The Parents' Guide To Camping At Music Festivals

Girl camping at festival

If you’re a parent with a child heading to a music festival for the first time this summer, it’s only natural to be a little apprehensive.

Read more: Camping At Music Festivals - A Beginner's Guide

Here at Winfields, we’ve put together a guide just for parents about what to expect. And importantly the equipment your child is going to need so you at least know they’ve got the best kit for the situation.

Best Festival Equipment

While it’s not essential to spend an absolute fortune on camping gear for festivals, it’s still important to buy good quality equipment to ensure it stands up to potential bad weather and a bit of wear and tear. Here are just a few suggestions for festival camping kit…

Festival tents

Obviously the tent is the most important piece of equipment. You need it to stand up to the unpredictable British weather, but also be sturdy enough to withstand the odd trip or stumble by a slightly inebriated festival-goer at 3 in the morning.

To be honest, you shouldn't really be spending a fortune on a tent for a festival. There's a reasonable chance it could end up damaged, so you ideally want something that can easily be replaced, and won't make your wallet wince if the tent needs to be binned at the end of the weekend.


Vango Borrowdale 2 Tent

This Vango Borrowdale 2 tent is a perfect budget tent for festival first timers. It’s easy to put up and is nice and strong to guard against knocks from inebriated festival-goers in the middle of the night! It’s also pretty cheap, meaning it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t make it home in one piece.

See our full range of festival tents or read our festival tents buying guide for more help and advice.

Sleeping Bags & Mats

As you’re probably already aware, sleep might not be the top of the agenda, but a good quality sleeping bag is still essential. Summer nights can still get pretty chilly, so it's important your children have a sleeping bag that keeps them nice and warm. Mummy sleeping bags are a great choice as they're compact and offer a good level of warmth.

A sleeping mat is also an essential piece of kit. We have some simple foam roll mats that are cheap and will do the job, but if you want to send your festival-goer with a little more luxury, then you can go for one of the self-inflating camping mats.

We'd also recommend packing them a pair of earplugs. They may scoff at the thought, but they'll thank you when they can actually get some sleep with music still pumping at 3am.

See all of our sleeping bags and sleeping mats.

Two girls wearing wellies in a tent at a festival

Rucksacks & Backpacks

You’d be surprised how much stuff a teenager will want to take with them to a music festival, so make sure they have a rucksack up the task. Just be prepared to pack it for them as they’ll likely just try and stuff everything in.

We'd go for something around 65L capacity, which should be big enough to pack everything in, but not too big and unwieldy for smaller campers.

See our full range of rucksacks and backpacks.

Camping Cooking Equipment

Eating at a music festival is a bit of a minefield. The ubiquitous burger vans are an easy option but charge a fortune, so your other option is to take a camping stove and do the cooking yourself.

Read more: Tips for Cooking, Eating & Drinking at Festivals

Before you buy anything, it’s worth checking with the festival what’s allowed in terms of camping stoves as some have specific guidelines as to what you can and can’t take.

See all of our camping stoves.


Easy camp camping cutlery

They’ll also need to take cooking equipment and utensils with them if you don’t have any at home you can spare. Think about cutlery, a small saucepan, mugs, plates and bowls - and then something to clean them with!

Check out our full range of camping cookwear and utensils.

In terms of what food to pack for your child, don’t choose anything too bulky, foods that are likely to go off quickly or anything easily squashable. Instead, go for smaller items, high in energy that will last the weekend. Chocolate bars, apples, dried noodles, bread rolls - all good choices.

Festival Clothing

Once you’ve got your camping gear all sorted, you also need to ensure your child is kitted out in the right festival clothes. Check the weather beforehand and pack accordingly, but even if it’s due to be baking hot for the whole weekend, there are a few items you should still make sure they have packed.


Regatta wellies

Wellington boots are a festival essential. It only takes one downpour to turn the campsite into a squelchy mess, and many a shoe have been left behind. Many even wear Wellies as a fashion statement, and these spotty Regatta Libertine wellies would be ideal.

Shop all our wellies for men and wellies for women.

Waterproof Jacket


Regatta men's waterproof jacket blue

Again, even if it’s due to be great weather, a waterproof jacket is still a wise investment. This lightweight Regatta waterproof packaway jacket doesn’t take up much room or weigh a lot and it can also be used as an extra layer in the evening if it gets a bit nippy.

See our full range of waterproof jackets for men and waterproof jackets for women.

Take spare clothing

When it comes to your essentials - socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc - always pack a couple of extras. As parents, you’ll no doubt insist on this anyway, but it always pays to be on the safe side. There’s nothing worse than having to wear wet socks!

Other Festival Camping Tips

Here are a few more tips on what you should send the apple of your eye with when they head off to a festival…

Emergency phone charger

Don’t expect too many phone calls or text messages, but it’s still important they have phone battery in case they need to get hold of your for any reason. With selfies, Snapchats and whatever else likely to be prevalent, batteries will run down very quickly.

Many festivals now have places in which you can charge your phone, but it’s best to pack them with an emergency charger with which they can top up their battery without the need for a mains socket.

Bin bags

Unfortunately, you’re likely to be lumbered with the washing when they get back, but you can make life a little easier by getting them to put any dirty laundry in a bin bag once they’ve used it. This will also help keep wet or muddy clothes separated from the rest of their clothes and kit.


Stumbling through rows of tents and tripping over guy ropes trying to get to the toilet in the middle of the night isn’t a lot of fun, so make sure they have a good quality torch and some spare batteries in their pack. Just make sure they don’t leave it too close to a campfire or the batteries might melt.


Long days in an open field in the middle of summer is a recipe for sunburn and a painful weekend. They may not think it’s cool to put suncream on but they’ll thank you afterwards!

Try not to worry!

They'll be fine!

Any questions or advice on sending your children off to a music festival for the first time? Leave a comment or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

1 Comment

  1. Caitlin
    This is a really useful list! As well as taking an emergency phone charger, you can now buy portable phone chargers which are really useful for festivals. Some can hold enough charge to recharge your phone to a 100%, and with so many on the market right now, they don't cost a bomb either! They're a really great addition to your festivals must-haves!
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