Essential kit for your festival bag
Before you set off for a summer festival, make sure you have these vital accessories
■ Bin bags Aside from encouraging you to dispose of your rubbish responsibly, you can sit on them if the grass is wet; use them to protect or store your clothes or create an impromptu fancy-dress outfit. Penguin suit anyone?
■ Chocolate Ideal when the munchies hit (no, not those munchies. We don’t do that any more now we have children, do we?) and a pick-me-up for a flagging tot when you want to keep him awake until the end of the Human League set.
■ Dress codes Even on the balmiest summer days, it can get quite chilly in the evenings, so bring plenty of layers. You can’t rely on sunshine during the day, either (check the forecast before you go). Leggings are great for slinging under sundresses or shorts at night and you can sleep in them too if you are feeling particularly grungy. Ditto cashmere cardigans that are light to pack and easy to pile on.The same fashion principles apply to children. After much protest, my son donned a pair of leggings under his shorts as he was freezing.
■ First-aid Kit All festivals will have first-aid facilities, but it’s sensible to pack a first-aid kit including antiseptic spray, antibacterial hand gel and plasters.
■ Large floppy hat Not only does it keep the sun off your face, but it’s ideal for covering up “festival” hair that could do with a wash. Perched at a jaunty angle, you could almost be mistaken for Alexa Chung.
■ Money bag Mercifully, at family festivals like Camp Bestival theft is very rare. Indeed, with that crowd you are more likely to get your wallet handed in than stolen, but it does pay to exercise some caution. If you have large sums of cash or cards on you, it’s just common sense to put it in a money belt and
keep it at the bottom of your sleeping bag during the night.
■ Toilet rolls You know the reasons behind this one.
■ Torch Essential for midnight forays to the toilet, and getting back to your tent after dark. Bring extra batteries as children have a nasty habit of playing with torches and leaving them on.
■ Water bottle Many festivals provide drinking water on site; it’s much cheaper than buying the bottled variety and it’s good to keep hydrated in the sun.
■ Waterproofs Another must for shower and wind protection – foldaways are perfect as you can pop them in a pocket ready for impromptu downpours.
■ Wellies Forget them at your peril. If the past three summers are anything to go by, you can’t rule out catching the occasional downpour; the weather was gorgeous for most of Camp Bestival last year, but that didn’t stop me donning my silver Hunters and tripping around in them with a mini dress à la Kate Moss (that’s where the resemblance stopped). Pack some flip-flops, too – easy to slip on for that moonlit loo trip.
■ Wet wipes Obviously a necessity if you have a babe-in-arms, but also helpful if shower dodging and for mopping up spills and ice-cream covered faces.
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