For me, packing is an art I claim to have perfected over many years, and yet every year I change it! The one thing that remains true though is that my bed at home is the blank canvas on which I lay out my hoard. I’ve basically figured that what I can lay out on my bed will generally fit into my camping rucksack. This is by no means an exact science, but it sure does work for me.
So, in this blog I’m going to fill you in on what makes up my ‘hoard’. To begin with, I stuff all the side pockets of my bag with underwear. Quick access to socks and strides is a must! This doesn’t include my welly outer socks as these stay fitted in my wellies for when I need them. I can fit a weeks worth of underwear into my side pockets and then some. This is not an area to scrimp though, so if needs be a few more go into the bottom of the bag for emergencies! We’ve all had them!
Next, I focus on leg attire. When packing the main part of my rucksack I like to put a bin bag in first to line it. Even though my bag is waterproof, I just like to be sure. Much like our leader Eavis, I am a shorts man, come wind, rain or snow my legs are still out. This is my own personal choice, but those who follow a similar style will appreciate the space you save with shorts in the packing process. Even I will pack 1 pair of lightweight trousers though. One thing I will say is try to avoid the holiday mentality that you must have a complete outfit change every day! By all means have your ‘fancy dress’ plans, but there is nothing wrong with wearing shorts/trousers more than once if you can get away with it.
T-shirts however, i like a fresh one every day. Simple as that.
For the warmer bits, I take a zip hoody, my festival jacket which I’ve been customising for years with prints and patches and maybe one jumper if I think I might need layers. At Glastonbury you can be walking for 30 minutes, then stood still for 2 hours. You need to be able to regulate your temps, and for me layers is the way.
Neatly on top is where I put my flip flops and wash bag, complete with toothbrush, paste, baby wipes, sun cream, vitamin c, chewing gum, carbohydrate gel sachets and my camping bottle shower head.
In the top flap of my rucksack is where I put my non-clothing essentials, all stored in a watertight grab bag. Things that go in here generally include:
Power bank charger for my phone and wires, battery powered light bulbs for the tent and spare batteries, small bluetooth speaker, and theres always a bit of room left for last minute things that inevitably get missed.
That pretty much covers what I’ll need for a weeks camping in my main bag. I leave a much smaller bag in the car with my wellies that includes a larger rain coat and thick jumper. I also have a small day bag which I roll up and squeeze in somewhere. I take a bum bag as I find them a secure way to keep your money and phone safe and still quickly accessible. I take a small cool bag with snacks and food. Super concentrated fruit squash is a must. Will easily fit into a day bag with a decent reusable water bottle.
Finally my bedding, and i do mean bedding. I choose not to take a sleeping bag, and instead bag up my quilt and pillows. Generally this means an extra trip to the car due to the bulkiness, but for me its totally worth it. My 4 person tent is the perfect size for 2 people with bags!
Alcohol wise I will decant a bottle of spirits into a plastic bottle and also take a crate of cider. You are welcome to take as much as you plan to drink, but I like to buy a few drinks each day that are cold.
Nothing overly extraordinary about my process, but a few tips I can give:
- Take a roll of toilet paper in a zip lock/freezer bag.
- Keep at least 1 pair of socks/underwear separate in a zip lock/freezer bag.
- Have a bin bag for your tent so that you can step into it if your feet are dirty.
- Keep a full bottle of water in your tent throughout the day in a hope that the sun will warm it up to make for a more pleasant wash.
- As a group consider taking a flag to identify where your tent is from far away. Leave it there though, flags in front of the stages are really annoying!
- If you don’t decant your booze into plastic bottles it will be confiscated.
Anything you do bring, please take it home with you. Adopt the mantra of ‘Love the farm, leave NO trace!’