It’s nearly the end of term yippee! Are you planning a camping or festival this summer? Having done Camp Bestival three times, Penny shares her family festival packing list, also great for camping…

Hello Campers! Things have changed a lot since I set off to Glastonbury aged 16 with just a small rucksack, a sleeping bag, and a two person tent. Festivals with kids require a little bit more planning. This is extensive, but don’t be overwhelmed, it’s more so you can make you mind up what you will find useful, rather than a must take all list.  You can read more about my wonderful Camp Bestival experiences with different age kids, over three consecutive years here and here.

Tent stuff

Tent, mallet and pegs
Airbeds – kids ones that have sides to stop them rolling off, or Ready beds are great.
Airbed pump – the car battery powered ones are fast, but you will then have to carry it to the site, people do this, but foot pumps are probably more practical and good for top ups too.
Sleeping Bags
Hot water bottle, although it looks too warm this year!

Keeping clean stuff
Soap and nailbrush
Toothbrushes and paste
Hairclips/headscarf/hairband to hide greasy hair
Dry shampoo/ Dry wash kit
Travel towels are so lightweight and handy if you do get a shower or wash in!
Hand sanitiser
Pocket tissues
Toilet roll or handier still,  packets of tissues.
Travel potty (personal portable toilet units are not permitted to be brought onto the festival site)

Happy and Safe

Torches – head torches are great.
First aid kit
Medicines – suncream adult and child painkillers, insect repellent, hay fever tablets.
Handy small bag for valuables
Binbags for keeping muddy gear and rubbish tidy.
Ear defenders are essential if you are at the front, but are really handy to help kids zone out and sleep while you watch bands.

Never mind the weather

Clothes – lots of light layers, leggings/tights under dresses and shorts, t shirts under fleeces…
Warm jumpers – fleeces are ideal
Waterproof trousers
Warm hats for nighttime
Sandals – crocs/jelly shoes are great as you can wash them clean
warm socks/long socks for night time/wellies
Money for food and treats.

Fun stuff

Pens and pencils
Bag of little toys
Flag and flagpole to help make finding the tent easy
Costumes – many festivals have a theme
Solar powered fairy lights

Trolley/ radio flyer – we hired one from Mr Trolley which was big enough for our 3 and 5 year old to sleep in or laze in when they were tired. You can prebook them for the whole weekend at some festivals or just rent one for long enough to get your stuff from your car to the site. With a 4 and 6 year old we didn’t really need it so much and with a 5 and 7 year old we managed without.
Playlist, games, DVDS and snacks for the car journey

Memory making

Phone and charger/solar or mobile charger, spare old phone can be handy!
Scrapbook and pens, Camp bestival have a colouring book in the goody bag which kept them happy. A few small toys  –  it kept them happy while we watched bands.

Food and Drink  – remove excess packaging to save waste

You can get amazing food at festivals, but having child friendly snacks and a few bits and bobs can really save money and tantrums.

Drink cartons – handy and a money saver for kids.
Water plastic bottles/container
Cereal/cereal bars or granola bars
Bread and peanut butter for quick sandwiches
Snacks – dried fruit, nuts, crisps, crackers, biscuits, breadsticks, anything to keep em quiet!


If you want to cook or want to save money

Small pan – beans/ pasta and sauce are easy meals.
Small gas stove and spare canister – check it actually works beforehand.
Teabags/coffee/hot choc
Milk (freeze it so it lasts longer!)
Ice packs and cool box
Cups, Bowls and cutlery

Washing Up liquid, cloth, bowl, tea towel

Out and about
Foldable Seats – only really essential if it rains
Picnic rug with plastic back in case ground is damp
Sunshade/golf umbrella
Flask/plastic drinks bottles
Day Rucksack
Small cool bag for snacks

If you buy any new equipment, recycle the packaging at home before you leave to save space and waste at the site.

Crucial stuff

Cash and tickets!