Ten bits of essential kit for summer festivals

by Hope Wisechild

It’s nearly time to write that letter to Santa, so when better to think about upgrading your summer festival gear? We take a look at five items we’d love to find in our own stocking on Christmas morning.

Wrist warmers

While you don’t want to end up with icicle fingers from doing indoor things outdoors, there’s little more annoying than having to yank off a bulky pair of gloves every time you want to light a cigarette or pay for a beer. Pulse spots play a role in your overall temperature, and, unlikely as it may seem, fleece-lined wool wrist warmers that leave your fingers and thumb free can also keep your hands warm as toast.

Wool and fleece wrist warmers from Fur Feather & Fin

A self-sufficient torch

There are many options, but whether you choose a wind-up torch or one with a built in solar panel, make sure you have a light small enough to keep on you that’s not completely dependent on batteries. You may be able to buy new batteries on site at bigger events, but that’s small consolation when the light fades as you’re trying to locate your tent at four in the morning. A low-consumption LED torch will make the very most of the power you generate.

Wind-up LED pocket torch from Nigel’s Eco Store

A lightweight warm coat

If you take a heavy wool overcoat you’ll probably end up wearing it to lug your stuff on and off site – a bit much even if the sun’s not blazing. But you will need something to keep you warm when you’re out and about in the chilly night-time. This is where it helps to get hi-tech. You can now get brilliant jackets as warm as a duvet but lightweight enough to pack down tiny – great to keep on you or as an extra late-night layer .

Women’s style ultralight warm jacket with carry pouch from UniQlo

A proper drink container

Most of us know reusing a disposable plastic water bottle only works for a while. Sooner or later an enthusiastic recycler, efficient barperson or litter-obsessed toddler always seems to make it disappear. Take control with a camper’s lightweight metal water bottle complete with a loop so you can hook it to your bag or belt. And if you like to buy bottled water, so much the better – a reusable bottle’s ideal if you don’t want to spill your cider or cocktail.

Eurohike aluminium drink bottle from Millets

Folding wellies

It’s the great packing dilemma – to take wellies, or not take wellies? They take up so much space, it’s annoying if you don’t then need them – then again, you don’t really want to need them! Compromise with a neat folding pair that you can stash in a rucksack pocket and, hopefully, forget about. They come in a range of great colours so you won’t need to compromise on fashion if the heavens do open.

Folding rainboot from Redfoot

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