It is hard to believe it's the weekend before Glastonbury! It seems so long ago when we were lucky enough to get tickets (October last year I think!) but not quite as long when we lost those tickets by going to pay our balance a day late (we were in India, as if that is a decent excuse), but luckily we nabbed two more in the resale in April, TFG!! Anyway the time is here and as I watch the weather outside turn from sun one minute to lashing rain the next I have started the task of packing for all the elements good aul mother nature can throw at us next week. So here is my list of Glastonbury packing essentials, it isn’t definitive by any means, it’s just what I will be trekking down to Somerset with next week for 5 nights of festival fun.
25 Glastonbury Packing Essentials (in no particular order)
Cheap wellies are a false economy, you need the comfiest ones you can get your hands on because you will be on your feet all day and night. I have had Hunter ones for a good few years now and they see me through every festival blister free. There are loads of sales on right now so check them out. Friends of mine recommend Joules and Dunlop for cheaper alternatives.
2. Rain Jacket/Poncho
I use a Regatta rain jacked that is light enough to throw in my bag when it is dry and works as an extra layer at night when it gets cold. I also have a poncho from M&S which squeezes into a little bag and covers everything including my backpack in torrential down pours. Plastic ponchos do the same and for a couple of quid it is definitely worth picking up a few in your local pound shop.
For any festival it is all about layers so for the day time I am packing a few of these H&M dresses, they are light for packing and work great later in the day with leggings and a wool jumper for warmth. If it has been a clear day it is going to be freezing that night so hoodies are a must. I also have a fur gilet for some extra warmth along with a wooly hat and gloves. Oh and ski socks are a must and some jogging pants for sleeping in. Comfort all the way.
4. Money & Tickets
Money, your bank cards and tickets are a no brainer. Keep them on your body at all times. How much money you bring is totally up to you but there are bank machines down there so don’t panic if you run out after two days of buying silly hats for crazy money and eating your own weight in food you fancied the look of. Here is a handy map to print out before you go.
The bigger the better! Even if the sun doesn't shine sunnies are a must have for early morning trecks to the portaloos and late night dance tents. I am taking my RayBan aviators because they are light and stay on well when dancing. Also they are really old, I wouldn't bring a brand new pair. I will also be bringing a cheap £2 pair from Primark as a backup.
6. A torch
Actually I should say two torches. One little one, like this one I picked up in Asda for bringing with you in your bag and a second bigger one for your tent. We always bring a wind up one for the tent which can be annoying to wind up but it is better then running out of batteries and actually lasts quite a while. Oh speaking of which spare batteries for your little torch is also a must.
7. Tissues & Loo roll
Spare loo roll for your tent is definitely a good idea but for the day time I prefer bringing a couple of packets of tissues with me in my bag. They save on space and a few go a long way.
8. Make up
To help you look good even if you are dying of dehydration after working your way through two boxes of Rose and living on Pringles for the last 36 hours. I swear by Double Wear which I wrote about here, some powder, bronzer and blush to make your skin look fresh and then some eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, eyeshadow and mascara for the eyes and lipgloss to finish it all off. Don’t bring anything you mind losing.
Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, mini perfume, baby wipes, eye make-up remover, moisturiser, hand sanitiser, suncream and dry shampoo are all you need. If you are taking a shower down there then they have eco shampoo there that doesn’t harm the soil. I love Aussie dry shampoo, it smells so nice.
We are camping in Worthy View this year for the sheer convenience of not having to organise tents and getting down really early to get a good spot (although we will be arriving at 11am on Wednesday). For other festivals we have used any number of tent variations but the general rule is the same as a lot of things and that is to get the best one you can afford. Also I wouldn’t bother with a two man tent, a three or four man for two people is so much nicer especially if you bring a lot of drink and clothes with you.
11. Airbed & pump
Definitely an essential for 5 nights camping. I wouldn’t worry too much about the pump because every second tent down there will have one but just make sure you have the correct valves. We got a cheap one from Halfords after losing our valves for our Regatta one, fingers crossed it lasts the whole festival.
12. Sleeping Bag & Pillow
The mummy sleeping bags are the cosiest and after a whole day and night of drinking and dancing you will want to be as comfy as possible so invest an extra few quid to get a mummy one. Everywhere has them on offer at the minute, I saw one for a tenner in Halfords yesterday which is a bargain. You don’t need a super heavy sleeping bag, especially if you are going to be going to bed in the morning, tents can get very stuffy once the sun is out. Oh and a pillow is a must, even a cheap cushion from Primark will be a God sent for day time sleeping.
