The 2012 festival season will soon be upon us, and to improve your festival experience we’ve been busy road-testing some of the best equipment to hit the market this year. We’ve also thrown in a few of our personal favourites to bring you a top 10 of festival gear you simply can’t do without.
10. Festival trolley
Wide enough to carry a case of beers and sturdy enough to carry a massive 120 kilos, the Off-Roader Festival Trolley Mk II is an excellent investment. For under £40 you can make sure your belongings keep rolling on the tough steel frame and pneumatic tyres, while lesser models lose their wheels and end up getting painfully dragged through the mud to their destination.
9. Briefcase BBQ
If the festival organisers allow barbecues then the £25 fold-down Briefcase BBQ is a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly option to take than a load of disposable ones. At 5cm thick when flat it doesn’t take up much room and tucks neatly away when not in use.
8. Eye mask and ear plugs
Sleep is valuable enough at the best of times, but at festivals it can be a particularly scarce commodity. Too little and you could end up sleeping through your favourite band, or simply not enjoying it out of sheer exhaustion. Ensure a good nights kip with an eye mask and ear plugs to block out the sound of other revellers who are still going in the early hours of the morning – no doubt only to regret it the next day, while you’re leading the charge.
7. Hydration pack
These CamelBaks are a great way to carry water (or the beverage of your choice) around with you and make sure it’s easily accessible at all times. The hydration packs are worn on your back like a slim rucksack, and are barely noticeable under a festival poncho…
6. Portable solar shower
Baby wipes might be a good last line of defence against the mud and germs, but they leave something to be desired for the full-body wash. On the other hand, you probably won’t want to waste time queuing for the showers, especially given their proximity to the portaloos and the infamous toilet truck – hardly a recipe for feeling squeaky clean. For £4.99, the portable solar shower gives you the chance of a warm shower without the hassle. Simply fill the 20-litre bag, leave it in the sun for a couple of hours and you can clean up whenever you want.
5. Biolite fuel burner
We’ve talked about the bio fuel burner before because we really do love it. Not only does it burn any biomass you can find, instead of requiring bulky and expensive gas canisters, but as well as a stove you can use it to generate electricity to charge your smartphone or for a light.
All that partying and exotic food can play havoc with your digestive system and there’s nothing worse than wasting time queuing for the portaloos when you were supposed to be enjoying your favourite band. Imodium is a guaranteed way to stop the trots, leaving you free to spend your weekend where you wanted to. In fact, it’s worth remembering that it’s almost guaranteed to stop anything happening for a while (enough said).
Continuing the theme of avoiding portaloos, this clever little contraption allows women to enjoy some of the benefits that men do whilst peeing – namely standing and not having to remove your clothes. Easy to use, discreet and reusable, this handy device is supplied to women in the armed forces the world over. Armed with a shewee and the Imodium tip above, you should be able to give the portaloos a miss altogether – meaning more time for the music.
2. Tent finder iPhone app
Most festival newbies – and quite a few veterans – lose their tents at least a few times. This neat little app is designed to avoid that situation. It’s pretty new on the scene but comes highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t quite mastered the art of remembering to remember where their tent is yet.
1. 100% waterproof socks
Dodgy weather is par for the course for festivals, especially in the UK. Assuming you want to avoid heavy, calf-chafing wellies, then these fully waterproof socks are the solution for you. 100% waterproof but breathable Gore-Tex technology keeps your feet completely dry without profuse sweating, meaning you can keep your stylish shoes on without fear of getting trench foot. Be warned though, if it’s Glastonbury-style knee-deep mud, then no matter how dry your feet are you’ll still look like a muppet in white plimsolls.
What festival gear and equipment do you never leave home without? Let us know below…
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