Hands up who is going camping this summer with kids! Are you are heading to a family festival for the first time? Do you even know what you should be taking with you? It can be so overwhelming can’t it, deciding what to pack. If you’re looking for the ‘Ultimate Family Festival Packing Checklist‘ though, then hello, you have come to exactly the right place!
I know all too well how overwhelming it is getting organised and ready for camping with kids. You really don’t want to pack too much, but you also don’t want to leave any essentials behind.
We are heading to Camp Bestival at Lulworth Castle in two weeks time. We are so excited and also a little bit scared because we are camping with two very energetic four year olds! This isn’t my first time camping at all, but it is my first time camping at a festival.
To make sure we are really organised and we don’t forget anything, I’ve written the ultimate checklist and I really wanted to share it with you in case it’s helpful. I’ve also had it checked over by some very experienced family campers and they are all going to use it for their own families, which is amazing!
You can grab it at the bottom of this post! It includes everything you will need in a really easy to follow format. Simply print it out and check it off as you go and nothing you need will be left behind at all!
The Ultimate Family Festival Packing Checklist
Below I’ll also just list a ‘few’ essentials that will also be on the packing list and reasons why we’re taking them. These are a few things you might not think to pack, but they’re things that we couldn’t be without when camping at a family festival:
1. Camping Gear
Camping as a family is so much fun! It really is such a lovely experience and as long as you make your tent super comfortable, your kids should love it too. One essential we really recommend, is something to sleep on top off. It’s really not very comfortable sleeping directly on a hard uneven floor. A simple air mattress or inflating camping roll matt will give you a lot more comfort. I have camped at so many festivals and at least three times I forgot to take a mattress. Ouch, ouch, ouch!
Lots of people also decorate their tents with LED lights, windsocks and bunting! These things aren’t essentials, but if you have the budget, go wild! It makes your tents stand out, easier to find and its so much fun for kids.
Cooking might be the last thing on your mind when you’re at a festival. You will likely be spoilt for choice of what to eat from all the amazing food stalls. But there still might be times, especially in the morning, when you want to eat or drink back at camp. Even if it’s just breakfast or having a cup of tea! Having basic cookware like a gas stove is really handy and they’re actually not expensive at all, much to my surprise. It’s also a really great idea to take a picnic backpack. Picnic backpacks are usually full of cutlery, crockery, cups and utensils so you don’t need to raid your kitchen cupboards or buy ‘throwaways’!
Aside from your basic clothes, one thing we really recommend you take is ‘reusable’ or ‘pack away’ style raincoats. You don’t want to be lugging big coats around with you all day, but you also never know what the British weather is going to do. We really love ‘pac a macs’ and those rain coats that fold away really small. That way you can put them in your day bag and they’re not in the way, but they’re still there in case you need them!
- You can get adults emergency rain coats here: Reusable Rain Coat.
- You can get kids emergency rain coats here: Kids Reusable Rain Coat
One thing I really recommend is investing in a hang up toiletry bag. There is nothing worse than having to put all your things down on a muddy, wet festival shower room floor. There are usually doors and hooks to hang things up, so do take advantage of these things. Another thing I always take (but lots of people might find weird) are special beach socks for the shower. I once had a really bad experience of a festival where I cut my foot and the public showers ended up making it infected. Nowadays I never, ever shower at festivals without shower socks. It’s not an essential by any means, but after having the most painful blood blister, I’m never going to risk it again.
5. Things For Kids
If you’re at a family friendly festival, it’s likely there is going to be loads to do for kids. But, you’re still going to find yourself spending a little bit of time back at camp. Make sure your kids have some basic entertainment available for that tricky time when you’re trying to pitch the tent or when they’re waiting for you to get ready to go in the mornings.
Things like bubbles and kiddy magazines will do. Don’t take anything precious though, it might get lost or get very, very dirty. Just in case it’s muddy, it might also be an idea to take some ‘kids foldable camping chairs’ for them to sit on. These don’t take up much room, they’re really lightweight and will make your camping area a lot more homely.
- You can get kids camping chairs here: Kids Foldable Camping Chairs
6. First Aid
Every festival site will have a first aid tent where you can get any booboos seen too. But, when going to a festival with kids, it might be handy to keep a really small pack of things on you just in case. Basic things like plasters, Calpol and savlon are really handy to keep on you.
- You can get a mini camping ‘First Aid Kit’ here: First Aid Kit
Nowadays most festival sites do have ‘charging’ areas in the campsites. If you’re staying in the more ’boutique style camping’ you might even be lucky enough to have charging ports in your tent or tipi. For those of you like us though, that are in regular camping, we really recommend taking a portable charger. There is nothing worse than getting separated and not having battery. These are especially useful for teenagers who might want to wonder off alone, or with friends, during the festival.
If you’re taking food to the festival one thing lots of people have recommended to us, is that you freeze things before hand. Especially things like bread and milk. That way, when you leave to travel to the festival, you can transfer them straight to a cool box and they should defrost and be good to use the entire time you are away! You can even take some pre-cooked meals that you’ve frozen so you can save some money and eat at camp one night. All you’ll need to do is take them out of your cool box and heat them up on a stove when you’re there.
- You can get a Cool Box here: Cool Box
The Ultimate Family Festival Packing List
So there were just a few things we are taking, but to stop the overwhelm, I’ve created ‘The Ultimate Family Festival Packing List’ which is a comprehensive list of all the essentials you need. To use it, simply print it off and check it off as you go. It will help you to make sure that nothing important or necessary will get left behind again! You can download it here:
We hope you have a lovely family festival and we really hope that this packing list is helpful…
Are there any family festival essentials you can’t live with out? Have you ever been to a festival with your family before? Let us know below!