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Caring for your tent
Caring for your tent
Caring for your tent

Guide to festivals on a budget

So you’ve waited for the line up, snuck about the online forums and read the rumors. Now you’ve got your camping tickets, have sorted transport and are good to go. Now all you have to think about is the gear you need. But with not much cash to splash, you want it on a budget. Is it possible? Here at GO Outdoors we know that heading to a festival can be expensive. Whatever your destination, from Leeds to the Isle of Wight or perhaps even to RockNess, you need cheap gear that won’t fly away at the first sight of a gale, or leave you drenched when the inevitable British Summer Drizzle turns into a downpour.

We have everything you need for a festival, from a waterproof poncho that shields you from the rain as you watch Radiohead, to a 2 man tent that can withstand the hardest partying, we have all the products you need for a fun (and cheap) weekend away.

The essential festival kit list

  • Wellington Boots.
  • A Waterproof Jacket.
  • Hoody.
  • Pillow.
  • Drinks bottle for refilling.
  • A coolbox or coolbag for food and drinks.
  • Plastic cutlery and plates.
  • A warm sleeping bag.
  • A roll mat for comfort.
  • A torch for evenings.
  • A tent.
  • Walking boots for day use.
  • Flip flops or sandals for soft ground.
  • Suncream and after-sun.
  • A hat.
  • Shorts/skirt.
  • Sleepwear.
  • Underwear.
  • Sunglasses.
  • A rucksack and/or daysack.
  • Snacks.
  • Food and drink.
  • Toilet roll.
  • Insect repellent.

Avoiding expense before and during the festival

Save cash with a tiny bit of preplanning before you head to a festival. Why not try to:

  • Prebook - Try and pre-book your tickets for things like transfers from your railway station to your festival site, as well as your journey itself. National Rail and National Express are main travel providers and usually offer deals to major campsites and festivals.
  • Car share - Look to car share to your festival site, or offer up some seats if you have them spare. This isn’t only kind to your wallet, but to the environment too. Split the cost of petrol as well as parking, make a mix CD and away you go.
  • Buy before you go - Festivals also sell their own camping equipment, but make sure you’ve pre-prepared against their sky high prices. Try not to spend too much on fancy camping gear for your festival  -if you won’t use it again. Some people at the campsite may have a huge tent, and you may feel like a pauper next to them, but chances are, they intend to use theirs again and again. If you do want a long lasting tent, then spend a bit more, but many budget festival tents can last season after season if you take care of them.
  • Why not try and buy drinks before you get there? Supermarkets are great for picking up multi packs of drinks, as well as deals on food.
  • You can also get your festival entertainment before you get to the festival site. If the sun is shining, it may well be great frisbee weather. Avoid paying extreme festival prices for the very same plastic disc you could have got back home cheaper, and other annoying small items like this which soon add up. Other essentials could be a bat and ball set, a kite, poi or a water gun - whatever you fancy, so try to plan before you go.
  • Share - With products such as dry shampoo, baby wipes, tooth paste and face wash for ladies (and those clean gents) out there, it may be cheaper to split the cost between your friends in order to avoid duplicates and waste. 1 tube of toothpaste can be used by the whole group of you for the duration of the festival  and frees up more space as well for the important things, like cans!
  • Be Creative - To avoid feeling like you have to buy into a ‘look’ for the summer festival dates, why not get some t-shirts printed off for you and your mates. Fun and cheap, they also have the added bonus of being able to get trashed, and act as a (potentially) long lasting memory. (They also work as a great conversation starter!).
  • DIY SOS! - Duct tape is a festival lifesaver. If your tent busts open, or you need to make a quick repair, duct tape can be a budget friendly way of making some 'emergency adjustments'.

Related guide: Beginners guide to camping