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What to take to a festival: our festival checklist for 2024

What to take to a festival: our festival checklist for 2024

As the festival season fast approaches, many of us are looking forward to good music, late starry nights and making memories with our friends.

However, packing for a festival can be a challenge. There are a lot of things to consider when thinking about what to take to a festival. Unpredictable weather or the showers being the other side of the festival to where you decided to camp.

To have a good time at the festival, being prepared is essential. This is why we’ve created our Hairy Jayne festival checklist, covering all bases from hair care, food and camping gear for a festival.

You can find all the items below on our festival essentials page. 

Leave no trace - keep our spaces green

For festival goers and lovers of the great outdoors, “Leave No Trace” is fundamental in reminding us to preserve and respect nature and green spaces.

This is particularly important at festivals, where rubbish, discarded camping gear and other waste is a growing issue. Not only an eyesore, it has a negative impact on the wildlife that usually live on the site.

As your upcoming festival winds down, be sure that all of your belongings and camping gear is packed away and taken with you. It's also good to be aware that glitter and dropped sequins add to the pollution problem, so avoid those where you can.

Even though there are schemes to either hire tents or properly dispose of tents at festivals, sadly many still end up in landfill. Shambala festival (one of our favourites) is really good at ensuring that no tents end up abandoned. 

Reducing the stress on the environment that festivals can cause, keeping them a sustainable and enjoyable space for years to come is at the forefront of the No Music on a Dead Planet movement. 

Absolute essentials for your festival checklist

These are items that you need to either enter the festival, or to be able to enjoy it once you’re inside.

Tickets: You won’t get far without your festival ticket! Make sure you’ve packed your physical ticket, or downloaded your e-ticket before leaving. If you do have an e-ticket, be sure to download it beforehand so you can access it without the internet. Internet is limited in the middle of a field!

ID: Many festivals sell alcohol and require you to show a form of official ID to get an 18+ wristband.

Money and bank cards: Queues for ATM machines can be long if you do need cash, and usually come with a fee, so it’s best to bring some into the festival with you. However, most festivals and vendors accept card payments on site, so it’s best to bring bank cards too.

Hairy Jayne’s favourite festival items

At Hairy Jayne, we love a festival. When packing, there are some absolute must haves on our list. The items below make taking care of yourself at a festival feel hassle free, giving you more time to explore and have fun.

Dry shampoo: Dry shampoo is always on our list. Keep your hair looking fresh without needing any water. We love our plastic free dry shampoo.

Shampoo and conditioner bars: If you need to wash your hair at a festival, shampoo bars and conditioner bars are perfect. Small, compact and eco-friendly, they don’t take up precious room in your rucksack and are kind to the planet.

Shampoo concentrate: Aren’t a fan of bars? Our shampoo concentrate is a perfect alternative. It has half the water content of regular shampoo, and it's 100% naturally derived and biodegradable. 

Razor: Taking a safety razor is perfect for freshening up on the go. Plus, our safety razor from Jungle comes with its own travel pouch. Best to on the festival website first before packing in case they're not allowed in.

Hair care and hygiene

Alongside our favourite festival items, there are other essential hair care and hygiene products you should pack for your next festival.

Bars of soap: Bars of soap are a great alternative to liquid shower gel for festivals. No risk of leaks and they save space. We love the alternative soap bars and usually cut a small piece off to store in a small tin.

Hair brush: Many festival goers choose to pack a travel brush, like our wooden hairbrush, so it takes up less room in their bag.

Toothbrush: Don’t forget to pack a sturdy toothbrush for the weekend.

Deodorant: By the third or fourth day, you’ll be very happy you decided to pack deodorant.

Sun cream: Even though the British weather is unpredictable, it’s best to be prepared and add some SPF to your packing list.

Toiletry bag: Pack a toiletry bag to keep all your personal hygiene items organised and safe, making them easily accessible during the festival. Saves time scrambling around in your tent looking for things when you could be having fun!

Toilet paper: Toilet paper isn’t always promised at festivals, so it’s a good idea to bring some spare. Be wary of wet wipes, as they usually contain plastic. Look out for biodegradable if you feel you need them.

Hand sanitiser: Stay germ free with hand sanitiser on the go.

