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The GO Outdoors Festival Checklist

Festival camping is probably the most varied camping you're likely to see, you'll see groups with large family tents pitched up next to little two berth pop ups. The gear you take is obviously up to you and your budget, but for the most comfortable festival possible, we've put together a checklist so that all you need to worry about is which band clashes effect your day.

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Check Once, Check Twice, Check again

The following items are must-haves before the festival, check once, check twice and check again to make sure you take these with you.

  • Festival Ticket
  • Money (The queues for cash machines at festivals can waste hours of your day)
  • ID (Many festivals need your ID for various reasons, especially drinking) 

Festival Camping Checklist

Buy gear you are proud of, gear you want to bring home. A good tent can last for multiple festivals and you should make sure you don't leave anything behind at your festival site. 

  • Tent – always choose a larger berth than the number of people camping, this gives you extra space for your bags. 2 people? Look at 3 berth tents etc. Make sure you practice pitch and packaway your tent before you go, there's really no need to leave a good tent behind. 

  • Torch (For those late night toilet trips, nobody wants you to trip over their tent while they sleep)
  • Duct Tape – you’d be surprised what can be fixed with tape
  • Folding Chair - Sure you can go without, but it'll take you 10 minutes after arrival to wish you'd taken one, and they cost far more at the festival

Sleeping Checklist

The sleeping checklist is applicable to most forms of camping, the gear may change but the items remain the same. Airbeds are great, but cumbersome - why not consider a self inflating mat to save on space and weight?

  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Mat//Self Inflating Mat/Airbed – whether roll mat or double airbed, this can add comfort and extra insulation during the night.
  • Pillow (Or roll up a hoodie on your rucksack, to save some money)
  • Ear plugs – Looking for a decent nights sleep? You will probably need to block out the 24 hour partying

Cooking Checklist

If you want to save yourself a whole lot of money, it's best to cook your own food at a festival. Even if you've never cooked before, it doesn't take much to pour the contents of a camping meal or tin into a pan and heat it up. 

  • Stove - Check with your festival, as many major festivals no longer allow gas stoves of any kind. If this is the case, look for a spirit burner or solid fuel stove
  • Pan - You'll likely need at least one pan to cook with, a mess tin is ideal for cooking single pot food, and you can hold it to eat out of. Less mess.
  • Cutlery
  • Food for meals & Food for snacks (You'll be on your feet a lot, so think high energy to keep the party going. Avoid perishable items)
  • Water Carrier (Water for boiling, water for drinking, water for washing yourself and dishes, water for brushing your teeth - water is great!)
  • Tin Opener
  • Lighter
  • Bin Bags

Festival Clothing Checklist

We're not going to try and tell you what to wear, and you probably wouldn't listen to us if we did. Here's a list of items you really should take, to make the weekend as comfortable as possible. Even if the weather says it will be one thing, always expect the opposite. 

  • Waterproof Jacket / Poncho
  • Hoodie / Fleece
  • Quick drying legwear (Avoiding denim can help for wet festivals, choose a quick drying material and the chances of it drying for the next days activities will be higher)
  • Comfortable shoes / boots (Ideally you'd take supportive footwear, as you'll be on your feet and walking over uneven terrain all day)
  • Wellies (The great British summer will eat your trainers alive)
  • Hat (Shade at many festivals is a premium, and if it's sunny you can make yourself ill having the sun on your head all day. Also helps if it rains, or if it's colder at night)
  • Spare socks & underwear (if either of these get wet, it won't be comfortable. Take dry spares) 

Health & Safety Checklist

Look after yourself at a festival, if you're on medication make sure you're fully stocked up. Festivals can be dirty places (especially the toilets) so keep yourself clean and safe.  

  • Personal medications (plus extra)
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sun Cream
  • Anti-bacterial handwash
  • Toilet Roll
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • Wet Wipes (Get a wash, you stink)

Additional Extras Checklist

Here are some extra bits of kit that can help you along the way

  • Microfibre Towel (Ideal for wet days, and drys quickly)
  • Camera (Don't waste the battery on your phone by using it as a camera)
  • Mobile charger (You can now get battery packs, or solar powered chargers to help keep your phone charged)
  • Dry Shampoo
  • Sledge/Trolley (Ideal for towing those heavy creates of alcohol to your camp)

Leave No Trace

When the festival is over it's important to take home everything you brought with you, or dispose of items you do not want in the correct way. If for some reason you do not wish to bring your tent home, ask the festival if they have drop off points for unwanted tents. These tents are often passed on to charities for re-use. Discarding your tent creates landfill that is very difficult to dispose of, and we urge all festival goers not to lave behind any of their camping equipment.

One of the main reasons cited for not bringing home a tent is not knowing how to pack it back into it's bag. It's really simple, check out the video below for some helpful tips.