13. Camping chair
Just a cheap and cheerful one will do, Asda have two for £10 so we grabbed four to share with our friends. Camping chairs are essential for day time drinking outside your tent having the craic with your new neighbours and keeping your bum dry when things have gotten a little muddy.
14. Bin liners
So handy for extra ground sheeting if things get a little muddy in your tent and for putting dirty clothes and rubbish. Also handy for sitting on when your camping chair gets broken/borrowed (I’d hate to say stolen, so let’s stick with borrowed).
To save money and hours of queueing we stocked up on a LOT of alcohol and mixers. We went to Asda and picked up four boxes of rose because it tastes nicer warm than red or white. We also got a lot of cider in cans and two litre bottles which are handy for pouring into plastic cups. We got two bottles of vodka and one of gin and all the appropriate mixers. It is handy to get a good bottle to put your drink in for the day time to save you hauling back to your tent too often or at all if you can help it. Don’t forget a couple of bottles of water which can be refilled at free water points. Also Red Bull is a must for getting by on the puny amount of sleep your going to get.
We didn’t go to town on food because one of the best things about Glastonbury is all the amazing food on offer at various stalls and vans. We grabbed loads of crisps though, some Eat Natural bars and will stock up on bananas and apples the day before.
17. Shower stuff
If you are planning on having a shower it is important to bring flip flops, a bikini and a towel. Shower gel and shampoo is supplied but not conditioner so maybe bring a conditioning spray for afterwards. You can use the free showers but a lot of people pay to use nicer ones and there are places with hairdryers and GHD’s you can use too. If like most people you are having way too much fun for this kind of carry on then baby wipes, dry shampoo and a hat are your best weapon.
19. Phone/Phone charger
EE have phone charging stations but you need to sign up to get your charger so if you haven’t done that then defo grab one of these portable chargers. Whatever phone you have bring your USB cable because you should be able to get it charged somewhere, sometimes their are stations where you can cycle to charge your phone for charity. B swears by bringing his ten year old Nokia which will last the whole 5 nights and the rest.
I love taking photos but I’m only bringing an old camera with me because I wouldn’t want to look after my Canon. If I did bring it I would probably just use it for a day or two and leave it back in my friend’s car so as not to be worrying about it. If you don’t have an old camera just grab some disposable ones in Boots for some old school photo fun.
21. A Flag
It doesn’t have to be a flag, some bunting or anything really for your tent to distinguish it from the rest of the sea of blue and green tents is going to help you. B once went to Glastonbury years ago with two friends and each of them had bought cow print tents in an Irish shop so not a single other person had the same ones. They called it the pasture and got a lot of attention but more importantly they found their way home easily each night/morning. It is one of our friend’s birthdays while we are down their so we are going to decorate our tent with happy birthday banners and balloons. Come say hi if you see us!
I always bring paracetamol, Solpadeine and antihistamines. Also if your on the pill or taking any medication don’t forget them. I also bring these effervescent Vitamin C tablets from Asda but they have them everywhere. They are great for a hangover, my friend mixes them with soluble Solpadeine and swears by them. Also some plasters are handy especially for blistered feet.
For getting to the festival I have a pretty backpack which will fit all my clothes and toiletries. Then we have everything else packed in these blue Ikea bags with the weight evenly distributed for carrying two each. We should only have one each coming back assuming we get through all our food and drink.
For at the festival I am bringing this bag I wrote about recently for all my essentials, so money, tickets, phone, camera, hand sanitiser, tissues and some lip gloss. I also have a small Nike backpack for putting larger items like drinks, my rain jacket and some layers in and suncream, more tissue packets and maybe some food. Myself and B will share carrying this one(he lost it once at the Rolling Stones in Hyde Park so I’m still a bit dubious about him having it at all).
24. Clean clothes & shoes
For the way home it is so nice to have one set of clean clothes and shoes either in your car or in a separate bag. You quite possibly won’t give a shit but if you are heading off to get a plane/train or bus you will be way comfier in clean gear.
25. Cigarettes etc
If you are a smoker then definitely stock up on cigarettes and lighters or tobacco and paper because there is nothing worse then waking up wanting a cigarette, having none and then having to walk a mile to the nearest shop to get one because no one around you smokes. Spoken by a true ex-smoker.
So that is it. Like most things in life I think less is definitely more. I recommend looking at what you have packed and descaling it by a third. Carrying it from the entrance to your tent and back again is no mean feat so best to make it as easy on yourself as possible. No matter what you bring/don’t bring it really won’t matter, you will have a ball, it is Glastonbury after all!!