Quick-dry towels: Lightweight quick-dry towels, often microfibre towels, are ideal for showering or swimming at a festival.

Hair bands or ties: If your hair is getting in the way, or you just want to tie it up nearer the end of the festival, a pack of hair bands is essential.

Shelter and Sleeping

Tent (with stakes and guylines): Probably one of the most essential items to take with you when going to a camping festival. 

Sleeping bag: Pack a warm, insulated sleeping bag to stay warm in your tent at night. 

Air mattress or sleeping pad: An air mattress or sleeping pad can help separate you from the cold ground, helping you get a better night's sleep.

Pillows or inflatable camping pillows: Be sure to pack a pillow or inflatable camping pillow for extra comfort.

Blankets or extra layers for warmth: Even though most festivals are in summer, it can get very cold at night. Pack blankets or extra layers in case you start to feel chilly.

Clothing

Comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing: Prepare for all weather conditions and pack clothing for the sun and rain. Also comfy clothes like joggers and jumpers are great for relaxing in the campsite.

Underwear and socks (bring extras): Something important that can be easily missed, be sure to pack clean underwear and socks.

Pyjamas or sleepwear: Pyjamas or sleepwear for staying cosy and warm at night. 

Rain jacket or poncho: Pack a rain jacket or poncho to help you stay dry if there are any unexpected showers.

Warm jacket or hoodie for cooler evenings: A warm jacket or hoodie to keep warm during cooler evenings at the festival.

Hat or cap for sun protection: Take a hat or cap to protect yourself from the sun if the weather is good.

Sunglasses: Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun, as well as any dirt, debris or dust that gets kicked up from a festival.

Swimsuit: Take a swimsuit for impromptu festival showers under a tap, or if there's an opportunity to swim in nearby lakes or rivers.

Comfortable shoes or hiking boots: Larger festivals can require a lot of walking, standing and dancing, so comfortable shoes in the day or hiking boots for night are key.

Flip-flops or sandals for showering: Flip-flops or sandals are essential for protecting your feet in communal showers and restrooms, and handy for the campsite.

Food and Cooking

Cooler or insulated bag: A cooler or insulated bag to help food items stay fresh during the festival.

Portable stove or camping grill: Bringing a portable stove or camping grill means you can cook simple meals or have hot drinks while camping. Check on the festival campsite first if they are allowed.

Fuel, lighter or matches for stove or grill: Fuel for the stove or grill, and matches or a lighter to ignite it.

Cooking utensils: Basic cooking utensils such as pans, spatulas, mug, plate and cutlery.

Food and snacks: If you don’t have the time to make a full meal, and you don’t want to buy a lot of food at the festival, packing filling and tasty snacks is a good idea. Especially for the morning to save queuing as soon as you wake up.

Reusable water bottle: Many festivals offer free water refill stations, so be sure to pack a reusable water bottle.

Other Items

Flashlight, lantern or headlamp with extra batteries: A flashlight, lantern or headlamp is very useful in your camp at night and saves your phone battery. Bring extra batteries so it lasts you the whole festival.

Camping chairs: Camping chairs will mean you can comfortably sit in your camp inbetween exploring the festival.

Portable phone charger or power bank: There isn’t usually a free source of power at a festival, so be sure to bring a portable phone charger or power bank to keep your electronics charged.

First aid kit: A first aid kit with essential supplies in case of injury. We usually pack painkillers and plasters as a minimum.

Insect repellent: In the summer months there can be a lot of insects during the day and night. Bring insect repellent to protect yourself from itchy insect bites.

Rubbish bags for waste disposal: Rubbish bags for cleaning up rubbish at your campsite, helping keep the festival free of litter.

Duct tape: Optional, but it can be useful if you get a tear in your tent or need to mend another piece of equipment during the festival.

Fancy dress items: The fun part of festivals for us, apart from the music, is the total freedom of self expression! Find out if the festival has a theme, or just wear whatever you're into. Make or upcycle things yourself though rather than buying new.

What to take to a festival - the conclusion

If you have an upcoming festival, we hope this list helps you pack all the essential items you need. Enjoy the sun (hopefully!), music and precious time with the people close to you!

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