Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Festival Preparedness

So I was at Longitude last weekend and someone brought it to my attention that I am always ridiculously over prepared for festivals and the like. Anything you could ever possibly need, I'll more than likely have in my bag (along with a million other things you didn't even know you needed).

One lad decided to take the piss out of me until 10 minutes later, he spilled half his pint of cider all over his arm and sheepishly asked me for a baby wipe to clean it up. In that moment, I was the smuggest little fecker in all of Marlay Park.

Anyhow, in the spirit of all things festival and summer gig related, here's a list of my festival essentials to help you with your packing!

  • Baby wipes - my hands never feel clean after using hand sanitiser so I prefer to use baby wipes (if you think about it, the sanitiser kills all the germs and you're just walking around with their gross dead bodies all over your hands, how is that clean??) Also handy for the surprisingly refreshing 'baby wipe shower' in lieu of actual bathing facilities.
  • Snacks - when I first started going to festivals I used to bring meals as well in an attempt to save money but I soon realised that my cold leftover pasta is never as appetising as any of the offerings of the food carts. I ended up wasting way too much food so now I just budget to spend money at the food stalls and only bring;  cereal bars, sweets, popcorn/crisps, mixed nuts, rice cakes etc. Basically just bring a shit tonne of filler foods to keep you going between meals. If you have time, make a food plan with your friends so that everyone brings different foods and you can swap or trade.
    * I also recommend bringing lollies, nothing solidifies a festival friendship quicker than offering lollipops to your new mates.
  • Tissues - such a rookie supply but you'd be surprised how many people forget them (cough~noobs~cough). Never depend on a portaloo to have toilet paper, don't be so naive kiddo, you're in the big leagues now and you have to fend for yourself!
  • Glitter and/or face paint - this doesn't really need and explanation and although some would argue these aren't absolutely essential, I say they are because wearing glitter makes everything more fun.
  • Socks - bring every sock you own. Seriously. You will be thanking me for this one when it lashes rain and you're stuck in your soggy socks until you remember you have a load of fresh, dry socks back in your tent. Sorted. It's mad how many pairs of socks you go through over a weekend, especially in Ireland where it will more than likely rain.
  • Warm pjs - if possible bring layers for your bed time clothes (or even just really comfy sweats and a hoodie) because no matter how nice the weather might be during the day, night time is generally freeeeeezing and you'll want as many layers as possible when you're back in your tent trying to sleep in sub zero temperatures. I often bring a hat as well because this stops you losing so much heat from your head.
  • Ear plugs - again mostly for bed time but if you're in any way sound sensitive, they're also handy to wear when you're watching acts on stage. At my very first Electric Picnic I got about 3 hours sleep a night because I couldn't drift off with all the noise coming from the arena. I learned my lesson and ever since I've brought ear plugs for a solid nights sleep every night.
  • Sleeping mask - sounds very diva-like but there's no curtains on your tent to block out the sunrise and if you want to sleep until like 10/11am then a sleeping mask is a godsend.
  • A small rolly suitcase - I've never experienced anything as close to hell as the trek from the bus bay to our campsite while hauling everything I had for the weekend in a hold all. Never. Again. I don't know how I regained feeling in my hands so I've been bringing a little suitcase with wheels ever since. Not ideal over grass or rough ground but it's by far a better option than a hold all.
  • A hiking backpack - you can fit a serious amount in one of these and combined with the wheely suitcase, you can bring everything you need without being weighed down in baggage.
  • No room for a pillow? - No problem! I usually bring a clean pillow case and just fill it with clothes to make a makeshift pillow to do for the weekend.
  • Bin bags - the ground is damp but you wanna sit down? Bin bag. You wanna separate your dirty clothes from the clean ones? Bin bag. Wanna keep all your rubbish together? Bin bag. Wellies destroyed in muck? Bin bag. So many things can be fixed with a bin bag and a roll of them doesn't take up a lot of space in your bag.
  • Dry shampoo - trust me, it's way easier than attempting to wash your hair int he campsite.
  • Hair ties and bobby pins - just bring loads of them because they're so handy and there's nothing more irritating than being stuck without one when you really need it.
  • Don't bring your entire wardrobe - plan your outfits in advance and know that it is A-ok to re-wear something as long as it's clean. You're here to enjoy yourself so focus on that instead of trying to put on a fashion show. Comfort is key. Don't you dare bring heels. Don't. Everyone will think you're an idiot so just don't.
  • Converse - the old faithfuls of footwear. Provided the ground isn't too mucky, you can easily get away with converse or vans or runners. You'll be on your feet a lot so plan for comfort, no flip flops, no sandals, no new shoes that you haven't broken in yet.
  • First aid - bring painkillers, plasters, tablets for indigestion and nausea. Plan for the worst, just in case. Especially if you're planning on being hungover, that paracetamol you threw in last minute will be your saviour. Not a nice topic but it has to be said; bring Imodium in case you get the runs, better safe than sorry.
  • Find the water refill station on the campsite map - don't be bringing 5L water bottles with you. Those are not only extremely heavy but for fecksake you don't need that much! Bring a few 500ml bottles and refill them over the weekend. This is common sense but the amount of dopes I've seen hauling one of more of those massive 5L bottles through campsites is ridiculous.
  • Mirror - bring a pocket one for doing your make up or cleaning your face, surprisingly easy to forget one of these so throw it in with your make up etc.
  • Suncream - another rookie mistake is forgetting suncream. Nothing worse than festival sunburn so be prepared for nice weather!

Those are all the essentials I can think of for now, have you got any more to add to the list? Comment below, tweet me (@EarthToNiamh) or go to the Glitter&Glory Facebook page!