Festival Survival Guide: The Essential Packing List
4 min

Festival Survival Guide: The Essential Packing List

4 min

Planning for a festival can be a chore, but we're here to help. Check out our top 10 pieces of kit for any festival. From cooler bags to baby wipes, we've covered all major aspects of the summer festival experience.

With festival season approaching once again, it’s time to run through the annual checklist to ensure you’re ready to head out to the fields and get partying. In this article, we’ll go through the top 10 pieces of kit you need for every festival, to make sure that you have a great time.

Top 10 pieces of kit for every festival

The following list is not exhaustive, and should be used as a guide, not as a hard set of rules. If you don’t like something on it, then don’t take it. And, of course, there’s probably much more you need to take with you than can be listed here, so you’ll have to use some common sense along with our useful advice.

1. Camping gear

Camping gear

If you’re camping at a festival, it goes without saying that you’ll need camping gear. Those capable of going three or four days without sleep might be able to forgo this, but for most mere mortals, no matter how much we like to dance, it’s important to get a little downtime.

Essential pieces of camping gear include:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Roll mat

Without those, you won’t be very comfortable. Less essential, but still useful, are the following pieces of kit:

  • Gazebo
  • Gas stove
  • Camping chair (you’ll be grateful you made the effort!)

2. Ear plugs/eye mask

Ear plugs/eye mask

Getting some sleep at a festival can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth it. Even a couple of hours over the course of a weekend can make the difference between enjoying yourself and being totally wiped out by the end.

It’s no secret: festivals are loud! To combat this, it’s wise to take at least one pair of ear plugs with you—and probably more than one, as they get lost in the clutter of a tent very easily. Ear plugs can help you get the rest you really need.

In the summer, nights are short and days are long, and you might not take yourself to bed until the sun is already fairly high in the sky. An eye mask can be very useful when it comes to plunging yourself into a somnolent darkness!

3. Sun protection

If the sun's out, then you should protect yourself!

Sunscreen will help to protect your skin as you spend a whole weekend outdoors, so make sure you bring plenty of it, otherwise you might find yourself burnt pretty early on. And given that you’ll probably forget to apply it at some point, why not take a bucket hat or cap to at least protect your face?

For your eyes, get yourself a pair of sunglasses. These will also help to hide you from the world when your eyes become unusually bright and wide!

3.1 Rain protection

We all hope that our festivals are carnivals of sunlight and summery goodness, but all too often they become muddied, rain-sodden affairs. While it’s easy for this to dampen the spirits, it’s much easier to enjoy yourself if you come prepared.

Though you can crack out the GORE-TEX coat, trousers, and boots, this can sometimes have you overheating pretty badly (and looking pretty dangerous once the sun goes down). So maybe opt for a light poncho and rubber boots, especially if it’s going to be warm.

And if it’s really warm, skin is the best solution of all when it comes to waterproofing. Shorts and a t-shirt are sometimes the most comfortable way to embrace the rain!

4. Cooler bag

Cooler bag

This one strays somewhat into luxury, and also relies on a continuous supply of either cold drinks or ice. Still, if you’re taking a fridge with you (maybe you’re going in a van), then a cooler bag can be great if you want to carry cold beers around.

That being said, part of the festival experience is drinking hot beers that have been salvaged from the depths of a tent’s detritus.

5. Recover-E


Recover-E capsules are packed with all the necessary nutrients, minerals, and vitamins to help your body recover after a long night of drinking (or perhaps something more nefarious).

These capsules aren’t magic—they’re not going to whisk away a brutal hangover. However, they will help you to get back on your feet and feel ready for the day ahead. As one day spirals into the next at a festival, it can be helpful to have something as simple as a Recover-E capsule to help you out. This is especially true since it costs about 10 euros for five fries at most festivals! Nutrients will be expensive and scarce!

Related article

How To Recover From A Hangover

6. Essential accessories

Essential accessories

There are some accessories that will just make your life easier at a festival. Perhaps the most important of these is the bum bag. These simple pieces of kit come into their own at festivals and make life much, much easier!

Keep everything safe and secure at your waist, and don’t worry about things flying out of your pockets as you dance around. If you can, get one with at least a few different sections—that way, you can keep your phone in one, wallet in another, and smoking gear in another. This helps to stop you from losing everything when you pull your phone out at three in the morning to find your lost friend.

Other accessories you could take include:

7. Smoking gear

Smoking gear

Smoking weed goes hand in hand with going to festivals. And you don’t want to be caught short on smoking gear at a festival. Realising you have everything but a paper or a lighter is one of the most frustrating things in the world, and you don’t want it to happen when you’re coming down on Monday morning. Here’s what you need:

8. Phone charger/power bank

Phone charger/power bank

We live in a digital age, and festivals are, alas, no different. Take a power bank with you to avoid paying 10 euros an hour at a charging stand. While running out of battery can be liberating, it can also be frustrating when you’re tripping and lost, and just want to be with your friends again.

9. Stash gear

Stash Gear

Depending which festival(s) you go to, smuggling illicit substances can range from effortless to very difficult. To be on the safe side, you could take some stash gear with you to ensure that your narcotics stay hidden.

There are many solutions available, but stash underwear is probably the best. This is because security guards cannot legally look in your underwear, and even the police need pretty compelling evidence to strip-search you.

Drugs hidden almost anywhere else are much more likely to be found. And while you may think that your secret Coca-Cola can is a great place to hide your drugs, don’t think the police haven’t quickly Googled “how to smuggle my drugs” and aren’t well aware of these tricks.

Use the law to your advantage; hide your drugs in your pants!

Related article

The Best Secret Spots To Hide Your Cannabis Stash

10. Baby wipes, dry shampoo & other toiletries

Baby wipes, dry shampoo & other toiletries

Cleanliness can seem like a distant memory come the Monday morning of a festival. For some, revelling in a weekend of squalor is part of the joy. For others, even something as simple as a wet wipe bath each morning can help to rejuvenate the body and soul, and wash away some of the debauchery of the night before.

Consider taking:

  • Baby wipes
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hand sanitiser
  • Deodorant

Festivals: A messy affair

You’ll probably forget something when you go to a festival, but hopefully a friend will have remembered! It shouldn’t matter—festivals are not about being the most organised one there.

For more inspiration, check out our Party category. Here, you’ll find all manner of items to spice up the party season!

Max Sargent
Max Sargent
Max has been writing for over a decade, and has come into cannabis and psychedelic journalism in the last few years. Writing for companies such as Zamnesia, Royal Queen Seeds, Cannaconnection, Gorilla Seeds, MushMagic and more, he has experience in a broad spectrum of the industry.
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