Boss The Festivals: What Everyone Should Pack

If you pack the wrong gear for a festival, there's a pretty high possibility you're gonna have a shit time when you're stumbling around at 3am, cold, wet, hungry and friendless. Follow these tips to avoid that.
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If you pack the wrong gear for a festival, there's a pretty high possibility you're gonna have a shit time when you're stumbling around at 3am, cold, wet, hungry and friendless. Follow these tips to avoid that.


My brother is soon to attend his first ever music festival this summer. Cigarette breakfasts, paying a fiver for watered down beer and £7.50 for undercooked chicken burgers that are sure to give him salmonella all await him as he chases chemically induced joy in the hope that a girl flashes him while his mates set fire to his tent.

While most older siblings would use such an occasion to impart some sort of wisdom on what to avoid, it has become painfully apparent that I will never be mistaken for one of those mythical beasts known as a “decent functioning member of society” so instead I offered to him, and now to you, advice on how to be a superb degenerate during festival season. And much like most adventures, a lot of fun you have can have boils down to what you pack – Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance (this is also advice I gave him for how to lose his virginity, but that’s another story.)

How the degenerate packs for a festival:

Sturdy Shoes

No slip ons or flip flops unless you want to spend an hour in a bog after the Foo Fighters looking for “rightie”. Your feet are your only method of transportation at a festival (unless your light and charismatic enough to be one of those twats who gets piggy banked everywhere) so you should look after them.

While the average person would go for Wellingtons, the degenerate goes for army boots; sturdy and waterproof, they’re also pretty easy to sprint away from authority figures/rival tent clans/burger vans you’ve walked off from without paying.

High Visibility Jackets

If you can’t crash an area dressed as a pilot, you can probably do it wearing a high visibility jacket and a hardhat.

After dark at a festival, get your friends to don some high vis jackets, grab some torches and pretend to be security. Find some well to do Sloaneys bragging about smoking their first joint and then confiscate all of their contraband. They deserve it, they could barely roll anyway and who takes micro brews to a festival?


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The weather is lot like a man’s penis; with a mind of it’s own and eager to betray you.

No matter what the forecast says, pack some kind of waterproof. Bin liner is okay, but if you’re going to become a true festival baron it makes sense to splash out a bit. Make sure your waterproof can carry two cans of lager in each pocket and get something brightly coloured so you can be spotted in a crowd. I’m currently using a waterproof made by Swedish brand Elvine. Made in collaboration with a rainwear specialist Grundens, it’s a coat good enough for Swedish fishermen on the high seas (Are the seas still high? Or did Hummers screw that up as well? ) so it seems to do the trick when I’m screaming on my knees to fire god R'hllor to return that yellow orb in the sky called The Sun to us.

Bottled Water

At a BYOB houseparty or barbeque the coolest thing you can bring is cups. Well… red cups because British teens have this fetishisation of American college movies but whatever.

At a festival, the coolest liquid you can pack is water. People get thirsty, dehydrated, dirty and burnt. The vans are selling common tap water for a couple of quid. If you get it right, you can get a good percentage of a stoner’s instant noodle stash if you give him something to boil his dinner in.


A follow on from bottled water, you can take a lot more of the stoner’s food if you give him some coffee to wake up with. Also, coffee throws off a sniffer dogs nose when it’s trying to find weed. Just putting it out there….

Lighter and filters

I haven’t smoked in years, but whenever I’m going into an a strange and alien environment (First day in a new office/Freshers Week/Youth Hostel/Slough) where I need to make friends quickly I always pack a lighter and some filters. The amount of drunks you can make friends with by going “Here use my lighter” is astonishing. The amount of free cigarettes you can get by just providing someone with a filter? Doubly so.

Spare Underwear

Wear shorts with side pockets. Pack baby wipes in one and spare underwear in the other at all times. When it happens, you’ll know.

And there you have it, my quick guide to packing for festival season. Enjoy, comment, criticise and have fun.

And if you want to be meaner than the comments below will allow, my Twitter is @Ankaman616.