Electric Picnic 2014 Survival Guide

With only a few more days until you hit the road for the trip to the Electric Picnic Festival, we thought it sensible to write a little something about what you should bring with you to make your stay a little bit more comfortable.

The two most obvious things, really, are your tent and your ticket. There’d be nothing worse than going without a ticket. At least if you forgot your tent, you could cozy-up to a friend if worst came to worst. You’d scarcely believe that people have, in fact, forgotten their tents on occasion though. So don’t be one of them. Consider this your warning. If you’re looking for some quirky tents, our friend EleventyFour did a fantastic post on her blog about some amazeballs tents that are out there waiting for you to insta-purchase.

Be sure to pack extra tent pegs too – you never know how they may come in handy. And they could be a good bartering item to boot. For extra water-proofing, you could invest in a good tarpaulin and ground-sheet that will keep you and your things a little drier should the weather take a turn, the former also handy for a bit of shading without compromising on a breeze. A rain mac or a mac-in-a-sac is imperative. As much as we hate to admit it, let’s face it, you will need it. Wellies are, of course, essential for any festival. Even if there’s little or no rain, after a few days the ground tends to get mucky no matter what. Remember you’ll probably be wearing them for 3 days so you should invest in a comfortable pair. If you can’t afford a really comfy pair (they can be expensive), buy a good insole and some chunky socks. Also bring a couple more pairs of socks than you think you’ll need. Nothing’s worse than cold feet when you’re trying to sleep. And for sleepy-sleepy-nap-time, you’ve gotta have a warm place to rest your tired head so grab yourself a warm sleeping bag.
For those of you who find it difficult to sleep with noise, nab yourself a pair of earplugs. Because as awesome as that guy 2 tents down with his out-of-tune guitar was when you were partying with them, at 5am when you’re trying to sleep he’s just another douche with a guitar. For an extra bit of comfort, why not try a blow-up… bed. You can find ones that don’t need a pump or a good set of lungs. If you can’t find one of them, you can get some battery powered pumps. Which brings us to batteries. Like Christmas Day, someone around you will always need a battery. And if that person’s you, why not be prepared and bring a few extra? Maybe you could use ’em for that camera you’re bringing. You don’t want to miss a good photo opportunity or a way to capture the best moments or indeed the best photo-bombs. Just don’t be that douche that stands at the front of a gig watching the whole thing through their camera. Nobody likes that person.

Bring a pillow. After a few days sleeping on the ground, you’ll be so glad you did. If you don’t want the extra weight/bulk, why not just bring a pillow case and stuff it with clothes. Taadaaa… Insta-pillow! You’ll need some plastic bags/black bags. They make a water-proof (depending on how good they are, of course) barrier for your clothes, electronics and they also serve as a handy seat if the ground is wet. A small one will also be useful for your mucky wellies when you get into your tent. You don’t want to be treading muck all over your lovely abode.

For communication purposes, we recommend you bring a mobile phone. If you’re afraid for its safety, you don’t need to bring your fancy-schmancy smartphone at all. Why not bring an old phone you’re not using so that if it gets lost you won’t care so much? And, older phones generally have a better battery life too. Anyone remember the Nokia 5110? I went away to Spain for a week with that thing and forgot a charger. Did I need it? Nope. A beast of a phone.

You’ll need a flashlight/torch, if only for late night/early morning wee wee trips to the long drops (it’s better that you don’t ask). Your best bet is one of those nifty wind-up torches you can find cheap everywhere. Try clicking here for Amazon.co.uk’s range. And while you’re at it, pop a toilet-roll into a sandwich bag (to keep it dry). Your life is incomplete without a bottle of alcohol hand-rub. And if you think that statement is untrue, remember you’re eating with your hands. And you’ll need bottled water. And plenty of it. Not only for drinking, but we’ll get to more uses later.

Toilet facilities are going to be the bane of your existence for the duration of the festival but a few little tricks will make your life a lot easier. Toilet paper is crucial. Bring 2 rolls. Again, currency. Nobody wants to sit on a stranger-toilet. But! Remember that alcohol hand-rub we told you to pack? It makes a great seat cleaner and dries pretty much instantly. No more worrying about germs. Another invaluable trick is chewing gum. Festival toilets don’t smell like daisies. A fresh, minty piece of chewing gum popped straight into your mouth on the way into the loos should override your sense taste and smell long enough to get through.

Let’s face it, you’re not going to get to shower for the best part of 3 days. And think of how you’ll feel after the mud, the sweat and the rain. Not very nice, eh? Enter you saviour: baby wipes. Give yourself a wipe-down and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel*. Pop on a bit of deodorant and you’re set. You’ll, of course, need your toothbrush, some toothpaste and mouthwash. And there’s where that bottled water will come in handy also. You don’t want to go around on a trek looking for some running water at 5am when you’re ready for bed. A little flannel or a small towel too. If you don’t use it to wash, you will use it to dry yourself after that inevitable rain spell. Bring a small first-aid kit with plastersparacetamol,  multi-vitamins**, stomach tablets like Immodium or Motilium to ease your upset tummy, Rennie***, a small scissors, and Savlon cream.

We all live in hope, so bring yourself some of that suncream you’ve had stashed away since your last holiday. As bad as sunburn is, without your comfy bed at night, it will be forty times worse. Guaranteed. Also, protect your eyes with a pair of sunglasses. Even if the sun isn’t that strong, it’ll burn your eyes like the fires of hell on Monday morning when you’re taking down your tent all the while trying not to puke.

Which brings us to the reason you’re trying not to puke… alcohol! Remember that you can’t bring glass bottles on to the site and the maximum number of cans per person is 48. Also remember that you’re not allowed bring your own alcohol into the festival area before 10.30pm. That is before the bars close. Even if you don’t smoke, you should bring a packet of cigarettes. They’re a currency at events like this. Seriously. Oh, and a lighter. Who knows who you might meet in need of one and not have one to hand?

Of course, all this wouldn’t be possible without cash. Bring enough to last you the weekend, but not more than you can carry on your person at all times. Budget around €10 for every meal, (an over-budget but you never know), and then some spending money after that. That should do you. There are ATMs on-site, but the queues are always massive, and the damn things will inevitably run out of money before Sunday. And, of course, you need somewhere to put all this stuff. And that would be your rucksack. The best ones are the ones used for backpacking as they have all sorts of nifty pockets and dangley bits to tie things to.

* note: will not cure a hangover, but will aid in its passing. Also note that baby wipes can be used for their intended purpose: your bum!

** note: Multi-vitamins are a great hangover preventative/curer. Replace those vitamins you’ve forced out through excessive binge-drinking. Go on.

*** note: A night of drinking will give you heartburn. Rennie will remedy that.

Have You Heard This Yet? Robyn Sherwell