10 things you think you don’t need for a festival (but really, you do)

Here’s 10 left-field, but no less essential items you need for any festival with camping.


1. COMFORTABLE SHOES

One of the great things about festivals is the sheer variety of things to do - and that means a whole lot of walking - so here’s the first thing you’ll need so your feet won’t hate you.

A decent pair of trainers that suit your foot type is the simply the only way to guarantee that your feet won’t get too sore.

And here’s some advice you won’t read on other festival guides - do NOT wear wellies.

I don’t know what bright spark decreed that you have to wear these uncomfortable monstrosities at festivals. Unless the site is an absolute mudhole, you simply won’t need them (and even then, they’re not essential).


2. BATTERY-POWERED AIR PUMP

Everyone agrees that pumping your inflatable mattress is one of the most miserable parts of any festival experience.

This nifty device (and not as expensive as you might think) will soon have you universally adored by the grateful inhabitants of the tents around you. Friendly neighbours can make or break a festival experience and they will be offering you beer, food, their first-born, for saving them having to use that dodgy foot-pump with a slow puncture for two hours.

Speaking of punctures…


3. DUCT TAPE

Every camping festival I’ve ever been to, my trusty roll of duct tape has always come with me. Every time my companions have poked fun, only for me to smile smugly when one of them asks for some later that day.

A punctured airbed, a tear in your tent, a hole in your rucksack - there will always be a use for duct tape. At the very least, you can keep your drink in it to stop some campsite random knocking it over!


4. CAFFEINE PILLS

A festival is no place for sleep, or even lethargy. So if you find yourself flagging, these will put a spring in your step.


5. SMALL PLASTIC BAGS

You know the ones - those free bags you get when you’re buying vegetables. Don’t throw them away - they can come in handy come festival time.

You can discreetly wear them over your socks to keep your feet bone dry on particularly wet days (unusual, I know, but it works a treat), or store your underwear and socks in them in case the tent gets wet. Speaking of socks…


6. MORE SOCKS THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED

Back to those feet again. Never underestimate the restorative powers of a wet wipe and a new pair of socks. You’ll feel ready to take on the world again.


7. AN EMPTY 4L WATER CONTAINER

Fill it up once you’ve pitched your tent, and you’ll have your weekend’s supply of water. No more miserable hungover walk to the taps on Sunday morning for you.


8. MORE CASH. NOPE, NOT ENOUGH. MORE.

No, not your bank card - cash. Sure you have to be careful with it, but those mojitos don’t buy themselves and you do NOT want to be one of those poor souls queueing for two hours for an ATM on Sunday afternoon.


9. CEREAL BARS

You might be planning on getting most of your calories from beer this weekend, but you will need to eat something. You can always have one or two in your pocket for those times when you don't want to feel weighed down with a full meal.


10. EXTRA TENT PEGS

You’ll need them, and if you don’t somebody will. If your neighbours don’t love you for loaning them the electric air pump, this will seal the deal.


At the time of writing, Ken Rooney has still not packed one item of clothing for Electric Picnic…

By Ken Rooney

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