of them (good for nighttime warmth and daytime picnics)
  • Proper pillow (I can sleep on the ground if at least I have a good pillow)
  • Sleeping mat or airbed if you have one
  • Pump of airbed (manual or battery powered)
  • Camping folding chair
  • Camping stove (we got a great deal in Blacks including 4 gas canisters)
  • Small pan and Frying pan
  • Spatula / Wooden Spoon / Tongs
  • Plates / Mugs / Cutlery / Utensils (think can opener, bottle opener etc)
  • Lighter / Matches
  • Paper kitchen towels
  • Loo roll (lots of it)
  • Wet wipes (good for cleaning equipment and bodies)
  • Ziploc bags (keep all food wrapped up to avoid ‘visitors’ and handy to keep things separated)
  • Lots of spare plastic bags (ideal for makeshift waste disposal, carrying wet clothes etc)
  • Bin liners for the clear-up
  • Spare empty water bottles (take your own water rather than spend quids on it)
  • Anti-bacterial hand gel (good hygiene is your friend)
  • First aid kit (include plasters, antiseptic cream, Compeed, painkillers, Imodium and anti-histamine – don’t forget your daily medication too)
  • Sunscreen
  • Dry Shampoo (and lots of hairbands and kirby grips)
  • Toiletries (keep it simple and sensible 0 but don’t forget moisturiser your skin is battling elements all day)
  • Torches, with spare batteries (a headtorch is perfect for those night time visits to the portaloos – holding a torch between your teeth is tricky)
  • Washing up bowl, sponge and liquid (we got an Ecover sample which is perfect for keeping chemicals out the ground – biodegradable is rad)
  • Gaffa tape (just in case your tent springs a leak)
  • Coolbox and icepacks (the better packed it is, the longer your food will stay cold)
  • Cash! (although Womad had an ATM, you don’t want to be caught without)
  • Wellies and socks (it’s England, chances are you will be living in these all weekend)
  • Flip flops / Sandals (good for about the tent stuff and the small chance of English sunshine)
  • Clothes (think layers – tops, cardies, plaid shirts, shorts, tights, dresses, jumpers)
  • Waterproof jacket (roll up kagols are perfect handbag fodder)
  • Bikini/Swimsuit (sounds odd, but there was a spa at Womad, and in the olden days at Reading festival I would wear this under my tops, because mosh pits are sweaty)
  • Travel towel (the fast drying is where it’s at)
  • Ear plugs
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sarong (I rarely travel without one, useful for all sorts – blanket, scarf, shawl, modesty cover etc)
  • Pyjamas (again, think layers, it gets darn cold when camping)
  • Clean underwear (festivals are smelly enough as it is!)
  • Jewellery (have something fun, or bling, or cute to get into the festival spirit)
  • Day bag (you’ll need to carry your daily supplies in something)
  • Flag, bunting, colourful string or something to make your tent distinguishable from all the other black, navy, green tents

Food and Drink

  • Bottled water
  • Juice with straw (love my cartons)
  • Booze (optional)
  • Teabags (just take a handful in a ziploc bag)
  • Sugar (again in a ziploc bag or small tupperware box)
  • Bread Rolls
  • Bacon (one of my five day)
  • Ham slices
  • Sausage Rolls (can you see a theme here?)
  • Scotch Eggs
  • Cereal bars
  • Crisps (pretty much my staple for the whole weekend)
  • Apples
  • Biscuits
  • Dried noodles
  • Soup
  • Anything you can cook on a camping stove…

As you can see, my food packing was a little uninspired. We used the Aldi vouchers I won to buy a stash of food for the trip and ended up just buying a huge bag full of junk food! Oops. I think I need to get some camping food inspiration for the next trip.

Do you have any camping food suggestions?  I’ll add them to the list.

This list is a work in progress, please let me know what you recommend to add!

camping at womad





  1. 1 August 2012 / 1:38 pm

    Wow, what a comprehensive list. I must remember you wrote this, as I think we are camping later this summer….and I’m a little bit scared!

    • Elizabeth
      1 August 2012 / 3:47 pm

      hoorah! good luck with camping prep, you’ll have a great time I’m sure.x

  2. 1 August 2012 / 6:15 pm

    This list is amazing! Wow!

    I’m definitely bringing extra clothes!

  3. 2 August 2012 / 9:07 am

    I rather consider myself a camping expert actually….my first holiday with a boyfriend was a week long walking trip in the Yorkshire Dales. I somehow managed to carry a 20kilo + rucksack the whole way! And I still didn’t have some of the things I really needed!

    Still, it was a steep learning curve and now I’ve got it down! Zip lock bags are a great tip though!

    I save up all the little fancy miniatures from hotels when I go away, so I always have posh toiletries which aren’t too heavy to carry. Similarly, I save up the individual little milk sticks, hot chocolate sachets and things you often get at hotels.

    I do try to save up enough space for a little luxury though…..I love to take my small Bialetti coffee maker, which works really well on a camping stove. I always felt really smug using this whilst camping, with our neighbours all jealous with the smell….until we camped in Italy and EVERYONE had them!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *