Your Essential Festival Camping Checklist

Woman at a music festival

The start of summer means lots of things here in the UK - warmer weather (in theory), Wimbledon, wasps, dusting the tent off if you haven’t already, and a countdown to the kids’ summer holidays (you can decide if that’s a good thing or not).

It also signals the start of festival season, and if you’ve booked to go to one of the many festivals in the UK or abroad, then you need to make sure you have the right equipment.

To help you out, we’ve drawn up a handy festival checklist with all the essentials you need to ensure you have a great time and everything runs smoothly.

Festival tent

Let’s start with the most important piece of kit - a good festival tent. You always get those groups at festivals who take an enormous 12-man tent, but for most, something small and lightweight will suffice.

Festival campsites are very crowded places, and with plenty of alcohol flowing, there’s a reasonable chance someone is going to either bump into your tent or, without question, trip over your guylines. For that reason, we wouldn’t recommend spending a fortune on a festival tent - something relatively cheap is better so that it’s not the end of the world if it does get damaged.

We’d also recommend making your tent stand out in some way to help you find it in the sea of others. Some of our tents have bright and eye-catching designs, but even if you opt for one of the simpler designs, try attaching a flag or even painting something on the side.

Some may consider leaving their tent at the festival to avoid packing it up, but we’d always recommend taking it with you - remember someone has to clean it up!

View all of our festival tents.

Sea of tents at a festival campsite

Sleeping bag & mat

Sleep might not be that high on your agenda at a festival, but when it does come to getting some shut eye, you want to make sure you have a comfortable night’s sleep. A sleeping bag and sleeping mat are essential for any campers, and festival-goers are no exception.

Hopefully you’ll have some nice warm weather during the festival, but the nights can still get quite cold. A three or four season sleeping bag will keep you comfy in all weathers, while a double sleeping bag is handy if you want to cosy up and cut down on space.

A sleeping mat will make for a much more comfy night’s sleep, especially if you opt for a self-inflating sleep mat. It might seem like a hassle to take one, but you’ll be grateful in the morning.

Take a look at all of our sleeping bags and sleeping mats. If you're heading to a festival with the family, our range of sleeping bags for children may also be of interest.

Camping stoves & cooking equipment

You have a couple of choices when it comes to eating at music festivals. You can either pay through the nose for burgers from a van or you can cook for yourself. If you prefer the latter, you’ll need a camping stove and a few bits and pieces of cookware.

NOTE: Before you go to the festival, check their policies on camping stoves, BBQs and grills, as some don’t allow them, while others have strict guidelines about what you’re allowed to take.

A small portable gas stove should be enough to take care of the basics, such as boiling water. However, if you’re allowed, it might be worth taking something a little larger so you can cook as a group, which will reduce the amount of gas you use - plus it’s great fun!

You’ll also need a couple of bits of cookware and some utensils, such as a saucepan or frying pan, plates, and cutlery. The Outwell Collaps range is a good option as it packs away nice and compactly.

See all of our camping stoves and camping cookwear.

Rucksacks & bags

To ensure you can carry everything you need to and from the festival, you’ll need a good quality rucksack or bag. Try and give yourself a little room in the bag as nothing will pack quite as small after the festival, and you don’t want it to be bursting at the seams.

And here’s how to pack your rucksack effectively..

How to pack a rucksack

Shop our selection of festival rucksacks and bags.


We never know what the weather is really going to do, even in the middle of summer. The forecast might say we’re going to have beaming sunshine but then there’s just as good a chance of a torrential rainstorm.

Wellies are a real festival essential, so even if it rains and gets muddy, your feet will stay nice and dry. And with some of the funky designs we have available, you’ll make a real fashion statement too.

Shop our great range of wellies now.

Waterproof coat

Again, if you want to prepare for the unpredictable British summer, then make sure you have a waterproof coat with you.

You don’t need anything too bulky, so opt for a thin lightweight waterproof, and just pop an extra layer underneath if you’re worried about getting cold.

See all of our waterproof jackets.

Other festival essentials...

  • Baby wipes - absolutely essential for freshening up, particularly if you don’t fancy the festival showers.
  • Toilet roll - take the cardboard tube out and pack flat
  • Tent repair kit
  • Mobile phone battery pack - essential for keeping in touch with friends at the festival, and for taking selfies obviously.
  • Sun cream - just in case
  • Personal care toiletries
  • Torch - Vital for nighttime trips to the toilet
  • Blanket - for when you’re sat around the campsite at night
  • Earplugs - a lifesaver when you're trying to sleep

Browse our full range of festival essentials to ensure you have a fantastic weekend.

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