Festival season in the UK has begun, and that means that a lot of us have bought our tickets, practiced our hair-braiding and are learning lyrics in every spare moment. But what to pack? As I’ve just got home from my first festival (read about my experience as a vegan at Glastonbury here), I thought that I’d share my packing list of essentials, including the items that allowed me to stay healthy and feel my best after dancing all day and night. Festivals can get unfairly criticised for their junk food vans and liver-unfriendly drinking culture, but if you choose and pack wisely it is perfectly possible to keep your body happy as well as your dancing shoes. I hope that you fellow festival-goers find this useful!
Eating options can be the first worry for anyone hoping to stay healthy whilst away, but not all festivals are over-run with burger vans. However, if you aren’t sure what your festival offers and want to be certain that you won’t be left eating chips for every meal, I recommend taking:
Oats – If you’re in a campervan or have a portable stove you could make porridge, or simply add milk or fruit juice for a speedy muesli breakfast. Either way, you’ll have plenty of slow-release energy for the day ahead.
Bananas – These also make a great breakfast or snack, and are great for festivals as they come in their own packaging so won’t get ruined by any muddy conditions!
Rude Health fruit and nut bars – I tried these for the first time on my trip and loved them – the Beetroot bar has quite a distinctive taste but is probably my favourite as it’s different from most other snack bar flavours, and is kept sweet by the dates and cashews. However, the Pumpkin and Peanut are equally tasty and small enough to carry with you all day if you find you’re flagging a little.
Rude Health mini corn and rice thins – I’m a rice cake addict, so these baby thins were a great snack and could be made into a packed lunch if you add sliced banana or have savoury dips to hand. They’re the perfect size to take to festivals without having to take a whole pack of full-size rice cakes, and they’re also gluten free so are a great option for any coeliacs who are concerned about meal options.
Quinola Express quinoa pouches – I was recently sent a few packets of these and they’re perfect for eating on-the-go. The range of Express sachets include ‘Pearl and Black Quinoa’, ‘Pearl and Red Quinoa’ and ‘Split Pea Quinoa’, each one containing cooked quinoa that can be enjoyed straight from the packet or heated on the stove in a pan. This means that even without your microwave they’re the perfect back-up cold meal, and the quinoa provides plenty of protein to keep you full and happy. Find more Quinola products here.
Tea/Coffee (because no one wants to talk to me before I have a cup of tea in the morning.
Organic Burst chlorella granules/tablets – I’m a huge OB fan and use their organic, vegan superfoods on a daily basis to support my health. Their chlorella was my first choice for my festival bag – an algae, chlorella is packed with vitamins including B12, helps your liver and kidneys to cleanse your system of alcohol and pollutants, supports your immune system and also helps to balance your gut flora for better digestion. In short, everything you’ll be needing when camping! Click here to buy this and other OB superfoods.
Bum bag/Belt bag
Vaporub – My sister told me (once we got there and it was too late!) that some people rub this under their nose before using the toilets if the smell is not too pleasant.
‘Shewee’ – Girls out there, this is a great invention! Festival toilets can get pretty horrific and become something that you definitely don’t want to sit on, so the Shewee is a little plastic funnel-like object that lets you do your number ones standing up, guy style. It sounds hilarious, it is pretty strange, but I wouldn’t want to be without one when the toilets aren’t pretty. Find them here.
Deodorant – I used a travel-size ‘Salt of the Earth’ mineral salt crystal stick. It’s completely natural, tiny and light but does the job well – find it here.
Dry shampoo – I like Lush’s ‘No Drought’ (here) version as you can apply just as much as you need and it lasts for ages, plus you don’t get lots left in an aerosol can once all the gas has been used. It’s also cruelty free.
Pump It Up ‘Dry Shower’ body wash – My family bought a bottle of this from Boots (find it here) and it is perhaps the most brilliant thing on this list. It’s essentially a foamy body wash that you pump onto your hand, massage into your body and let it dry on its own – no towels or water necessary. Antibacterial and anti-odours, it made me feel much cleaner and stops you being a sweaty mess after few days away from a shower.
Hair chalks, hair/body glitter and temporary tattoos (the sparklier the better)
Festivals are a great place to let your hair down, enjoy the outdoors and meet new people, and hopefully packing a few of these things will keep you feeling great whilst doing that. Have fun!