It’s summer. England is now marginally less damp and therefore the idea of thousands of drunkards communally slumming it out in the so-called ‘Great Outdoors’ doesn’t seem quite as stupid as it would have done a few months ago. Robert Baden-Powell sternly reminded his boy scouts to “be prepared”, and festival goers sitting around their tents are in many ways much like boy scouts, except with less skill with knots and more cheap vodka. We therefore present you with this short checklist of items so that you can be fully prepared for the festival season.

A Torch

Sounds obvious but is the one thing that is almost always left at home. Try and get hold of a dynamo-operated one as batteries tend to overcomplicate things.

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Alcohol obviously comes under this category and is an essential component of the festival experience. Being sober at all but the tamest of festivals is a sure-fire way to reduce enjoyment, and besides you probably won’t be able to sleep unless you’re slightly pissed. Just remember that glass is out of the question- decant your spirits into plastic bottles and try and get hold of big boxes of wine. The importance of water should also not be underestimated. It may sound like the heaviest and most boring thing to possibly bring along but there will almost certainly come a point at which you become so dehydrated that you attempt to drink the sweat running off your face. At this particular juncture a little water will not seem like such a lame idea after all.

Deodorant and Baby-Wipes

Festival showers are grim. This is a known fact. Don’t go near them. An acceptable (given the circumstances) level of cleanliness can be achieved through the simple combination of a decent antiperspirant and Johnson’s No More Tears. Just because you’re living in a field for a few days does not give you an excuse to smell like a Neanderthal.

Sunglasses and Lighters

Plural. Sunglasses break. If you’re set on wearing them just bring along several dirt cheap pairs and then it won’t matter when they do. It is inexplicably socially acceptable to borrow lighters with no intention of ever returning them. If you want to avoid finding yourself lightless by three pm on the second day you will need many.

Duct Tape

Cheap, versatile and strong. Things break at festivals. Tent flaps are ripped, soles come off shoes and back panels get detached from phones. Thankfully all of these can be fixed with a little Duct Tape. Large quantities of Duct Tape can also be used to craft emergency willies by covering the leg below the knee with a thick layer. You may look like an extra in a low budget seventies sci-fi but at least you won’t get those nice new jeans covered in festival mud.

Bin Bags

Cheap, versatile and slightly less strong. Can be used to create a barrier between you and the mud, to hide things, keep things dry, keep things wet, as capes, as last-resort clothing, to repair tents ( in combination with our good friend Duct Tape), to conceal identity or placed on the end of a stick to carry your possessions like a hobo Dick Wittington. In short, they can be used for anything and everything.


Unless your group of friends is incredibly fortunate ,somebody at some point is going to bleed. This can be your chance to be the hero with the plasters. Wounds are one of the few things Duct Tape cannot fix.

Wet Weather Gear

It’s probably going to rain at some point. Wellies and a mac should probably be adequate to get you through this. Umbrellas can be great but also have their drawbacks- their mechanisms tend to break in any kind of a breeze and in a crowd they can become targets for the jerks who throw cups of liquid-that-might-be-cider-but-probably-isn’t. Your own mac is also pretty essential as otherwise you might be forced to buy one of those “rain poncho” things that make you look like you’re wearing a condom costume.

If all else fails, a large dose of mindless optimism and grim determination to have fun should be enough to survive the majority of festival crises.