9 camping essentials that'll make your festival experience much more enjoyable

Eurohike eco tent
(Image credit: Eurohike)

There’s nothing quite like the experience of attending a weekend music festival with friends. There’s something very special about watching some of your favourite bands lighting up the main stage in an outdoor environment, while discovering a few new artists is always a blast.

While many festivals around the world are blessed with glorious, golden sunshine, many in Europe can be blighted by rain and stormy conditions - and that leads to the terrifying prospect of a mud bath.

I remember attending Download in the UK a few years ago and being completely covered in mud on the Friday night - and I had to face up to the prospect of another two full days of mud-caked misery. Thankfully, I had a few items with me to ease me through... but it still wasn't enough.

With those motley memories to the fore, I’ve put together this list of camping essentials that'll make your festival experience much more enjoyable - no matter the weather.

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Being prepared for a music festival - especially if you’re camping on-site - really will make your experience better. There’s nothing worse than being soaked through without a change of clothes on the first day of the festival, your phone running out of battery before the main headliner hits the stage, dragging yourself across a muddy field just to get a small cup of water or finding out that battered old tent you thought would do the job simply wasn’t good enough during stormy weather.

Make a list of the things you'll need to have on-hand to make the festival as comfortable as possible for you and your friends. If the weekend weather forecast isn't looking great, make sure to pack a rain jacket or poncho. It might sound obvious, but I've seen so many people soaked through after a deluge in the past, that I thought I'd put this at the top of my list.

A small, portable speaker is good to have, either for after-show entertainment, or when you're sitting outside your tent chatting with friends during a quiet time in the festival schedule - same goes for a good quality food & drink bag. Stock this with cans, sandwiches so you won't have to traipse through fields looking for last-minute food. And don't forget to pack an external charger as your phone battery is unlikely to see you through the whole weekend.

Space will be a premium at a festival site, so check the sizes of items and make sure they're easy to store away in your backpack. It's also worth checking the festival's website to see what they'll allow in - just in case something you want to bring along will be rejected.

I hope you find my list above useful and remember that it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to pack the majority of items you’ll need for your weekend trip.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.