Top 10 Things to Pack for a UK Music Festival

What to Bring to a UK Music Festival - Essential Packing List

Red ponchos at Glastonbury
Be prepared for anything at an outdoor music festival. Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns/Getty Images

Heading for one of the UK's big music festivals? You'll want to travel light but here's a list of things you won't want to forget:

  1. One complete set of dry clothes packed in something completely waterproof - like a sealed plastic bag. Or think about investing in a waterproof backpack/dry bag. Chaos Ready makes one that's guaranteed to keep your stuff dry even if you jump in a lake. You might. Wilder things happen at music festivals.
  1. Loads of plastic bags - you'll use them to sit on, to keep stuff dry, to carry away your own debris (and remember to carry away the plastic bags too).
  2. Wet wipes and some antiseptic wipes. It's sure to be muddy and dirty. Back to nature is one thing but water for washing is likely to be hard to find and even cavemen probably hated sticky fingers. Any sort of antiseptic wet wipe from the supermarket will do if you're just worried about being grubby. But if you are really a stickler about camping hygiene, there's a product called Shower Pill - The Athletic Body Wipe that comes in packs of 10-individually wrapped wipes and promises a quick dry bath in a pouch anywhere. You can find it on Amazon.
  3. A packable rain poncho can do double duty as a ground cloth to sit on. Look for one made of a reasonably heavy duty plastic or rubberized cloth - if you use it as a ground cloth people are sure to walk all over it. If you are planning to use it as a ground cloth though, stay away from the classier ones with flannelized or fleece linings. They'll just guarantee that you stay wet.
  1. A small flashlight for finding your tent in the dark (an absolute essential). Don't rely on a flashlight app on your smartphone. You may not be able to recharge it as often as you like and you could end up stumbling over other campers looking for your pitch. Caribiner LED lights that clip onto your clothes are cheap, bright and last forever. You can find dozens of them online. The best ones will set you back about $15.
  1. Your mobile phone for staying in touch with friends. Most of the phone companies will have booths for charging cell phones at the larger festivals. Or you could get yourself my favorite gadget for charging everything, the Power Monkey. A word of warning though - if you don't want to waste valuable festival time standing in lines for the charging facilities - ration the amount of time you use it.
  2. A plastic bottle for water. There will be drinks for sale but it's a good idea to bring along a refillable bottle because there will also be a water supply that you can probably use for free. Keep an eye on your own bottle and other drinks though. People have been known to do unspeakable things in them.
  3. Enough money for your weekend needs. Cash machines may be far away, the lines for them will be long and they will probably run out of money before the festival is over. Just don't bring more cash than you can stash on your person.
  4. Sun cream (You never know, you could get lucky)
  5. Condoms (You never know, you could get lucky)