Glastonbury camping essentials – the definitive list of what to take!

About a month ago I made a mental list of the absolute “essentials” for Glasto – ie, the things that no camper should be without – 3 shopping trips later, I finally have all but one of them here so I thought I’d share my list with the world – if it stops one person from making a mistake Ive made in the past, then it’ll have done its job! 😉

2 Skin Tent1. Two Skin Tent
Oh man, I can’t stress enough how much you need one of these. Seriously, if you’re planning on coming to Glastonbury in a single sheet dome tent, you may want to reconsider… unless you have friends that are willing to help you gaffer tape plastic sheeting to your tent at 4am when you wake up in a puddle. When (not if) it rains, you want to know you’ve got at least one place you go where its going to be dry…

2. Folding Chair
I never realised how important this was until last year, but when you’ve been walking around all day, you’re knackered and the floor is either a mud-bath or mini lake, you’ll want to hug for me for convincing you to take one of these.

Wellys (preferably matching)3. Wellys
I haven’t actually got any wellys yet this year, so here’s a picture of my classic pair from last year. Yeah, yeah, I know they’re not matching – they’re not even the same size, but thats a completely separate story. 2 years in a row I tried to get away with wearing boots instead of wellys, 2 years in a row I ruined perfectly good pairs of boots (sorry Mr Eavis, I won’t leave my footwear behind again honest). Trust me when I say, there is no alternative… just make sure you bring a pair.

3L Merlot Box4. Box of Wine
Don’t let the fact that its alcohol fool you – this is more important than any of the previous 4. Why? Well, if the tent fails, the wellys leak and the chair breaks, you won’t give a damn once you’ve finished the wine! The added bonus is that you can take the bag out of the box and get them through security without a problem. (Update: Thanks to Rob for pointing out that aside from the obvious benefits of a box of wine, when you’ve finished you can also blow the inner bag up and use it as a makeshift pillow! Multifunctional or what?? 😀 )

N95 Battery5. Phone batteries
OK, this is a little biased because uploading photos to flickr from my phone will kill the battery in a day, so I generally try to take 3 or 4 7 (after I successful photo uploading mission at the Isle of Wight Festival I’ve discovered 7 is the magic number!). Either way, take at least one spare… people may have mentioned to you that theres an “Orange Tent” where you can charge your phones, but after trying last year I couldn’t describe a worse hell. Imagine 50 chargers and 500 people trying to use them at any one time – it really is that bad. Unless you’re willing to dedicate a day to getting it charged, I’d avoid it at all costs.


Wet-wipes6. Wet Wipes (Thanks Stevie.P)
I almost forgot how bloody useful these are when you’re there. By entering the Glastonbury gates you forfeit any realistic chance of showering for at least 3 days, so these are the closest you’ll get to being clean. From wiping random mud off you, to the Aussie shower you can enjoy in the morning, wet wipes are like the swiss army knife of hygiene. 🙂


[Update 2]
2 years on and I’ve extended the list – essentials 7-11 can be found here!

And there you have it. My 5 6 most essential items for Glastonbury. Some may argue that there are more essential things than a box of wine or a chair, but this is the first year Ive been organised enough to take my own tent. What did you expect? 🙂

p.s. – In answer to a few emails I’ve had about this post (seriously)… yes this list can apply to any festival! T in the Park, V festival, Global Gathering, Creamfields… even your bog-standard camping trips! Its not limited to Glastonbury in any way – in fact, I’m amazed that 4 people that have taken the time to email me to ask!!! Not that I’m complaining – I just love the fact that people are actually reading this and taking note 😛

17 Responses to “Glastonbury camping essentials – the definitive list of what to take!”

  1. That tent looks positively enormous…

    We plumped for a tiny quick pitch jobby, and now you have me worried ‘cos it’s single-skin! It’s actually more waterproof though (3000than our bigger double-skinned tent we normally camp in, so hopefully it will be alright?

  2. That wine box trick is an ace idea.

  3. mou

    Oh Neil. Neil, Neil, Neil….

