It doesn't matter whether you are at a Summer music festival in Australia like Rainbow Serpent / Meredith Music Festival or a notoriously wet festival like Glastonbury we have put together a list for 10 essentials to take to a camping music festival that will not only make your festival easier but also more enjoyable. Now we're not going to go through the obvious essentials like tickets, tent pegs, shade cloth, water, tent pegs, sleeping bag etc but the things that you may not necessarily have on your check list but then only to arrive at the festival and be like 'why didn't I think of that?' So here's our list of all the things that should be packed in the back of your kombi van.
1. Camping chairs & table
We cannot recommend this highly enough, and whilst it is quite obvious you would be surprised at the amount of people that assume they will find a tree log or stump to sit on only to find they are camping in the middle of an open paddock. The chairs are also great to take in to the festival (if allowed) as well as providing a good sitting environment around the camp/tent area and along with a table this can be great for playing drinking games around and trying to get some solid food in the stomach. If you can get one that holds some beer it's an added bonus.
2. Portable MP3 player & Batteries
It doesn't matter how good the music is at the festival, one way or another you are always going to spend a fair amount of time back at your camp, whether it's pre-drinking, setting up or winding down there is nothing quite like being able to sit around with your mates and play some of your own tunes just to chill out from the thumping bass that may present itself at the actual music stage area. Don't be that fool that tries to play music through his car stereo all weekend only to find that their battery is flat come Monday morning with no phone reception. Obviously the better & bigger the sound of your portable MP3 player, the more likely it is to chew through a tonne of batteries so go to your local budget electronics store and stock up on batteries before you go away!
3. Doof Staff
What is a "doof staff" you ask? Well for those of you that have being to a bush doof before you will understand. It can be anything from a nice looking staff/stick you find in the forrest to help support you when things get a bit hectic but mainly it will help your friends locate you in the crowds of people at the music festival when they duck off to get more drinks or go to the toilet. Be creative with your staff, add tassels and flare, strap on a soft toy or glow-sticks - anything to make it unique and stand out amongst the thousands in the mosh pit so that they will be able to spot you from afar. They can also be great to dance with and a good way to meet people if your staff has become more of a noticeable piece of art.
This almost goes along with number 3 that we mentioned and that's a flag. Music festivalcampgrounds can be enormous and since they are becoming ever more popular they are only going to get larger and sometimes the hardest thing to do at the end of the night is find your way back to the tent or campervan. This can be made a lot easier if you fly your colours in the way of a flag and flagpole at your campsite, especially if you add glow-sticks to it so that it is visible at night or better yet get a glow in the dark pirate flag. It's also a great way to tell people you meet at the festival where you are camping.
Not only should you be taking an emergency festival poncho in case it rains or a garbage bag to MacGyver one up if that's your style but also consider taking along a Mexican style woollen poncho. The reason being is that they not only look great and unique to wear at a music festival but they are also really good at not looking dusty and dirty like every other piece of clothing and further more they are the most versatile clothing item to take for either when it gets cold later at night or things heat up during the day and you just want to use it as a picnic rug rather than sitting on the grass. We stock a great range of hippie / bohemian style ponchos that are perfect for music festivals.
6. Deck of Cards - Often forgotten and then you wish you had them is the standard deck of 52 playing cards. Correct - it is unlikely that you will sit down and want to play a game of solitaire at a music festival by yourself in the chill out area but what cards do come in handy for is when you are pre-drinking or sitting around the camp site and want to play a drinking game. This is also the perfect way to meet the other people in your camping area, particularly on the first night the camp grounds open when there is often no live acts on and you just want to chill out after having setup your tent all day. Feel free to check out our previous blog post on Mexican drinking games here.
7. Head torch - Some people think you look like a twat walking around with a head torch on at a festival, however the "Mr/Ms Organised" in you knows it's a great idea. Not only do they make tasks like pouring a drink at night, rolling a cigarette or finding your car keys at night that much easier but they are also great with battery life and because they're on your head - the chances of losing them are minimalised.
8. Baby Wipes
otherwise known as wet wipes, we cannot recommend these highly enough, especially if it's your first time to a music festival and you are expecting to shower each day. Well in reality you probably will be too hungover to shower or the queues to the shower are too ridiculous to even contemplate so besides taking deodorant - baby wipes are your next best alternative to wiping off the dirt & dust and feeling slightly clean and refreshed the next day, ready to attack the stage area again.
Let's face it if it's a weekend camping festival sometimes the likelihood of you being bothered to dig out your toothbrush from the trunk of the car can be slim to none, which is why mouthwash is sometimes the best thing to take to clear out all the germs in your mouth and help you back on track the next morning to getting over that hangover.
10. Camel Back
Although they can often be expensive they are a great investment. The camel back that attaches to your back and holds 2-3 litres of water is an absolute life saver when you are stuck thousands deep in a crowded mosh-pit waiting for your favourite band to come on and need a drink of H20 to keep going.