    Nah, you’ll be OK as long as it doesn’t pour down. Those tents are showerproof, but if theres a constant stream of water they’ll start getting wet on the inside, then the dripping will start… Do what we did last year and position a gazebo over your tent when it rains!! 😉

    I know! Its almost like it was designed for that exact purpose!

  4. mou

    Oh yeah Neil, mines only a 2 man… and its a quick pitch. Eurohike though, so I’m hoping it’ll be good…

  5. Oh eck. I’m not sizist or anything but the tent we picked up last weekend is positively palatial. I’ve crawled into that many little tents that the first thing I need to know about a tent is, can I stand up in it!

    In 2005 I took an equally huge thing to T in the Park. On the first night it rained and we managed to fit in the members of Musselburgh Rugby Club and a band called Five Fifteen who’s supported Kula Shaker the night before in Aberdeen or somewhere. Was a house party under nylon although the other half wasn’t too impressed since we trashed the joint on Night 1

    Oh the memories.

  6. mou

    Party at yours then? 😉

    I’ve never been a huge fan of big tents – the bigger they are, the longer it takes to put them up/take them down! I’ve bought into the whole quick pitch idea – I like the idea of picking a camping spot and being sat down with a beer in my hand within 3 minutes!

    Sounds like my 1st year at uni – I was the only one who didn’t care if my flatmates hated smoking, so everyone came back to mine after nights out. Mind you, I don’t think I’d have had the balls if my missus had been there though – you’re a brave man! 😉

  7. stevie p

    Great list mate but add to it, toilet paper, a bucket with carrier bags to make a toilet! and wet wipes!! mouth wash and a torch for the tent!!

  8. mou

    Cheers Stevie, I forgot how useful wet wipes are – Ive added them to the list!

  9. lauren

    Sounds like a gd list i think ive got mine carried away as its like 3 pages long will but i am a glasto virgin lol will be there at the next one woo

  10. porkpie

    ok.lets not mess aboot. but it seems like some people have never camped in there back garden…you dont need me to tell you this but i will, it comes down to simple common sense. first the portable fire!u will need 1 small tin of gloss! thats right paint. ive had a gloss fire goin in a snow storm! 2nd visqune and string if all else fails this will keep you dry. 3rd a suit! just because your camping this doesnt mean you have 2 look like a hippe.4th and final word of wisdom, money! you can always buy yourself out of the shit!

  11. Leedsgirly

    I have just stumbled across this list for the 2nd time since you wrote it, and I still think its great.

    Sorry, but I inadvertantly introduced you to Knocker through this link !

    Thanks for the giggles.

  12. Ian

    I don’t understand this whole big tent means it takes ages to put up. we have a huge dome tent with a nice big pourch and standing height, takes the same amount of time to put up as any other size dome tent. Infact I reckon I could put it up in 3 mins if I had too. Although if the wind picks up it will be flattened, but then the pop up tents don’t like wind either.

    • mou

      I suspect tha if you can get it up in 3 minutes then theres 2-3 of you there, the sun is shining and theres no wind.

      Still reckon you’d be able to put it up in 3 minutes if a 30mph wind was thrown into the mixer?? What if it was chucking with rain?

      Big tents are brilliant if theres a few of you there but Ive never got the logic of 2 people staying in what looks like a 10 man tent! I’ve got used to finding my camping spot and being set up in under 2 minutes 🙂

  13. Red246

    I know the original post was last year but am a camping virgin and was looking for tips (thank you)loving your list – I am planning to have a BALL in August. I’m 100% behind you on the chair, essential!

  14. Mark ashman

    Thanx 4 the tips , 1st year 4 me hope my Tesco tent up 2it

    • mou

      Depends what tent it is, but you’ll (probably) be fine as long as it doesn’t chuck down too hard!

      Rain at Glasto is common, but the sort of rain that destroys tents (thankfully) doesn’t happen quite as often… 🙂

  15. beverly

    hand gel really useful following trips to loo!


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